President Vladimir Putin’s speech on the first of March revealed a whole panoply of new nuclear capabilities, from cruise missiles with nearly unlimited range to unmanned undersea vehicles also operating with extraordinary range, together with unprecedented speed and depth capabilities.
Vladimir Putin is the monster of the moment. He is the center of the strange frenzy that grips contemporary Washington – and the chief current reason why peace has become passé.
With a new Cold War developing with Russia, and perhaps another one with China, it would once again behoove U.S. policymakers to acquaint themselves with some of the doctrine dating from the earlier Cold War that stemmed from long study by political scientists and strategists.
“Our” version is that Russia’s “peace efforts” are merely an attempt to keep Assad in power at all costs, and that his departure must still be a precondition for peace. “Their” version is that there can be no solution without Assad, and that his fate should be decided in elections. Meanwhile a parallel, but potentially complementary, UN peace effort is making little progress, and the blood continues to flow in Ghouta.
Sean Illing (Vox): You have an unconventional view of the Cold War. What do you think it was about, and when do you think it began?
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Wednesday he expected the first shipment of weapons from the United States in the next few weeks.
Whatever comes of this Red Scare will rest squarely on our shoulders as American citizens. Not the Russians, not the Brits, but us.
So far there’s little of the former and a lot of the latter. Absent more evidence, skepticism remains a healthy stance.
Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-American Cold War. Russians pride themselves on an awareness of “living history”- memories of past events whose recurrence or consequences continue to influence current politics. The phenomenon known as “Russiagate” suggests that many Americans have less such awareness or memories, though this may be partly generational.
Warning that nuclear weapons pose catastrophic risks to human life and the environment, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday called on the international community to make a reinvigorated push to rid the world of such weapons.