Are Russia and USA restating the Cold War?

Vladimir Putin attacked foreign intervention in Russia, the US missile defence plan and called for an increase in domestic oil processing in a defiant final annual address to parliament before he steps down as Russian president in 2008. The speech showed in a certain way the escalating tension on different levels between Russia and the other major powers, especially the EU and the USA.

Recently, Russia have announced they’ve tested new strategic and tactical missiles, in response to U.S. plans to install a missile defence shield in Europe.

Russia seems to be keen on returning to the world stage as a force to reckon with. After the fall of communism, it was busy laying the basis for its shift to liberalism. Like the polar bear, it was in a state of hibernation. Now it is getting more and more awake after being warmed up by what it sees the approaching erosion of its icy and firm land.

Russia, as it appears, doesn’t want to be seen as a middle power with the rise of China and India as the potential superpowers in the future. Russia doesn’t want to be cornered by the EU and the USA, the major economic and political blocs. Russia needs an aggressive policy by putting its house in order through democracy and ending corruption. The current powers should deal with it without hurting its pride. As a giant country, it has the power to be both a constructive or destructive force on the world stage. So it’s better to let the sleeping bear in it lying instead of stirring it to push against anything in its way.

But as the US is intent to pursue its military strategies, especially through its missile defence system is likely to urge Russia to be more suspicious. USA is worried about the secretive armament of China. Iran is intent on developing its nuclear program. So it seems the world is heading towards a new era of arms race. The end of the cold war after the fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe was just a lull. The new world reality and the resentment of many powers of the US hegemony on the world stage will make them think of developing their defence systems.

Believing in world peace is only an illusion. There is no end of the clashes of civilisations and ideologies. As such military power will remain the best resort for many to strike a balance at the expense of economic projects that can benefit many poor peoples throughout the globe.

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