A senior member of the House Committee on Armed Services announced Wednesday Russia is a real strategic nuclear threat to the United States.
“On the nuclear deterrence front, we likely have more cause for concern today than at any point since the Soviet Union collapsed — with a swift kick from the policies of Ronald Reagan,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, Alabama Republican and chairman of the subcommittee on strategic forces, as reported by The Washington Times.
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According to him, the Russian threat is manifested in the following:
- Direct and non-direct threats to its neighbors and NATO members.
- The annexation of Crimea and the ongoing aggression in eastern Ukraine.
- Violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) signed in 1987 as well as eight other agreements on armament control.
- The open discussion in the Kremlin about the new military doctrine, which views NATO as a threat and includes the use of nuclear weapons at early stages of a conflict against the Alliance or the United States.
“Some of us have been saying the reset was flawed from the beginning because it failed to recognize the reality of Putin’s Russia,” Mike Rogers noted. “Now, this blindness has become dangerous.”
The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has repeatedly said that NATO and the European Union are united to withstand the hybrid war unleashed by Russia and has called the statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin about nuclear missiles ‘one of the reasons’ to increase the combat readiness of the NATO forces.
On June 24, Stoltenberg said that NATO would increase its high readiness forces by three times; the force would be increased to up to 40,000 soldiers.
On June 23, the U.S. confirmed its intentions to deploy additional weapons to Eastern Europe,
Meanwhile, on June 22, the U.S. announced its intentions to provide the high readiness force of NATO with special forces, intelligence data as well as cutting-edge military technologies in order to prevent any possible aggressive moves from Russia.
Russia’s nuclear threat: Challenges for the United States
Since 2014, the United States has been facing three new problems, which the Barack Obama administration fails to resolve.
First of all, the rise of Islamism in the Middle East. The Arab spring, which begun with mass protests in Egypt in 2010, gave a hope that the Middle East would finally opt for democracy and go with the U.S. and the EU policy.
However, the inability of authoritarian regimes that have been ruling in the region for nearly 50 years to keep the situation under control, constant protest and civil wars have led to the widely spread popularity of radical Islam.
As of now, Washington does not know what to do with this ‘enemy’, which regularly gains new territories. The U.S. society does not want to start a war, and there are no money for that to be honest. The only option left is to stand aloof.
Second of all, there is Ebola virus disease in Africa. The developed countries have proved not prepared to fight such a disease. Apparently, both Europe and the U.S. forgot what is it like to fight virus diseases.
Finally, the third challenge is the aggression of Russia toward Eastern Europe. It is the first time when Moscow challenges Washington on the official level. Although the West, of course, does not interpret that as a direct threat.
However, the conflict in eastern Ukraine will be a big problem for Europe for quite some time, while the U.S. reacts to that rather calmly, not knowing whether or not to respond to Putin’s provocations. Many experts in the world consider this kind of stance as ‘weak’.
All the three challenges have shown that the U.S. does not know yet how to deal with global problems of the new generation. Besides, the U.S. is being pressured by China, which is prepared to take the responsibility if not for the whole world, then at least for Asia.
The rise of the new leader of the world
According to most international analysts, the new center of global power arises in Asia. And the leader of the center will be China, which already lets everyone know about its ambitions. More importantly, the country is able to support these ambitions with large investments.
And while China’s power used to be divided into internal confrontations of several small groups, now only one person rules the entire country, Xi Jinping. Over the past few years, he pushed away all possible rivals, which is why he will rule until 2020, until his retirement.
However, Xi Jinping will most likely choose the right successor by the time he retires. Even an attempt of mass protests in Hong Kong did not destabilize his power. On the contrary, the leader of China showed the whole world that he is able to talk to the opposition, while not making concessions.
Meanwhile, the conflict between Russia and the West will further strengthen China as the Kremlin turned to Asia and wants to supply its resources to the region. Xi Jinping understands that the current economic state of Russia is in poor shape, and Putin is not willing to do any reforms, which means in the ‘friendship’ between Moscow and Beijing, the latter will dominate.
Therefore, the U.S. loses its status of the sole superpower, while China is not yet ready to get involved in the matters of Africa or South America. But one day Xi Jinping will get to it, and the world’s fate will be decided in both Beijing and Washington.