Amid indications that Russia carries out military drills to prepare for a large-scale war against NATO, experts around the world evaluate the possibility of a renewed Cold War as well as global arms race.
Diana Belchase, an American writer, was recently invited to Georgetown University to hear Ambassador Linton Brooks talk about the U.S. relationship with Russia.
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Ambassador Brooks took part in the development of both the START and START 2 treaties, and has knowledge of what is happening in the geopolitical order today.
However, Brooks stated that all his opinions were his own and they do not reflect any official U.S. agency’s thoughts.
“Ten years ago no one cared about Russia as a threat. Even John McCain said, ‘Russia is a gas station’ … with atom bombs,” Ambassador Brooks said. “Their interest is the same as ours in dealing with the issues of the Middle East.”
Brooks noted that Russia is an important vote on the UN Security Council and is the only country in the world capable of destroying Washington.
Brooks then added that “The Bush Administration said Russia is no longer a threat. Obama has tried to strengthen our relationship. But Clinton, Bush and Obama have all failed.”
In his opinion, the annexation of Crimea in March 2014 is the most important event in the relations between the U.S. and Russia since the Cold War, and that it’s the first time since WWII that a country has been annexed.
He then added that the Russians do not trust the Americans, while they are also “misreading American character.”
“They believe we’re trying to destabilize them. They believe we’re looking for first strike capability,” Ambassador Brooks noted, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin especially believes in this.
Cold War 2: Repeated Reality
Diana Belchase then summarized that the Ambassador’s speech got her worried. She wrote that she grew up “in a world where the Cold War was real. It was the basis of a lot of great spy novels with thrilling plots and twists and turns.”
However, Belchase added that she would give up the pleasure of reading such spy novels for the Cold War not to become “a repeated reality.”
The author noted that she doesn’t have all the answers, and neither does Ambassador Brooks. However, she said that it’s important to know that “our new President, whomever that might be, will be knowledgeable and able to make inroads toward peace.”
Current NATO’s military drills – Swift Response 15 – involving nearly 5,000 soldiers from 11 NATO members are the largest military exercises of the Alliance’s airborne forces since the Cold War.
The military drills will run through September 13, and will include training of speedy troops landing. NATO officials noted that the drills have nothing to do with Russia, and that it’s just to ensure Europe’s security.
However, it is hardly a coincidence that the military drills are coming that close to Russian borders.
In order to show its military might, Russia carries out large-scale military drills, too. In March last year, Russia held massive drills involving some 80,000 troops.
Global arms race has begun
All recent political events are followed by regular saber rattling. And the joint military drills between Russia and China last month proved it. The drills then got worried all Western countries, especially the U.S.
Even though both of the sides deny it, the fact is that the arms race has been started.
NATO boosts its presence in Eastern Europe. The Alliance plans to build five of its new military bases in the nearest future. This year, due to the constantly growing number of military drills, Germany had to increase its military budget by 20 million euro ($22.5 million).
However, even larger NATO’s military drills are coming: they will be held from September 28 through October 16 in Southern Europe.
Ever since Russia released its revised military doctrine where it named NATO ‘the main threat’ to Russia’s security, Moscow has been holding military drills pretty much every day – either testing new weapons or developing a new maritime doctrine.
Russia is preparing for a large-scale war against the U.S.
However, what’s truly alarming is the research published by analysts at the European Leadership Network think tank, which analyzed Russia’s large-scale military exercises that took place in March as well as NATO’s smaller military drills in June.
The think tank concluded that the “nature and scale” of the drills showed that “Russia is actively preparing for a conflict with NATO, and NATO is preparing for a possible confrontation with Russia.”
Political experts around the world agree that such provocative military drills can trigger an all-out war, while showing off their military might is completely useless.
If you look back at the history, the main factor that allows aggressors to invade countries is not their military vulnerability, but rather political vulnerability. Examples can be drawn from unilateral interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Serbia, Bosnia, Libya; Russia’s invasion in Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014; Saudi Arabia’s invasion in Yemen and other examples.
Russia’s new military developments could destroy a “few NATO states,” which would trigger a response from the U.S. with much more advanced military hardware, and thus unleash a global war “with no point of return,” according to Igor Korotenko, a Russian military expert, as reported by ValueWalk.
ValueWalk reported last week that some military experts see a high probability of the beginning of a large-scale war between the U.S. and Russia as a result of encounter between warplanes over the Baltics or the North Sea during military drills.