ISSN 2330-717X

Cold War Outlook Still Dominates US – OpEd

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The United States and the United Kingdom are adding fuel to the fire in Ukraine to perpetuate the crisis and shackle Russia to long-term sanctions and military pressure. This brutal battle is by far the largest direct war since World War II between the West and Russia and will have decisive geostrategic consequences for the world and Europe in particular. Nearly 75 years after the Second World War and 45 years after the end of the Cold War, US leaders’ mindsets have not changed and still insist on ideological hostility.

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The United States calls on other countries to de-escalate tensions and stop the arms race while six of the world’s ten largest arms companies are American. From 1999 to 2020, the number of NATO members increased from 16 to 30, encircling Russia over an area of more than 3,000 kilometers. The United States has spent more than $6.4 trillion since 2001 on wars in more than 85 countries, resulting in more than 800,000 deaths, including 335,000 civilians and 37 million displaced. These astronomical costs often benefit the five major US arms corporations: Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon Technology, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics, as their stock values have risen more than 58 percent over the past two decades.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States gradually planned the Ukraine trap for Russia and sought to separate Ukraine from Russia. Washington wanted Ukraine under its control to have the upper hand against China and Russia and remain an unrivaled world power.

During a recent visit to Warsaw, US President Joe Biden defended NATO’s eastward expansion and stressed that NATO was a defensive alliance and never intended to destroy Russia. This is while US leaders have over the past two decades asserted that “NATO will not advance toward Eastern Europe even an inch”. Of course, the United States is well aware that it can not easily prey on a large territory of more than 17 million square kilometers with a large nuclear arsenal and a permanent seat on the Security Council even through NATO. But the United States can resort to sanctions to weaken the Kremlin politically, economically, and even ideologically and push the country toward disintegration.

According to Castellum.AI, an international sanction monitoring data processing center, more than 5,500 sanctions have been imposed on Russia since 2014. In the first two weeks after the start of the Ukraine war, 2,778 new sanctions were imposed on Russia. This strange and unbelievable data clearly shows that the ultimate goal of the United States and its Western allies is nothing but to create a “color revolution in Russia” and ultimately disintegrate the country. 

Of course, the main problem for the United States in controlling Russia is within itself. Republicans and Democrats, as in the Cold War, do not fully agree on achieving this goal. For example, when Ronald Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), or Star Wars Initiative in 1983, he intended to weaken and bankrupt the former Soviet Union economy with a space arms race.

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In the twentieth century, when the US drew its “soft sword” in the form of color revolutions and the establishment of so-called democratic values, it pursued the same Cold War ideology that led to insurgency, instability, war, and poverty around the world. Cold War thinking is ingrained in the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA, and US’s Western allies, and there is no way around it. Obama’s saying that “Russia is just a regional power that only creates insecurity for its neighbors”; or Biden’s saying that “Russia has targeted our national security, Putin should be removed, and China is US’s main rival,” all stem from the Cold War thinking that must always be kept alive.

It was this thinking in the United States that after the collapse of the Soviet Union completely thwarted all the efforts of the leaders of the Russian Federation, Putin in particular, to get closer to the West, especially Europe, and led to the Ukraine war.

Similarly, the crackdown on India due to its intermediate position in the Ukraine crisis is in line with Cold War thinking. India has strong ties with Russia and is partly dependent on it in terms of weapons, energy, raw materials, and geopolitical and geostrategic issues. is under intense US pressure in the Ukraine crisis. The United States is pushing India to make its position clear by reiterating George W. Bush’s slogan during the 9/11 attacks: “You are either with us or against us.”

The Modi-led India leaned toward the West as it felt threatened by China’s growing power. However, given the complex geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific and Eurasia regions, Washington fears that New Delhi might have second thoughts on its relations with the West and strengthen its ties with China, Russia, and some other regional powers, including Iran.

Although India is not a “strategic ally” of Russia and has always tried to take a balanced stance in international crises within the framework of non-aligned countries, the United States does not see this as enough and calls on India and even China to side completely with the United States and the West.

On the other hand, a review of US-China-India relations history reveals great potential. The Chinese Foreign Minister’s recent visit to Delhi after a two-year hiatus and the drive to reduce the border disputes between the sides have raised the alarm for the West and the United States. As a result, the Quad group, which consists of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States and is essentially anti-Chinese, restarted its meetings and dialogue after years of inactivity and is scheduled to meet again in Japan in June.

However, the meeting is unlikely to take place unless India adopts a stance in favor of Ukraine and the Western world as the US demands. Americans have repeatedly warned in recent weeks about the “consequences” of India’s intermediate position. These threats show the complex and unpredictable nature of relations between the West and the world powers.

Greg Pence

Greg Pence is an international studies graduate of University of San Francisco.

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