Sunday, June 3, 2007

Russia, US relations

I've been seeing more and more stories lately about the state of America and the West's detriorating relations with Russia. This is just the latest example. From Iran's nuclear disarmenent to the assasination of critics who happen to be British citizens, and using energy supply to blackmail small countries, Russia is become more and more aggresive. The question I have is if this is a prelude to a new arms race or cold war between powers? Hopefully the globalization of the world economy will make such a thing unlikely but it is difficult to figure out what Russia hopes to accomplish.



Genesee County Young Democrats said...

I don't see what they hope to achieve either. Russia is not really being provoked by the West and good relations seem essential for Russia's economy. I was also dismayed to see the anti-Putin protesters arrested last week. It appears Putin has maintained some of his KGB roots. As for Iran, they simply want to be the regional hegemon. If Iran develops a nuclear weapon they will only secure themselves from invasion. Even then, they know there would be nothing left of Iran if a nuclear bomb were used.


Genesee County Young Democrats said...

I don't think Russia is trying to turn itself into a superpower again, Putin's not delusional. They're trying to act like what they are, the biggest dog on that particular block. The problem as I see it is that they're not going about it in the right way. If you're a smaller country in Russia's near-abroad (Ukraine, for instance), you're not terribly afraid of Russia's military right now. They've let their armed forces fall apart and are not doing the things they need to be doing to repair them, they retain the pretense of a global military. This is, of course, not possible. I think Russia ought to scale back their ambitions, and build an all-volunteer army of, say, 6 or 8 combat divisions, well-paid and well-trained. Cut the size of the navy and air force, focusing on quality over quantity. This is contrary to years of Russian military doctrine, but it's the only way.

Iran wants to be the biggest dog on its block, but it's not. Saudi Arabia is. That's what worries me. If there's going to be an arms race, it's going to be there. And that could get ugly.