Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Hopes high too soon
These last 4 or 5 years a lot of people have been wondering whether the Cold War is renewed... Pausing and thinking about it leads to an even more thought-provoking conclusion that perhaps it never ended. The Bush Administration's ambitions about world superiority and continued presence of the NATO in the region when the Warsaw Pact disintegrated and the Berlin wall came down refreshed the deep-seated insecurity of Russia. Putin's leadership restored the Russian sense of national pride and brought a set of ambitions surrounding prospects of world leadership. Now continued expansion of the NATO and probable joining of Georgia and Ukraine is troubling to Russians. Medvedev in tune with Putin has reiterated his concerns (for a story). What has been going on in Georgia and Ukraine in these last couple of decades stems in large part from Moscow's unwillingness to 'surrender' its radar influence on these former republics, determined to follow the political schedule and agenda of the United States. Naturally, these two republics will be hot spots for a long time because of the division between pro-Russian and pro-American philosophies. Some of the Central Asian republics and the Caucasus will also be included, specifically Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
Wasn't this story dominating during the entire Cold War? Each superpower fought for bringing others into its sphere of influence in opposition to the other. This whole mentality is continuing... We took a sigh of big relief when the Cold War was 'announced' to have been over... While the Soviet Union is gone and will exist only on the historic maps, Russia/Moscow as the focal center remains as a player...