Gorbachev: US could start new Cold War

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by KGB_resident, May 9, 2008.

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  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/1933223/Gorbachev-US-could-start-new-Cold-War.html

    So the last (and the only) president of the Soviet union expressed his point of view. Do you agree with him at least on some points?
  2. To fully understand why he thinks this you have to have an understanding of how Russians see themselves.

    The are a very proud people who have for years wanted to be given the respect and stature of a world super power, but feel that this has always been denied to them by the way they are treated by certain countries. They have a deep resentment to the fact that their voice account for so little would wide when compared to that of the United States. This combined with the collapse of their state in the early 1990s and the increasing expansion of NATO they feel that the US has never shown them the respect they deserve.

    With all this in mind you must wonder whether the US administration ever listen to their Russian experts and analysts, as they must constantly warn them that their current policy towards east Europe and Russia is destine to raise tensions. Though I do think the US administration is partly to blame Russians themselves aren't innocent either. By using gas and oil energy supplies as a tool to threaten neighbouring counties it has shown very publicly that it is willing to do anything to get what it wants. With tensions increasing over energy rights under the North Pole and an increase in military activity by a number of countries in that area I can only see things getting worse.

    International politics is a complicated game and there are always going to be people who feel like they've been treated badly. So by looking at the recent history in very general terms I think you must agree or at least be able to understand where some of his concerns come from.
  3. I agree with him in that a lot more could have been done after the wall falling, but that thing called hindsight is a wonderful.

    However, as much as the US has used the lack of another global power to throw its weight about it isnt the sole reason for a possible second cold war. Gorbachev speaks as though it is purely Americas fault for instability.

    What about China providing cheap arms to the third world, including Zimbabwe and Darfur without much care. Or Russia selling nuclear reactors and air defence systems to Iran. Yes these can be put under the banners of global trade, but they go completely against the rest of the worlds worries about mass genocides and nuclear proliferation. Therefore responses of peaceful air defence and arms orders placed a year ago aren't exactly helping to promote the peace Gorbachev says should be happening. One of his main points is that the US is increasing its military spending due to the "uncertain paths of Russia and China", with such actions as above and not forgetting the incident of that new shiny Chinese sub popping up in the middle of a US navy exercise is it not possible to say that the problems revolves around the previous cold wars problem - a lack of two way understanding of intent and capability? For example America always said it would not use nuclear weapons in a first strike role, yet Soviet military leaders refused to believe this, as seen in the incident of Able Archer. The Kremlin proclaimed it was a cover to invasion from their ivory towers, yet their own western agents said it wasn't as they believed the west would not invade first.

    Also peace is so high on the agenda for for the man who twice asked the USA to end the cold war and help them dismantle their nukes, then where is his concern over new military parades for Russian V-day? Promoting your military strength does not promote peace, promoting alternatives does.

    Edit to add - Damn you hopper, bet me to it.
  4. It's simple, Russia isn't nearly as strong as it makes itself out to be. Yes, it has natural resources, but even considering that it's economy is smaller than that of the UK!

    How can a country with an economy smaller than the UK with only 60 million people and a very small land area consider itself a superpower.

    Therefore, there's no possible way to 'restart the Cold War' when Russia is so much weaker than their opponents.
  5. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7389913.stm

  6. Suprisingly I agree with many of those comments, however I dont think the US will want another war for some time (at least not until Iraq and Afghanistan are finished with). In the current situation I dont believe the US has the strength to take on Russia.

    Although there will always be a bit of sabre rattling between the East and West partly because the cold war was not fully resolved (i.e. anactual war didnt break out).

    p.s. Its nice to hear KGB_resident discussing his own nation, although I'm surprised you have not commented on the Medvedev.
    The real question should be Sergey...do you agree with him (being Russian)
  7. Don't forget that a cold war is far cheaper than a hot war as all you have to do is point a few nukes at each other, send some more spies and take an aggressive posture towards your enemy. Any direct conflict usual only occurs in and between third party countries, this is where the original term "Third world country" comes from....
  8. Pfft Russian needs to sit down and re look at its policy of using its gas and oil as a weapon. If they keep doing it we will all just build loads of nuclear power plants (And the UK+French will sell them to everyone else) and Russia's economy will take a massive hit.

    (Over simplification I know, but you get the gist of it)
  9. Medvedev... He is short, young, well educated, intelligent, modern man, a lawyer. He is a fan of 'Deep Purple' (btw, the group gave a show in the Mosocw after his victory in the elections). He uses to say right words at the right place. But what is the cost of a word sounded by a politician?
    Personally I didn't vote for Medvedev. For me he is still a 'dark horse'. Many... err, rather majority believe that he is Putin's puppets and in this sense I belong to the majority.

    From my point of view Putin's era continues.
  10. when i said do you agree with him i meant Gorbachev but thanks for clarifying your position on Mendvedev
  11. Do I agree with mr.Gorbachev? Yes and no.

    Of course the USA tries to preserve its position as a dominant force on the world stage, preserve its position as the only superpower.

    But the USA can tolerate some countries acting independently and I believe this ability will be developed.

    As for previous presidents then it is true. But I believe that it is not forever.

    The USA has to accept a position of simply a huge, very important state but not outstanding one. There is no alternative. And sober minded American politicians later or sooner will come to this conclusion.

    Indeed Russia and the USA are not enemies but they are geopolitical rivals. A war between the countries is impossible.

    Absolutely disagree.

    It's true.

    Could the US start new Cold War? Of course it could but likely would not.
  12. [Pedant]Actually, it stems from that small group of non-aligned countries in the immediate post-war period who adopted neither industrial capitalism nor state socialism. The Third World.[/Pedant]
  13. Version I heard was:

    First, there was the "Old World" (i.e. Europe) as referred to by the "New World" (i.e. the other side of the Atlantic, ready for colonisation, and Dvorak symphonies).

    Everyone else was the "Third World". People armed with pieces of sharpened fruit, for the most part, just begging for a civilized influence for their own good...
  14. OK, OK. So there is more than one source for the term 3rd world but what I was trying to emphasise is the fact that if you look back at the last cold war most of the direct confrontations occurred between 3rd part groups. For example you had the soviet backed Afghan government and the American backed jihadists, there was no large direct action between USSR and US troops. This was repeated around the world.

    Anyway I think there are just to many variable to say weather there is or is not going to be another cold war. What I would say is that there will likely be an increase in tension between the West and Russia before it gets any better.
  15. And just to clear things up I have referred to my brand new and shiny Oxford concise dictionary and it says the following:

    "Third World" - Origin 1950s: first used to distinguish the developing countries from the capitalist and communist blocs.

    So smartascarrots was the closest. Though I say it doesn't rule out the possibility of there being groups in thoughs countries fighting for one of those ideologies....