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A Russian Perspective of Cold War II

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Kremlin.ru [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Given the context of recent diplomatic confrontation between the West and Russia, Sergei Karaganov argues that the psychological backdrop to the bilateral relationship today is worse than it was during the Cold War. However, he does not agree that this is a sequel to the new Cold War. Karaganov has a point. He argues that a Cold War-like confrontation would require an ideological component that is decidedly lacking on the Russian side.

Even if the US decides to wage a unilateral Cold War, its chances against Russia, China, and other emerging powers would not be very good. The balance of military, political, economic, and moral power has simply shifted too far away from the West to be reversed.

Karaganov argues that the problem between Russia and the West is a problem among Westerners themselves and it is only because established elites in the West have not come to terms with reality: the balance of military, political, economic, and moral power has shifted too far away from the West to be reversed.

Read the full article in Project Syndicate.

 

Balance of Power

Trump-Kim Summit: Optimism and the Need for Cautious Realism

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© Bwag/Wikimedia

An opportunity that is difficult ot seize and easy to squander is how Ramesh Thakur explains the upcoming Kim-Trump summit. However, he warns that if President Trump decertifies the Iran nuclear deal on May 12 as he has threatened to do, the move would almost certainly call into question America’s good faith and ability to honor negotiated international agreements.

Deliberating about the opportunity that the Kim-Trump talks presents, Thakur argues that that optimism must be tempered with cautious realism.

North Korea is the nuclear problem from hell. Neither South Korea nor the United States can control the narrative; definitions of success or failure are highly relative; and Trump must enter the talks with no exit strategy. The six decades since the Korean War ended in 1953 – with a ceasefire but no peace agreement – have hardened an increasingly dangerous stalemate. Although neither side is likely to launch a premeditated nuclear attack, the risk of war from miscommunication, misperception, or miscalculation is real.

Read the full article in Project Syndicate.

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Perspectives

Cold War II: Blame the Russians?

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By Carlos3653 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A quarter-century after the end of the Cold War, the world unexpectedly finds itself in a second one. This state of affairs was anything, but inevitable argues Richard N. Haass. It is in neither side’s interest to escalate tensions further, he says. However, the apparent problem with his arguments is the fact that he is looking to blame Russia for this new Cold War. On one had Haass forgets that the US has had a history of interfering in the internal politics of other nations. Haass finds fault with the US policies only on two counts – economic support and NATO expansion.

US could and should have been more generous as Russia made its painful transition to a market economy in the 1990s. Nor is it clear that NATO enlargement was preferable to other security arrangements for Europe that would have included Russia.

As a reader from outside the US, this article is nothing more than a US version of the recent confrontations with Russia – an assessment that goes to great lengths to lay the blame of Putin’s doorstep.

Read the article in Project Syndicate.

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Learning from Russians: How China Can Influence on Social Media?

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Impeachment March, July 2, 2017. Image Credit: By Master Steve Rapport via Wikimedia Commons

Ever since the 2016 US presidential election, with its revelations about Russian meddling, European officials have been on the lookout for similar attacks. But Europeans aren’t the only ones paying attention. So, too, are China’s leaders, who are considering what they might learn from the Kremlin’s successes.

Now that Russia has shown how cyber tactics and informational subterfuge can upend established democracies, China will surely be taking some pages from the Kremlin’s playbook. Chinese President Xi Jinping has made it clear that maintaining domestic stability and burnishing China’s image abroad is the name of the government’s game.”

Read the full article in Project Syndicate

 

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