August 19, 2007

Putin just posturing

NO not another cold war, pay no heed to the sensationalist reporting...

Yes it is true that Russia will immediately resume the Soviet-era practice of sending strategic bombers on long-range flights well beyond its borders. President Vladimir Putin announced this yesterday whilst speaking as he, and Chinese President Hu Jintao wrapped up joint military exercises at a new training ground in Russia's Ural Mountains region. In July 2001 China and Russia signed a formal treaty of friendship and cooperation explicitly intended to foster a new international order in what Russian commentators cited as as an "act of friendship against America". Putin said, "We have decided to renew flights of Russian strategic aviation on a permanent basis."

The headliners have been interesting to say the least, here's a sample as they appeared across cyberspace on Saturday 18 August.

Vladimir Putin rearms his Cold War military, United Kingdom Moscow revives Cold War flights Gulf Daily News, Bahrain Alarm Russians restart bomber flights Scotsman, United Kingdom Russia's war planes to patrol the skies again Independent, UK Russia renewing 'permanent' strategic bomber patrols, Philippines Kremlin resumes long-range bomber flights, UK Russian bomb flights spark 'grave' fears The Age, Australia

Some a saying that it will return the relationship between between Washington and Moscow to Cold War levels. But while there has been a deterioration in East-West relations, it is idealistic to talk of another Cold War. Did it all begin when Bush announced its intent to set up a defensive missile shield in Europe, or is it simply a case of new found confidence on the part of Moscow's leadership? A bit of both. At the start of his presidency, Russia was a mess and Putin was weak and incapable of challenging US supremacy, and fact is, he still is, but by bringing the country's vast energy wealth under the Kremlin's control, Mr Putin has gained at least the capacity to reassert Russian influence and what power it has.

Russia's military and economic prowess continues to improve but is still no match for the United States. Clearly, Putin is posturing because now, he can.

See also: Russia stirring , Russia: It's about power


SayHiThere said...

Ah, what's old is new again. That Bear Bomber looked just like the one's we shadowed over the Atlantic in 1971. That looks a whole lot like 'Cold War' to me. You bet it is something to worry about. It is another sign that the current administration may just have lost the peace. But, look at the bright side, so our 500 billion military budget will be very justified.

American Interests said...

sayhithere: 1971 eh! I was only 10 then. The $ is justified, you can be sure of that and not just because of Russia. US$532.8 Billion Actually ...