Second Cold War Coming?
March 27, 2018
In 1947, the East and the West commenced what is commonly referred to as the Cold War, so- called because no shots were fired. It lasted for 44 years. Now, in 2018, some feel that the United States and Russia have entered the closest thing to another Cold War. On March 1, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia has a new nuclear weapon that are “invincible” and would render America’s defenses “useless.” While those may not be his exact words, it was very clear that his threat implied.
Many people think that Putin, who recently won reelection in a highly-disputed landslide, is trying to take back the territory that he lost during the first Cold War, specifically parts of Eastern Europe. If he gets these areas back, it could lead to Russia gaining more influence in the world.
People who have been keeping up with everything happening between the two countries have been awaiting the Second Cold War. Many even say that it has already begun, and that group may have expanded even more since Putin’s speech. There is even a Wikipedia page for it, named Cold War II.
As of March 14, @RussianEmbassy, the official Twitter account for Russia, declared that a second Cold War had commenced between them and Great Britain. “The temperature of RU GB relations drops to -23, but we are not afraid of cold weather,” tweeted the Russian Embassy, along with a picture attachment of a thermometer in ice with the temperature shown as -20 degrees Celsius. With the United States being allies with Great Britain, Trump has assured Britain that they have America’s support.
The official hinting that appears to have exacerbated this cold war follows the attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter. Sergei and Yulia Skripal appear to have been poisoned with Novichok (the world’s deadliest nerve agent which is believed to have been developed by the Russians) on March 4. Both are currently in critical condition. Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who was one of the first responders, was also harmed by the poison. According to TheVerge.com, the poisoning was a message to the world that “you won’t be safe anywhere, even if you’re in Britain” if you’re an enemy of Russia.
In the past, Russia has poisoned and assassinated a number of other Russians living in Britain..
One example is journalist and dissident Georgi Markov. He was hit in the leg with a ricin-tipped umbrella on the Waterloo Bridge in London and immediately started feeling ill. Markov died shortly after.
Another well-known case of Russia allegedly poisoning a former officer in the United Kingdom is the case of Alexander Litvinenko, who was the first known victim of lethal polonium-210 poisoning. His accusations that his poisoning was ordered by Putin received worldwide attention.
The main enemy of Russia in this ordeal is Great Britain, but President Trump and the leaders of Germany and France have also blamed Russia and assured them that they would support Britain’s attempt to punish Russian. The British Prime Minister and US President have been in contact ever since, potentially leading America into a second Cold War. But perhaps the biggest issue between Russia and the US is the Russians’ apparent interference in the US presidential election.
In 2016, Russia hacked into the presidential election in an attempt to sow discord and possibly influence votes. Trump argues that they had no part in him winning the election, but government intelligence agencies have put forth some evidence that supports the claim that the stolen emails and incriminating information was primarily designed to harm Hillary Clinton’s election chances.
Republicans are pushing for an investigation into the Russian hacking, and Congress is very likely to agree. With the Republicans pushing for this investigation, Democrats have also entered the issue, and both sides have asked for various reports to be declassified.
According to CNN and US officials, while all of this is going on, Russia’s hacking of American political organizations is continuing. CNN states that “Russians ‘continue to do all kinds of stuff’ against American political organizations, think tanks and thought leaders. ‘It’s not like the one and done deal here. They continue to engage in this operation around the clock.’”
In order to combat possible Russian interference, Congress has suggested paper ballots for Fall’s election. For this to work, long-term funding will be necessary, but this approach will hopefully thwart Russia’s hacking into future elections.
Those who have been watching these events unfold will continue to follow the possible beginning to a second Cold War. Great Britain still has America’s support, but hopefully, this conflict will not go further into the US.