Monday, August 18, 2008

The Cold War

It seems like the war in Georgia is over, thanks God. As far as I can judge from the news the russians are about to leave Georgia proper, however not quick at all. The headlines are taken over by Iran, testing new robots.

From a PR perspective Iran's decisin is hardly controversial. It must be the perfect timing to shoot rockets now. If poor Condoleezza Rice try to adress both Iran and Russia in one speech it will seem a little desperate. I guess the US situation is desperate.

What Putin really showed in Georgia is that Russia have a power it's not afraid to use. If the West wants control over Caspian Sea oil it will have to fight for it. But who actually will? The germans or French don't have political support at home to do it. I guess Romania or Poland have the will, but lack the military strenght. Any further US military involvement would demand either much bigger military expenses or taking existing troops from Iraq or Afganistan. I don't believe any of this will happen soon, and as long as both Russia and Iran casues problems the US is pretty paralyzed.

One might object that this is not a matter of relative strenght between competing super powers. Russia unlawfully invaded a smaller neighbour country , something the world 2008 can't tolerate. It's true that Russia acted brutally and mocked traditional international law. But remember that NATO forces have made exceptions from this traditional law for military action against Afghanistan, Iraq and Serbia. These actions may have been the right thing to do, but how can you expect Russia not to make exceptions whenever she sees her interested threatened?

The same things go for the conflict about the missile defense system in Europe. From a Swedish perspective it's obviously quite scary with russian nuclear bases on the Baltic coast... but what did you expect would come from the decision to put ammerican anti missile robots in Poland?

I guess what is emerging is a continuation of The Cold War. The the borders are redrawn but the main actors, the US and Russia are the same. And isn't it always like this in history? You can't defeat your enemy, you go under together. As long as the US is the dominant world power, Russia will ber her antipole, that's my guess.

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