Is a new Cold War brewing?

Putin looking sinisterRussia is not happy with U.S. plans to build a missile defense system in eastern Europe. The plans would place interceptor missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic right next door to Russia.

The Kremlin has not publicly spelt out its plans. But defence experts said its response is likely to include upgrading its nuclear missile arsenal so that it is harder to shoot down, putting more missiles on mobile launchers, and moving its fleet of nuclear submarines to the north pole, where they are virtually undetectable.

Russia could also bring the new US silos within the range of its Iskander missiles launched potentially from the nearby Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, they add.

The threat of a new arms race comes at a time when relations between Russia and the US are at their worst for a decade. In February Mr Putin accused the Bush administration during a speech in Munich of seeking a “world of one master, one sovereign”. On Friday Russia’s duma, or lower house or parliament, warned that the US’s plans could ignite a second cold war. “Such decisions, which are useless in terms of preventing potential or imaginary threats from countries of the middle and far-east, are already bringing about a new split in Europe and unleashing another arms race,” the declaration – passed unanimously by Russian MPs – said. (Source: The Guardian/UK)

The Bush administration maintains that the bases will be used to shoot down missiles from North Korea or Iran.

I’m not really sure who to believe in this situation, but a new arms race would be a terrible waste of American and Russian resources.

6 Comments

  1. Ian

    Does Russia have the money to get into an arms race? They should focus on feeding their people and rebuilding their messed up country rather than trying to focus on being a superpower. China can stomp them right now. And how hypocritical is:

    Mr Putin accused the Bush administration during a speech in Munich of seeking a “world of one master, one sovereign”.

    Like they wouldn’t have done the same if they had won the Cold War. I have mixed feelings about the missle defense system. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be allowed to have it, and other nations should be allowed as well. I mean, if a nuke is flying at us, I think we should be allowed to shoot it down. I understand the notion that we would then be much more difficult to strike giving us the ability to strongarm the world, but honestly we do that without a missle defense system. Still, asking us to get along with Russia is almost like asking the Jews to get along with Palestine. If it does happen, it won’t be for a very long time.

    And also, doesn’t the whole thing not work anyways? Why are we talking about setting it up if the damn thing doesn’t work. What a freakin waste of taxpayer money.

  2. Sure, an arms war with Russia would be a waste of a lot of things, but not money. Arms wars are hugely profitable for defense contractors.

  3. Chris

    I have mixed feelings about the missle defense system. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be allowed to have it, and other nations should be allowed as well

    I can understand why Russia would be worried about having a crap load of missiles installed right on their borders. Would the U.S. allow Russia to install a missile shield in Mexico or Cuba? I think we’d be in an uproar.

    As for a domestic missile shield, I think that’s perfectly okay. However, our plans to build these sorts of weapons and defense systems in space is pretty aggressive and should be stopped.

  4. Ian

    Star Wars is a risky idea. The whole use a laser to burn up an missile from space is an impossibility. I think you need the laser focused down to like a cm diameter spot or something, but theres no lens capable of doing that, and it isn’t possible to produce one. I forget the exact physics behind it, but the smallest spot you can get is like a meter, not intense enough to work. If you are going to launch countermeasures from space, you also run an ENORMOUS risk of what would happen if launch failed and you exploded your bombs near the ground or in the atmosphere. We could have the most brilliant scientists in the world on it but a piece of foam could ruin it all like the Discovery.

    As for putting missles next to Russia for defense purposes, I seem to remember them putting nuclear warheads in Cuba aimed right at us. I don’t really feel sympathetic. I can see your point about domestic defense as well. Russia can be hostile to its neighbors as well (see the Ukraine energy crisis and Chechnya among others) so the defense shield doesn’t necessarily have to protect only us. Still, if we need one for Iran, Iraq just opened up some real estate we can use.

    And you know we would LOVE for someone to give us reason to invade Cuba. We’ve wanted a shot at Castro for decades. Mexico isn’t a Russian ally and if they really don’t want us to tighten the border and ruin their money flow from immigrants back home, they wouldn’t mess with us.

  5. Ian

    [quote comment=”15818″]Sure, an arms war with Russia would be a waste of a lot of things, but not money. Arms wars are hugely profitable for defense contractors.[/quote]

    Defense contractors yes, but tax payers have to foot the bill and the national debt is a travesty. Usually war is good for the economy in the short term, but it still results in large debts. We could handle another arms race, because outside of making new nukes, our military spending and research is still very strong, we never really stopped building for the future. Russia just can’t afford it, and their government as it is is what, 16 years old? The populus might not be behind another long period of cold war policy, no matter how mad they get at the US. The communist party is still strong in Russia, they are by no means a stable government.

  6. Chris

    [quote comment=”15905″]I seem to remember them putting nuclear warheads in Cuba aimed right at us. I don’t really feel sympathetic.[/quote]

    What you don’t hear about, is that we put missile launchers in Turkey first, that’s why the USSR moved to put nukes in Cuba.

    But don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree that either action is acceptable. They both create greater tension and increase the likelihood of a nuclear holocaust.