There has been tons of controversies and discussions about the recent relationship between Russia and the West, resulting in comparisons to the Cold War. The relationship between the U.K. and Russia has hit a new low, as of the attempted assassination on Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. This led to the West expelling around 130 Russian diplomats. Boris Johnson has said that the Kremlin had underestimated the Western response to the attack, as Britain has blamed Vladimir Putin for the attack. The U.S. and Russia continue having a confusing relationship, as Trump reacted by expelling 60 diplomats or spies.
The Cold War took place in the 1950s to the 1980s and was a ‘cold’ yet bitter battle between the then Soviet Union and the West. The core of the Cold War was political ideologies and power, and it soon became a competition to see who could create better international politics. The underlying opposition in the Cold War was the fight against communism and capitalism.
With the current political climates in both Russia and China, it is clear that this idea of a greater politics is current. Not to mention this idea of hybrid warfare, which is defined as ‘blurring the boundaries between peace and war.’ With the help of cyber capacities, hybrid warfare bleeds into information warfare, which again shows current challenges in the Western World. The real danger is never what one doesn’t know, it is what one knows and doesn’t want to believe. A miscalculation or assumption of hybrid warfare could be what sets off a war – not in the west – but in places like Syria or the Ukraine.
The issue with this new Cold War is truthfully that the West is too caught up in its own hybrids and cyber capacities, that maybe it just doesn’t know what it actually wants from Russia. The idea in assuming Russia will step away from international politics is absurd and the assumption that this current ‘Cold War’ is anything like the past is unlikely. The biggest miscalculation from the real Cold War itself was that there was going to be a hot war at all, as it was resolved in paper-made deals.
“Most of the people who nourish themselves in the political life are in the game not to make history but to be diverted from the history which is being made.” – Norman Mailer