Has the Cold War Ever Really Stopped
Despite many historians claim that the political and military conflict between the capitalist and communist nations ended at the end of the 1980s, numerous theorists are proponents of the idea that severe tension between countries of the Western and Eastern blocks never really ended. As close cooperation and relationships on international level between Russia and America have deteriorated drastically, many political scientists emphasized that the USA and Russia continue the Cold War. On the contrary, the opponents of this idea assure that Russia bears the responsibility for this crisis. The given paper aims to identify, prove, and evaluate whether the Cold War ever really stopped.
Taking into account the data presented in a variety of historical sources, the final years of the confrontation among the West, Soviet Union, and their allies dates back to 1985-1991. It is important to emphasize that the Cold War laid a burden on both conflicting sides as the Soviet Union, after its collapse, left millions of people throughout the country out unemployed. Moreover, despite the fact that the USA remained the unique superpower even after the Cold War, this international conflict significantly exhausted human resources of this country as millions of uniformed soldiers lost their lives in this long-term conflict. At present, the term “Cold War” is often used in a broader context in order to describe hostile and conflicting mutual relationships on international arena among the countries located in Western and eastern parts of the globe, especially the USA and Russia.
Regardless the fact that the Soviet Union collapsed many years ago, and no one has declared on official level the revival of the Cold War, the world is still living in a perpetual state of the Cold War. In other words, the USA and Russia conduct international relations on the basis of the principle “peace with no peace” or, in other words, “relative peace”. For instance such common articles’ titles as “Obama v. Putin: The Humanity Is on the Verge of a New War”, “The USA v. Russia: New Confrontations”, and “The Debate between American and Russian Presidents on Crimea and Syria” prove that humanity returns once again to the Cold War.
According to the estimations of political scientists, Ukraine crisis is the direct indicator that the Cold War never ended. In other words, taking into consideration the international reaction to unlawful annexation of Ukrainian territories by Russian military forces, the decision of Russian president to violate the right of Ukraine for territorial integrity as well as sovereignty should be classified as illegal as it threatens international peace and cooperation of Russia with the USA and its followers. Therefore, the UN members and other observer state that continuous conflict may stimulate the “global powers” to start a new Cold War.
According to one of the interviews with participation of the Ukrainian prime minister, illegal annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula is the beginning of new “post-Cold War order” in the world. At the same time, the buildup of new Russian troops that cover almost the entire Ukrainian border serves as a convincing argument that Russian president is not afraid of a new Cold War. In attempting to understand and adequately evaluate Putin’s intentions, Western press as well as policy makers assure that Russia will definitely continue invasion in order to reach the repartition of the world.
In spite of the fact that Ukrainian nation is teetering on the verge of absolute bankruptcy, Russia continues to tear Ukraine into shreds and kill innocent Ukrainian people. Severe tragedies and outrages that take place in Ukraine motivate the West to reassess relationships with Russia (Kalb 2015). According to the estimations of political scientists, the United States of America together with its European allies are responsible for implementing harsh sanctions that would serve as a confident response to unlawful annexation of Crimea.
Barack Obama, the president of the USA, while addressing to the United Nations claimed, that “a new Cold War may be upon the humanity” because Russia has always remained an uncontrolled state. Despite the fact that the American president stated that isolation of Russia will negatively impact many other countries around the words, he emphasized that illegal annexation of Crimea must be seen in wider context because Russian aggression threatens East-West relations and cooperation.
Many researchers are proponents of the idea that military operations in Georgia and Syria provide convincing evidence that the Cold War never ended. Scientific investigations give the chance to claim that Russia with Vladimir Putin as the head of the state conducts extremely repressive and aggressive politics, compared to the Soviet Union. According to some statistical data, Russia has increased the expenses for defense and military spheres. The Cold War never ended because at the time when the USA together with many developed European countries wastes time and money to combat economic depression and punish violent internal terrorists, Russian money are used by numerous extremist parties that strive for tearing apart the Ukraine and European Union. Thus, many theorists assure that refusal of the Russian leading authorities to face the tragic consequences of the past, welcomed and allowed the past to return.
Although many historians refute the arguments in favor of the Cold War revival as the Obama himself dismissed the possibility of the new Cold War, expert state that both sides, Russia and the USA, are in a Cold War. Many people do not recognize the fact that the Cold War never ended because they observe a different scenario that seems less dangerous and complicated at the first sight. Although many professionals in the sphere of politics were convinced that new leaders in Russia and the USA will have the opportunity to reestablish mutually beneficial, genuine, and continuous partnership and cooperation between these two nations, Obama and Putin failed to justify these expectations.
The proponents of the idea that the Cold War never ended emphasize that a chilly rivalry has always dominated between the USA and Russia as conflicting sides. Many theorists claim that the new Cold War with Russia that was not officially declared will be absolutely different. For instance, the proponents of the revival of the Cold War state that continuous Cold War will negatively influence political and economic growth of both conflicting parties. To begin with, Russia should not be included to the list of superpower nations because the USA and the European Union are the largest economies in the world. Therefore, notwithstanding some erosion on international arena, the position of United States of America is stronger and more influential than it was during the Cold war in the 20th century. On the contrary, Russian economy lags behind as it is characterized by weak and unstable growth. In general, many experts assure that because the economy of this giant country has fallen into recession, Russia will definitely fail to cope with long-term confrontation with the USA and its close allies in the way that the Soviet Union and its allies did. Moreover, scientists predict that Russia will never become a super powerful nation like the Soviet Union because of numerous convincing reasons. For example, the Soviet Union was a super power with tremendous opportunities because the Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics attracted powerful supporters that provided the USSR with generous arms shipments, human resources, and beneficial loans. In contrast, post-Soviet Russia does not follow this effective strategy, and fails to mobilize its followers and proponents. Military operations on the territories of Georgia, Ukraine, and other countries prove that the amount of Russian allies decreased drastically. Regardless of the fact that Russia has remained a “regional power”, this country does not indent to put an end to the Cold War. So-called incursions or, in other words, interventions into the Ukrainian territory that resulted in the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, and escalated international conflict persuaded Russian governing bodies that “regional power” is not a weakness, but effective strategy that gives the chance to conquer new territories one by one, and continue the Cold War.
As a result, having provided convincing evidence in favor of the fact that the Cold War never really stopped, it is possible to infer that even nowadays the USA and Russia remain two opposing sides that continue the Cold War. Thus, Gorbachev and Reagan are personalities who ended the Cold War only of official level. In general, so-called assault on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, illegal annexation of Crimea, exhaustive confrontations in Georgia, war in Syria, and other parts of the globe prove that the Cold War never really stopped and still leads to devastating consequences that change the political partitioning of the modern world.