Cold War II
Cold War II, also called the New Cold War, Second Cold War and Cold War 2.0, refers to a renewed state of political and military tension between opposing geopolitical power-blocs, with one bloc typically being led by Russia, while the other refers to the Western world. This is akin to the original Cold War that saw a global confrontation between the Western Bloc led by the United States and the Eastern Bloc led by the Soviet Union.
Some sources use the term as a possible or unlikely future event, while others have used the term to describe ongoing renewed tensions, hostilities, and political rivalry that intensified dramatically in 2014 between the Russian Federation on the one hand, and the United States, European Union, and some other countries on the other. While some notable figures such as Mikhail Gorbachev warned in 2014, against the backdrop of Russia–West political confrontation over the Ukrainian crisis, that the world was on the brink of a New Cold War, or that a New Cold War was already occurring, others argued that the term did not accurately describe the nature of relations between Russia and the West. While the new tensions between Russia and the West have similarities with those during the original Cold War, there are also major dissimilarities such as modern Russia's increased economic ties with the outside world, which may potentially constrain Russia's actions and provides it with new avenues for exerting influence. The term "Cold War II" has therefore been described as a misnomer.
The term "Cold War II" gained currency and relevance as tensions between Russia and the West escalated throughout the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine followed by the Russian military intervention and especially the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July 2014. By August 2014, both sides had implemented economic, financial, and diplomatic sanctions upon each other: virtually all Western countries, led by the US and EU, imposed restrictive measures on Russia; the latter reciprocally introduced retaliatory measures.
Tensions escalated in 2014 after Russia's annexation of Crimea, and military intervention in Ukraine. In October 2015, some observers judged the developments in the Middle East to be a proxy war between Russia and the U.S., and even a "proto-world war". In January 2016, senior UK government officials were reported to have registered their growing fears that "a new cold war" was now unfolding in Europe: "It really is a new Cold War out there. Right across the EU we are seeing alarming evidence of Russian efforts to unpick the fabric of European unity on a whole range of vital strategic issues.” Jeremy Shapiro, a senior fellow in the Brookings Institution, believed the unfolding situation in and around Syria was "a very, very familiar proxy war cycle from the bad old days of the Cold War".
An article in The National Interest explained why there would not be another Cold War while in an interview with TIME in 2014, Gorbachev alleged that the US was dragging Russia into a new Cold War. In February 2016, at the Munich Security Conference, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO and Russia were "not in a cold-war situation but also not in the partnership that we established at the end of the Cold War," while Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, speaking of what he called NATO's "unfriendly and opaque" policy with regard to Russia, said: "One could go as far as to say that we have slid back to a new Cold War."
Alternatively, a Yale University professor David Gelernter, a Firstpost editor, and South Asia Analysis Group refer the term to possible tensions between the United States and China. Talk of a new cold war between the US (alongside its allies) and China has grown particularly with increased Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea.
- Foundations of Geopolitics
- Syrian Civil War
- NATO–Russia relations
- Russia–European Union relations
- Russia–Ukraine relations
- Ukraine–European Union relations
- Ukraine–NATO relations
- World War III
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