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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Was the Bear Hibernating? (Or Was it Very Busy Deep Underground?)

Have to interrupt a little vacation at the lake to summarize for friends my current thoughts on the Russian re-emergence ...

Today, this is the latest news: Russia Says Response to U.S. Missile Shield Deal With Poland Will Go Beyond Diplomacy

Read the article. In a nutshell, a Russian general last week threatened a nuclear strike on Poland if they accepted US missile defense on their sovereign territory. Today the deal was signed by the USA and Poland. The Russian Foreign Ministry said their response would "go beyond diplomacy."

My View

This is the resumption of the Cold War after a brief intermission. It is not time to panic.

Some folks now MAY have to reassess their analyses of the whole Perestroika-Glasnost period and the years since. I think in fact that is a big key right now ... to look back and get a handle on what has been really going on over there for the past 20 years.

Recent developments boil down to either ...

1. The Russo westernization experiment failed and this is an about-face by Russia, with an aim at re-establishing some semblance of the old glory days (but which is not at all likely to go beyond previously established Cold War etiquette).

2. Or, this is the true beginning of "The Final Phase" in a long-planned and executed strategy aimed at maximizing the Russians' chances at coming out on top in a carefully aranged full-scale war against the West.

I was there in front-row seats for Cold War I as an all-source NSA analyst in the '70s. FWIW, I never became a Glasnost convert and so this is not a big surprise. I know there were many others in the intell community who did not buy the Cold War victory spiels either. Unfortunately, I think most of them are now off the active payroll. To my way of thinking, that cannot be a good thing today.

Cold War redux is imminent. What are the odds of it going hot? I wouldn't bet much on either outcome at the moment, but you can take solace in the fact that the Russian way is to carry out the damnedest, scariest, most bellicose bluffs imaginable. They have always played the game aggressively, short of actually crossing the line of no return.

Get Ready ... Seriously -

1 comment:

Steven Montgomery said...

I didn't buy into Glasnost-Perestroika either.