A New Cold War
By Todd Strandberg
Ties between Russia and the U.S. have greatly deteriorated in the past few years. The down- turn started in 2012 when Russian General Nikolay Yegorovich Makarov said that there is a possibility of a preemptive strike on new missile defense sites in Eastern Europe. Also that year, nuclear armed Russian forces began shadowing the American border.
Relations between the two nations went into a nose dive in 2014 when Moscow annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea on the basis of a referendum. Over the next two years, six rounds of sanctions were imposed on Russia. The first three rounds targeted individuals close to Putin by freezing their assets. The other three sanctions cut off Russian corporations from Western financing.
Another strain has been a series of hacking attacks by Russian agents. In October 2014, Russian hackers exploited a software bug to spy on computers used by NATO, the European Union and Ukrainian energy companies. Hackers linked to Russian intelligence services stole and leaked 20,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, warned Russian not to “interfere with our democratic processes.”
Edward Snowden, the contractor for the United States government who copied and released hundreds of thousands of pages of secret government documents has added to the strain. He fled to Hong Kong and then to Russia; in July of 2013 Russia granted him political asylum
The Syrian civil war is the current source of tension between Washington and Moscow. The government of Syria receives technical, financial, military and political support from Russia, while the U.S. favors several rebel groups. The U.S. blames Russia for indiscriminate bombings that have killed civilians.
The mistrust is taking its toll on previous treaties. Last week, Putin cited Washington’s “unfriendly actions” as the reason for him ending a pact on the disposal of nuclear material. Under the agreement, Russia and the U.S. each were to destroy 34 metric tons of plutonium, enough material for about 17,000 nuclear warheads.
I find it strange that Obama would be at odds with Vladimir Putin. In his nearly eight years in office, he has made friends with nearly every dictator on the planet. He even refuses to directly condemn Islamic terrorists. I guess it is just fitting of his destructive nature that he would choose to lock horns with a guy who controls thousands of nuclear weapons.
The liberal media has given very little coverage to the souring of the relationship between the U.S. and Russia. Since the press operates under the idea that Obama is a faultless president, a return to the Cold War under his watch is unthinkable.
It should have been obvious to all that Obama and Putin hate each. They were engaged in a death stare as the two leaders met at the G-20 summit in China. Our former Cold War presidents had many meetings with their Soviet counterparts during some trying times, but I’ve never seen footage of one that looks like it was about to turn into a boxing match.
The Russian press has no delusions about the rising tension. Several news organizations in Russia have issued a chilling warning that war with the West could be imminent. Zvezda, a nationwide TV service run by the country’s Ministry of Defense, said last month, “Schizophrenics from America are sharpening nuclear weapons for Moscow.”
Obama may hate Putin, but he has avoided getting into armed conflict with him. Many members of his administration have called for action that would put Russia and the U.S. in direct conflict with each other. The New York Times recently published the audio of Kerry in which he says he had “lost the argument” for the use of force against the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
“I think you’re looking at three people, four people in the [Obama] administration who have all argued for use of force, and I lost the argument,” Kerry said. “I’ve argued for the use of force.”
The strain between Russia and the U.S. would get even worse if Hillary Clinton were to win next month’s election. She has a much deeper hatred for Putin and she is a war hawk. When Clinton was secretary of state, she pressured Obama to take more aggressive military action in a variety of conflicts, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, and Syria.
Bible prophecy tells us that Russia will someday lead an attack against Israel. The growing hostility between the U.S. and Russia may not be the catalyst. But if Putin did have any hesitancies about upsetting America, that is clearly no longer a factor.
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought” (Ezekiel 38:8-10).