Cold War II leading to WWIII?

To any who lived through the cold war, recent events along Russia’s western and southern borders are deeply ominous. Moscow initially spent the 17 years since the fall of the Soviet Union flirting with the West. It had been defeated and had good reason for disarming and putting out feelers to join NATO and the European Union.

Russia took part in such proto-capitalist entities as the G8. In the case of NATO and the EU it was arrogantly rebuffed, while its former Warsaw Pact allies were accepted.

Moscow was told it would be foolish to worry about encirclement.

There is no strategic justification for siting American missile systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. It is nothing but right-wing provocation. NATO’s welcome to Georgia and Ukraine, for no good reason but at risk of having to come to their aid, has served only to incite Georgia to realize that risk while also infuriating Moscow.

Russia is well able to respond recklessly to a snub without such encouragement, so why encourage it? Western strategy is dealing with a resurgent, rich and potent Russia.

[Excerpt of an article by Simon Jenkins, The Times]

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