Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Cold War is not over! Did it ever end? A Grudge...

One should never carry a grudge because it will eat away at you and you will never be free of it. Suffice to say I have not succeeded in following this adage. So Simon Murden, yes even after all this time I remember your name, here it is. I believed I was right then and I still believe it now the Cold War never ended! I was in the final year of my first degree, undergraduate International Relations at University of Plymouth. I was quite cocky, I had never scored less than 68 in an essay and was expecting a first. There was unfortunately a staff reshuffle and I locked horns with a new lecturer. During lectures we politely sparred, or so I thought. It was there that I posited my theory that although historians had written of the end of the Cold War I did not believe it. He knew more than me of course and laughed off my rationale but in my essays he marked me down. And humiliatingly not on what I had written but on my presentation.  None of my lecturers ever questioned or used presentation as a reason to criticise my work during my entire degree. I missed a first by 2 per cent this led me to attend UCL and achieve my masters in Russian Studies. So why do I believe the Cold War never ended and what evidence do I put forward?
Well firstly, Russia still has nuclear weapons in a state of readiness.
This is a fact little mentioned in modern reporting.  Secondly, the psychological struggle over Russia's energy grip on Europe, versus the West's economic stranglehold on Russia has never diminished. Thirdly, Russia has never fully integrated into the 'European' family of clubs , Council of Europe, NATO, etc. Last but not least the other more sinister element of the psychological 'Cold War', espionage is alive and well. If anything it is worse than ever before. See: US Spies Russian Spies

Putin is pushing the West incessantly over the Ukrainian situation. So far the 'faux' response from NATO has had little effect on Russia, they continue to push and they continue to test. What exactly is our response, well similar to the Cold War period, brinksmanship and games. Limited sanctions that have little or no effect, political intervention again with little effect and military posturing. Well look out Europe, Putin is not running scared, you're going to have to do better than that! The Cold War is not over - watch this space! Well Simon?
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