My answer is of course we have!
Doesn’t the increasing tension between President Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the western countries mostly led by the US remind you of the past? History is sure repeating itself! Although, in a recent speech in Brussels, March 27th, President Barack Obama rejected the notion of a new Cold War when he said, “This is not another Cold War that we’re entering into. After all, unlike the Soviet Union, Russia leads no bloc of nations, no global ideology.” I, personally, can’t help but disagree with Barack Obama and agree with Robert Legvold, Professor Emeritus at Columbia University who says, “I believe we are already in a new Cold War. That is not a majority view.”
He is right in saying so! Majority of people are too afraid to allow the thought of a Second Cold War to enter their minds. The idea that the world could fall into something so dangerous and critical like it had in 1947 until 1991 is simply too terrifying and so people reject the idea all together. However, the superpower stand-off that bought the world to the brink of destruction is repeating itself. Relations between the East and the West are slowly deterioriating and this time it’s not about the ideological split between a communist East and a capitalist West but the ever growing political and military tension.
In my opinion the turning point in US and Russia’s relations was Moscow’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014. Russia captured strategic sites across Crimea, which led to the installation of the pro-Russian Aksyonov government in Crimea. This whole event has been strongly condemned by the US and many world leaders.
This move on Russia’s behalf angered the West and caused undeniable tensions,when I was doing some background research i couldn’t help but notice that the Ukrainian crisis didn’t go amiss at the summit in Brisbane, Australia, it was apparent how relations worsened over Ukraine. When Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, met Putin, he said: “Well, I guess I’ll shake your hand but I have only one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine.” David Cameron and Barack Obama are said to have delivered similar messages, both personally and publicly.
Therefore, to answer the above question, has the world entered a second cold war? Yes! A fundamental difference between a war and a cold war is that during a cold war there is no fighting present between the countries at war, its mainly political aggression along with hostile summits and threats. Russia has made some bad decisions regarding Ukraine, but not Ukraine alone, Syria too. They are, what appears to the West, returning to their expansionist past which was one of the prime reasons that caused the Cold War. If tensions don’t get settled and their differences do not get put aside the world might just find itself at the brink of a second nuclear war, who knows?
Is history really repeating itself?