The ‘New’ Cold War is Heating Up

Although there have been no Russian missile sightings in Cuba (yet?), the new era cold war is definitely heating up. Scenes that were once common place in the 60’s and 70’s are once again raising their ugly heads. Many of us have heard the term ‘saber rattling’ when two countries posture to show off their military might, but when those countries are nuclear armed super powers like the USA and Russia, the stakes become much higher than normal and the citizens of each country start to feel an uneasiness that has not been this thick in the air in a long time.

How did this all start? You have to look no further than the Russian involvement in Ukraine. With the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, the Russians have shown a blatant disregard and disrespect for another nation’s sovereignty if they feel their national interests are at risk. The world got its first glimpse of this in 2008, in Georgia, and it continues today with Russia’s backing of the Pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine. Even the crippling economic sanctions that were placed on Russia as a result of their recent territorial gains have not seemed to dampen the Russian resolve; in fact, it may have even made them more determined to chase what they consider to be the rebuilding of the old Soviet empire.

Cold War SideWhat has that led to? The types of military encounters in the skies, the likes of which have not been seen in decades, are once again common place and it leaves one wondering when this can lead to an incident such as the old Cuban Missile crisis that puts the whole world on edge. It’s scary when nuclear armed nations like the USA and Russia are so far apart in their apparent visions, aspirations and views on how each other should act in the modern day world.

The US Intelligence Community probably sensed something big was coming from the Russians in 2014. That was when some of the old cold war era tactics starting coming back prominently into the fold.  Incidents such as Russian bomber and fighter aircraft’s close incursions to the US airspace, and other allied nations airspace, started to rise sharply again. The number of intercepts of Russian aircraft by US forces doubled from 2013 to 2014.

Just recently, a group of Russian ‘Bear’ bombers and Mig-31 ‘Foxbat 2’ Aircraft were intercepted off the coast of Alaska by USAF F-22 jets that were scrambled from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska. The Russian planes never identified themselves and were flying with their transponders turned off.

The arctic is not the only place that these scenarios have played out either. In February, the RAF intercepted bombers, not once but twice, close to British airspace in a matter of a few weeks. The first incident was when two Russian ‘Bear’ bombers were flying without their transponders on over the English Channel.

In 2014, the number of intercepts of Russian Aircraft over Europe more than tripled. It’s a dangerous game of posturing that is being carried out by the Russians, and the stakes appear to only be getting higher as tensions continue to rise between Russia and the West.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Craig Smith

Craig has been writing for several years but just recently made freelance writing a full time profession after leaving behind 26 years working in the swimming pool construction industry. He served four years in the US Air Force as an Imagery Interpreter Specialist in Okinawa, Japan and at SAC Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. As a staunch supporter of law enforcement personnel, emergency medical technicians, firemen, search and rescue personnel and those who serve in the military, Craig is proud to contribute to the US Patriot blog on their behalf.
Craig Smith

11 thoughts on “The ‘New’ Cold War is Heating Up

  1. Interesting piece Craig. Nice pic too – the juxtaposition of the ancient and the new – the Bear and the Raptor makes a good contrast.

    The whole issue kind of put’s Obama’s recent rapprochement with the Castro brothers in a new light. Taking Cuba out of the game makes it much harder for Putin to engineer “Cuban Missile Crisis Mk2” on America’s back door. Perhaps not everyone in the Obama Administration is a complete fool! What do others think?

  2. The “New Cold War” is just an overreaction and overexaggeration. The Cold War as something completely else. The present Russian reaction over expanding NATO into Eastern Europe is understandable in many aspects, after the promise from President Bush Senior in NOT to expand NATO from 1990 into the Eastern Europe after the unification of Germany. It is remarkable that the US never have accepted arming and new bases to Russian allies like Cuba and Nicaragua, but US themselves can set up anti-robot system and nuclear rockets in Poland, Italy, Turkey and close to Russian borders.
    The original basic problem in Europe today is the new NATO ditch between Central Europe and the Slavic East-Europe. We Europeans must overcome this NATO-ditch and wallgrave and unite all Europe from Greenland in the west to Kamchatka in the East, the original politcal union idea of General Charles de Gaulle in the 1960’s – and in the future unite all European countries into a new United European Treaty organizatuon, ETO, which will replace NATO withon some 15-20 years – and Europe must organize its own full defence system and have no non-European military bases and nuclear rocket bases in European territories – that’s the only solution to have less tense and political conflicts in Europe. NATO ith its Canadian and US forces must be the first to leave European territory to fully unite Europe, a dear European Dream under Construction since 1989 to fulfil President Michail Gorbachyov’s idea of The European House – our common home – without any foreign non-European bases left on European territories. That’s the only way forward for a future Europe!
    Europe is nowadays helding up the US Superpower, and with the new multi-polar World I think the Rolling back of the US military bases from Europe will be a plus for the World-Peace and deminish the tensions in Europe, as the continuation of NATO into east is the original problem for high tenses in Central and Eastern Europe. The ETO, European Treaty Organization including Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Georgia and others – is the very reliable political homework for a all-European Peace and cooperation.

  3. Unlike Russia, US have never expanded their territory at the expense of the neighboring countries. We in Ukraine had enough of Russian presence since 17th century in the east and since WW2 in the west, including wars, henocide, mass evictions and on top of that falsification of our history. This crazy dwarf wil be stopped.

  4. –> Andrew: Well, Andrew must read through the history of the United States and the many decades of extermination of the native peoples and original inhabitants and their lands in the 1800s. And how did really Texas, New Mexico and California just popped into and under the US Power in the 1800’s from Mexico? – by force and extermination war. No popular referendums at all…

    The only territory here we talking about is the Krym (Crimea) whose population are naturally 90-95% for being a part of the Russian Federation, after four referendums in all 1990’s until our days, after being “giving away” as a “gift” by a drunken party around the former USSR leader Nikita Chrushtchjov in 1954. For myself I am glad that the Crimeans really have found their native home with a landslide. United States are in fact that country which has killed most civil persons in war in all the world after the fall of the Nazi fascist Germany in 1945 – only in Vietnam more vietnamese were killed by US forces than jews in the concentration camps in the European continent- few people know about this.
    To let in the USA with political influence and military bases into deep Central Europe will show to be within some 20-25 years to be a full and anti-european combined military-politician trojan horse.

  5. –> J de Nauclér has pretty much said it – the supposed new Cold War is rather the result of a social and economic engineering project, and it’s target is neither Russia nor US – in fact, I would say both Russia and US are allies here – the target is the EU. The strengthening of the EU was becoming somewhat of a thorn in the side of US, and as for Russia – any weakening of the EU is beneficial to Russian economic position on the international market. Unfortunately for Europe, I do not believe it has the resources to successfully repel this economic attack.
    Author mentions “crippling sanctions” applied to Russia. I spend a great deal of my time in Russia, work-related, and I can tell you first hand – there is nothing crippling about them. They are, in fact, crippling Europe. European economy continues to suffer as a result of these sanctions, while Russia remains mostly self-sufficient, furthermore – it is becoming more self-sufficient by the day.
    I’ll try not to delve too deep into the Russia-Ukraine situation, Andrew is entitled to his opinion, like the rest of us. I’d only like to illuminate a few points: Ukraine was doing quite well as a republic of Soviet Union. It’s current situation is, well, incomparable – near-dead economy, civil unrest… It would be a mistake to lay that at the Russian doorstep – Ukraine got it’s independence in the 90’s, with everything that entails, including the responsibility to take care of its citizens, its economy, etc. To be honest – it didn’t do too well. About the “invasions” during WW2… Hmm.. Well, folks, let’s be clear on the facts, then – if Russia invaded Ukraine that would mean Ukraine resisted Russia in WW2. As in – was its enemy, allied with the Nazi Germany. In that case, Russia was full within it’s rights to invade an enemy country, and to re-write its history, among other things, as “history is written by the victors”. If, on the other hand, Russia LIBERATED Ukraine, then Ukraine was an ally and the current antagonism makes no sense whatsoever. Remember that the Soviet army was full of Ukrainians fighting the Nazis alongside the Russians and other ethnicities. Our soldiers fought and died alongside each other. One cannot simply chose the facts that collaborate their point of view and ignore all the rest, that may refute it. But such is the nature of people – the bitterest fights we have are with our neighbors, our relatives… Fighting with strangers is nowhere near as bitter. And Russians and Ukrainians are both neighbors and relatives, as nations and ethnically.
    On a lighter note, having Russia called a “dwarf”, however “crazy”, is quite amusing 🙂

  6. Like it or not, since WW2, the world has gradually been folded in to the friction that exists between Russia and the US. it has taken 70 years, but there is hardly a country on the face of the globe that doesn’t play some role in that geopolitical friction.

    Where Putin appears to be succeeding is that he has managed to manipulate the Russian system to ensconce himself as a pseudo czar, with the assistance of Medvedev. The US system simply would not permit such a manipulation (although the Kennedy, Bush and Clinton clans would all appear to have tried something along those lines at different points in time).

    It is this continuity of control that is Putin’s advantage, along with a capacity to tap into the Russian cultural chip on the shoulder about the West. Many older Russians still resent the economic success of the West and the fact that they backed the wrong horse (Communism) for so long.

    The evidence points to a new cold war, but that doesn’t make it inevitable. The Soviets lost the last cold war because of a flawd economy. Russia needs the West to prosper and, unlike the past, Russia no longer has the Warsaw Pactstates to act as a buffer against the West. It also no longer has the ability to cut its population off from Western influences. These factors place limits on just how vigorously Putin can rattle his saber at any one time.

    I would suggest that the West needs to find a new way of interacting with Russia or we will go through an endless cycle of friction/cold war /thawing in our relations with Russia. A new way does not equate with appeasement. Indeed, the opposite. We probably need to place Russia at arm’s length and keep them there permanently. That may well mean we do less business with them, but it may also mean that the world is a safer place.

    As to America being the source of Europe’s problems, as Mr de Naucler seems to be arguing, I would suggest that were it not for America, more of Europe would have ended up in the Warsaw Pact than has ended up in NATO. And the act of joining the Warsaw Pact would have been neither voluntary nor peaceful for some of those countries. If you want to resent America, resent it for stupid decisions like Iraq, not for keeping Europe safe for the past 70 years.

  7. As the famous general Napoléon Bonaprte once said – “a country’s politics is the country’s geography” – is still most actual. Western Europe can’t in the long run serve as the most important leg for holding up the “Pentagon Superpower”. Europe’s future constallation and allies lies in the Euroasian continent, and can’t in any way compete with the weak link based on 10 US aircraft Carriers on the oceans. The United States are doomed to be a corner of the world and in the long run they will lose the geopolitical race on the Euroasian continent – they do not have any reliable allies except instable Pakistan and Saudi Arabia at the moment, while Russia has strong and raising stronger allies with India and China in most cases hidden made contacts made in the post Cold War-period, while the US Power proudly presented itself as the “end of history” and nothing would change in any way, when the once U.S. supported islamic terrorists from Afghanistan hit the heart of the United States in 2001. United States are about to lose the geopolitical race in the Euroasian social, economical and political race on the Euroasian continent – and nothing can change this dilemma. To apply for NATO membership for certain East European countries nowadays is like to be a new member of the British empire in 1944 – a dead end with no understabding of present occasions at present. NATO is nowadays a strategical cul-de-sac. Europe must in the long be masters in its own house withouts housing Pentagon military bases and “advisors”. This is the only way for a free and independant Europe. This thought is not new, already French Général Charles de Gaulle proposed it in the 1960’s. Europe’s main task can’t be to be a servant and a second actor to the Pentagon plans and its superpower plans.

  8. Huh? If NATO is such a dead end, why does everyone want to join? Why is Russia complaining and NATO expansion? If Russia truly wanted to co-opt Europe to Russian interests, playing the capitalist game would be the way forward, not saber rattling and annexing Crimea. Some of that is for consumption by former communist block satellites, but most of it is for domestic Russian consumption to divert attention from the unfulfilled aspirations of middle class Russia. Europe is hardly united as it is. There is the north/south economic divide, complicated by borderline basket cases such at Greece, Portugal, etc. A ‘united states of Eurasia’ is a concept that is unlikely to happen during my life time. The lessons of Greece et al have been costly and provide a stark reminder that not every country can meet the stringent economic and fiscal requirements of EU membership. Yet it is the economic ties that bind strongest. When it comes to issues of putting troops in harms way, Europe is weak and vassilating. US strategic dominance is likely to continue well into this century. China is the new emerging economic powerhouse, hence Americas recent “pivot into Asia”. Russia’s economy is based on it being a fossil fuel exporter, arguably defining it as a 20th century economy, rather than a 21st century economy. It lost the first cold war because of economic reasons and has recently shown itself to be vulnerable to sanctions, thereby pointing to it being similarly vulnerable in any new cold war.

  9. In recent years there is a very hidden, but strong, desperation as the United States are losing ground in the geophysical game in the Euroasian Game with Russian, Chinese and Indian interests altogether are turning into close friendly Alliances – the BRICS union is just a first beginning. The only countries standing in queue nowadays to Nato membership are failed states like former Soviet republics with total corruption and total downfall socially like Moldavia, Ukraine and the worst corrupt case of the all: Georgia. For a future United Europe between Greenland and Kamtchatka – NATO is indeed a dead end and a false strategical structure which only divides Europe with a NATO ditch which has replaced the former Iron Curtain which affects Europe deeply financially and socially. A divided Europe, politically and militarily weak are the primary plans for the militarists and hawks in the Pentagon, NSA and CIA – don’t believe anything else – they do indeed fear a United Europe with tight and friendly social, political and economical alliances in all forms with Russia, China and India – and the slow downfall of the US Superpower politically is a total fact, within some 20-30 years I would guess. The western Europe and its politicians are growing sceptical and even anti-Pentagon politicians, and between walls and doors they just want to get rid of the US military influence in European politics. Europe’s longsighted future lies in the east, China, India, the Great Russia so we can indeed be masters of our own Euroasian continent without US military bases and hidden plans – that’s our way of freedom as the US hardly accept European and Chinese military bases in Indiana, Florida, New York or similar – just imagine that from an American perspective! Europe will slowly be free and independant and it is high time for a European Monroe doctrine not allowing non-European influence and bases on European territory – that’s our Liberty and Independance!

    1. “a future United Europe”

      There isn’t going to be a united Europe, because most people hate the idea.

  10. Post Scriptum: I just want to add to the dear fellow readers here that I am fond of America – I have American cousins in the US, and the Americans are indeed one of the most polite and nice people among westerners, compared to many of us half rude and colder Europeans. I am not anti-American at all – I like America! BUT!! The US foreign politics and military language and actions – from the failure supporting Afghan terrorists in Afghanistan in the 1980’s developing into al-Qaida, the failed Iraqi invasion in Iraq under false facts in 2003 – which has now put all the region in the Near East(the Levant) and Middle-East into a total terrorist bloody and cruel civil war we haven’t seen for almost centuries – all this has really put the US judgement into dire straits – and we don’t want more of this medicine in Europe’s near regions. But – I have nothing against United States as a ´”domestic” country and interior system with its wonderful and friendly and most oen-minded citizens – but we Europeans really disguise and almost hate the U.S. militarism and imperialism when the Pentagon and often criminal CIA actions as they put their noses into almost everything in other foreign countries. That must stop – and hasen’t done so even under the once so promising President Obama, too bad, but too true.

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