Are We Entering a New Cold War?

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As Russia threatens Ukraine, US and EU leaders worry the threat of invasion is just one part of an escalating hybrid war against the West

  • There’s growing consensus in both Washington and Brussels that Russia’s threat to invade Ukraine is only one facet of a far larger conflict.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ultimate ambition, officials say, is to escalate his long campaign to divide, destabilize and undermine his perceived foes: the EU and the US.
  • He is doing so not only with the threat of conventional war with Ukraine, but through cyber attacks, disinformation campaigns, and by weaponizing Russian natural gas.
  • Putin, a former Soviet spy who mourned the collapse of the Soviet Union, appears to be driven by a desire to reassert the kind of global sway Russia had during the Cold War.
  • That means Russian control and influence over Eastern Europe. But also, potentially, the capacity to directly threatening the US and its allies — including with nuclear weapon placements.
  • If Putin is seeking to reign in NATO, his plan is likely to backfire. Once neutral countries like Finland and Sweden now increasingly see NATO membership as a way to bolster their security.
  • And Baltic states too are ramping up their militaries in an effort to stave off what they see as a growing Russian threat.
  • The developing cold war won’t be like the previous one, but the resemblance — a vast power struggle playing out on a global scale — is all too reminiscent.
The New York Times
Foreign Policy
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