Ukraine’s conflict, the first stage of the New Cold War

The idea that the world was entering a new “Cold War” long before the Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24 was fairly widely shared by international political experts. The long and dangerous competition in the gray zone that separates peace and war has been a fundamental fact in history since the Peloponnesian War, when the Athenian Empire was destroyed by the blow of Sparta after 30 years of competition.

As John Kennedy called it, this “fight of the twilight against the Soviet Union”, the Cold War, is a period of complete ideological, economic, and technical competition between the West and the East, almost half. It lasted for a century. It ended with an overwhelming victory for the Western nations, a democracy victory over authoritarianism and a market economy victory over a centralized economy.

But the relatively mild situation of 30 years will finally make a mistake. Contrary to the US’s goal, neither Russia nor China wanted to be a stakeholder in the new Western Order. On the contrary, Moscow and Beijing have seen threats to their security and power in American policy, not to stability factors.

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Lessons to be learned from the last crisis

Therefore, this stability in the world order has collapsed for many years before it suddenly collapsed on February 24th. Whatever the outcome of the war in Ukraine, the coming time will probably be characterized by intensifying competition between the United States and Russia, but in particular we want to redraw the world map and make dictatorship a new universal value. China is even more fierce.

Therefore, it is a new kind of Cold War, long-established and at risk of seriously threatening the prosperity and stability of the Western world. Are there any lessons to be learned from previous lessons to make today more effective?

Halbrands is convinced. A historian, a foreign policy expert in the United States, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Institute for International Affairs, a number of book authors, an administrative and intelligence consultant, he provided a detailed analysis of the “first era” Cold War. , Draw a strategic lesson for it today.

“We have once again entered a global struggle for power and world order.”

Indeed, the author admits, history alone cannot help solve today’s strategic problems. “Events are like snowflakes, no one is exactly the same,” he writes. But nevertheless, we have once again entered the global struggle for world power and order, the struggle between systems and values, and the increasingly gray territory between war and peace.

Revision of American strategy

In order to compete on an equal footing with China and Russia, the western world, especially the United States, must adopt a “strategy” such as a “strategy.”Containment“In 1947 George Kennan advocated stopping the expansion of the Soviet zone, which was probably the golden age of American foreign policy.

This new Cold War forces the United States to make strong choices in economics, influence over international organizations, and influence over alliances, confronting invaders, fighting for their value, and hostile. Prevents a force from accumulating enough resources to threaten it. This would mean that Joe Biden decided to break the policies implemented in recent years, which organized a more or less orderly withdrawal from US diplomacy.

His decision to support Ukraine on a large scale with money and weapons seems to indicate that such a review is underway. But we must not forget another basic lesson of the Cold War. It’s a long-term problem.

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“The Twilight Struggle: What the Cold War Tells Us About the Competition of Today’s Powers,” Hal Brands, Yale University Press, March 2022.

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