The New Cold War does not stem from a rivalry between two competing economic systems. Russia is capitalist and so is the US.
Maybe there was a time in the past when the American political establishment honestly dreaded the spread of communism to our shores. However, in hindsight and with the knowledge of US exploitation of public fear after 9/11, it’s time to question whether communism and the Cold War were ever more than a convenient tool of manipulation to achieve objectives not openly discussed.
No matter how evil Putin is according to the political establishment of the US, the US/Russia conflict today relates to competition between rival Empires over resources, trade, and political power.
- The US wants exclusive access to and transfer of Central Asian oil and gas resources to the west. At the same time, the US is actively preventing access to those resources for Russia and China. US is accomplishing that through a policy of “containment.”
- The US is attempting to contain Russia through NATO expansion into nations along Russia’s boarders. Boxing Russia into the frozen north surrounded on all sides by rival military bases and denying Russian access to its only warm water port in Sebastopol, Crimea cripples Russia’s ability to control Central Asia’s resources. Economic isolation from major customers of Russian gas exports in Europe robs Russia of income from its own resources. Note that China is receiving similar policy of containment from the US through the dispute of a set of Islands between Japan and China. Those islands happen to lie along shipping routes that allow the flow of Central Asian gas and oil to the Chinese market.
- The US seeks the establishment of a unipolar power structure for global dominance with the US leading the world. Obviously, the point of exclusive “ownership” of resources and containment of power rivals is to create a world under the control of the American political and economic elite.
What interest does the average American have in US global dominance? Does American hegemony mean better worker pay at home? Will access to Central Asian oil and gas pay for a college education? If Russia loses its warm water port, will we get universal health care? So, who benefits from the heightened conflict?
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Photo by Cmapm released under a Creative Commons license.