A Successful Alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union brought victory and an end to World War II. However, the alliance didn’t last long. Changes of administration in both the United States and the Soviet Union contributed to the deterioration and the end of a friendly relation. That was the beginning of a very long era – five decades – of tensions between the two countries; at times, it seemed inevitable that the two superpowers would engage in an all-out war. The standoff between US and Russia over Cuba – known as the Cuban Crisis – is a stark reminder that the very sighting of Cold War maneuvers – Russia’s 50,000 troops at the Ukraine borders and NATO readying its Response Force – and the sound of Cold War rhetoric could spiral events out of anyone’s control.
Time heals they say, it seems to be true. In April 2009 at the G20 summit in London, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama promised a fresh start in U.S.-Russia relations. A month prior, – March 2009 – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, pressed a reset button as a symbolic gesture of a new relationship between the two countries. Both leaders acted quickly to prove to the international community that they were serious. On March 24, 2010 the United States and Russia reached an agreement to reduce their arsenals of nuclear weapons. The nuclear arms reduction treaty, appropriately called New Start, was signed by both the Russian and the American Leaders on April 8, 2010 in Prague. For the first time since the Cold War ended, it seemed that both countries were off to a relationship that looked very promising.
Ironically as if history must repeat itself, nearly 25 years since the Cold War ended in 1991, the world may be going back to that era of nightmarish tensions, frictions and confrontations through proxies between US and Russia. Using history as a guide, a war – perhaps a major war involving several countries or even World War III – could inevitably ensue. In the past few weeks, there has been a trend that’s very reminiscent of the Cold War era. If the premise that events are cyclical still holds, the Ukraine crisis is just the beginning.
When the Cold War was in full swing, countries picked sides; those that sided with the United States lined up in the NATO camp. Those that sided with Russia abode by the Warsaw pact. Strikingly similar events are currently shaping the world into camps.
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