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Could the Cold War Return With a Vengeance?

Could the Cold War Return With a Vengeance?

Michael T. Klare

Think of it as the most momentous military planning on Earth right now.

Too late for that to still be a question.

We should have removed Trump right away.

Given that Russia and, increasingly, China, are for all intents and purposes capitalist, it suggests to me that anticommunist ideology is now regarded in ruling class circles as a dead letter. The need for a credible external threat, however, is alive and well, and all but the most credulous are unimpressed with the alleged threats posed by Venezuela, North Korea, Syria and ISIS, for example.

Thus the frantic rekindling of long-dormant anxieties, the bipartisan black-hatting of Putin, and the redrafting of strategic doctrine to reflect current spending priorities. The headline asks, rhetorically, “Could the Cold War Return With a Vengeance?” The more pressing question is “In What Age Will War NOT Return With a Vengeance?”

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Here’s some interesting stuff from Moon of Alabama about the Skripal poisoning case. He includes links to his previous posts.


MoA has proved to be quite accurate in the past. Despite his typos he is a first rate researcher.


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All empires are created of blood and fire.

  • Pablo Escobar
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It’s already a warm war:


Also let me say this article assumes too much of the Neo-Cons’ perspective that it is Russia and China that are being provocative and aggressive when the reality is that it is the United States that is doing so.

How would we react in this country if the Chinese Navy was patrolling the Gulf of Mexico. What would we think if Russia had ABM weapons on our borders with Mexico and Canada?


The US has been trying to provoke this type of response from Russia and China since Obama took office. Success! Because there be profits. And promotions. And medals and ribbons. And post retirement consulting jobs. It’s a win-win for everyone but the economic conscripts that have to fight the damn war.

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One glaring omission in this piece is the role of the media and Democratic Party establishment in promoting a general fear of Russia and claims that it is trying to undermine “our democracy” and that it is “our enemy”; and thus the perceived need to respond aggressively.

For example, I recall a fairly recent, viral FB video featuring Morgan Freeman (himself a fervent support of HRC) claiming “we’re at war with Russia”. The Party continues to push this meme, and the established media dutifully focus their reporting on it for months going into years, with hardly any breaks.

The manipulation of public opinion.clearly is helping to neutralize any of the more prudent voices among us who have warned of this fueling of cold war, its costs and its possible escalation.

Hollywood started churning out Movies with Russians as the bad guys 20 years ago . This was LONG in the planning stages.

Interesting but problematic–and, I think, somewhat off target. Russia and China have done nothing to provoke the US, and are not likely to do so just because that would be extremely stupid.

The “cold war” was an artificial construction. Something of the sort existed in some sense, of course, and was quite dangerous. But this was not some “special state” that came into existence because of the declaration of communist states in Russia and China. It was an attempt by ruling institutions in the West to retain in some form a 400-year empire despite having expended and torn up the greater part of the mechanisms of their dominance in the bizarrely puerile infighting that seems to constitute so much of. There is indeed “ruling” --World Wars I and II, in this case.

The cold war was not caused by any declaration of communism; it was also not ended by any declaration of the end of the Soviet state. Western aggression continued and continues largely as it had. The Soviet arsenal remained, in whatever condition it did remain, as a deterrent, without the government that had created it; the power vacuum of the fallen government was resolved to a great extent internally, with limited interventions from foreign powers.

Aggression continues and the “cold war,” as we may call it, continues not because Russia is suddenly capable of deterrence, but because Russia and China remain capable of deterrence, as they have been for a good few decades. American technology is far more extensive and far more up-to-date, but not to the point that the US or NATO can simply and inexpensively hold whatever land their leaders might wish, regardless of objection–and, therefore, not to the point that the West may consider itself with an utterly and eternally unchallenged hegemony.

American actions have been increasingly dangerous, insanely dangerous, but not because there is some other country that wants a shooting war with the United States. There is none; Russia is no exception. The reasons ought to be obvious. Surely Russia has indeed made preparations for war, but these are to provide a nuclear deterrent, a relatively cheap way, at least in terms of currency, for a smaller economy to avoid being run over by a faster economy.

This does create a huge problem, given the ongoing American activity just below Russia. The problem is that US policy is deliberate bull baiting and playing chicken with Russia as well as Iran and North Korea and, to a smaller extent, China. And it has followed through on threats quite regularly. Russia and others have no reason to doubt that the US may launch a horrifically destructive attack against land that it has no hope whatsoever of occupying will profitably as soon as it verifies that there is no chance of retaliation with weapons of mass destruction. Iraq was the textbook case.

The hazing and attacks at and around Russia must be intended to provoke–something. The only realistic military deterrent Russia has is nuclear. In any bureaucracy, the decision-making is distributed and chains of command short-circuited frequently.

As a result, US policy seems deliberately designed to make of itself a target for nuclear attack. What do planners think that they are doing? Probably convincing Russia that the US is not only “serious,” but fairly crazy, with the idea that Russia will back down rather than attempt to demonstrate something similar.

I suppose that sounds enough like old times with Kruschev and Kennedy, doesn’t it?

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Well put. The author writes… “Are there not other ways to manage the rise of China and Russia’s provocative behavior?” I would say “reactionary behaviour” rather than provocative. The entire world, with the notable exception of the American right wing populace, is afraid of American interference than any other man made or natural disaster.
It is easy to criticize Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia, but Clinton was quite vocal about her aspirations to topple the Russian government if elected. Many voted for Trump in the belief that he would be less likely to pick a fight with Russia or China. But I doubt neither Trump nor Clinton could successfully resist the agenda of our military industrial complex… or in the contemporary vernacular, the corporate defence contractors that justify allocating over 50% of the discretionary budget (the taxes collected from the 99%) to weapons of mass destruction ranging from pistols to ICBM’s.
The truth is that the Chinese and the Russians people are no different than we are with the lone exception that Americans unfortunately have a far more dangerous government than anyone else.

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I agree with your analysis whole heartedly. I would like to add that the “hazing and attacks at and around Russia” has a lot to do with the Russian expulsion of U.S. oil companies. I spent a lot of time in Eastern Russia 15 years with friends who were translators for the Exxon and Shell corporations and they talked about the corporate anger towards Russians for exerting control over their own oil fields in Sakhalin Island. American corporate CEO’s felt they weren’t getting a fair shake from the Russian authorities (maybe they weren’t?) after investing a lot of time, money and shared technologies with the Russians. It’s economics. It has always been about economics, but before it was cloaked as an evil ideology (communism) for mass consumption. Now the Russians are just plain, old evil, no explanation needed.

don’t be foolish. That’s not Trump’s plan.


The Cold War never went away. With the breakup of the Warsaw Pact, and the shrinkage of the Russian empire, the ongoing US wars against Muslim countries were ramped up to convince Congress and the US public to restore military budgets to Cold War levels and then expand them beyond that. Cold War weapon systems, including the F22 fighter and the F35 bomber, were stretched out but not canceled, and others have recently been added, including a B2 strategic bomber upgrade. All three aircraft were specifically designed to attack other countries homelands defended by modern defense systems, with Russia fitting that definition best.

In the core of the US military planning system, the long term strategy is to maintain and expand a huge bureaucratic empire, with little regard to the risk to the US public. In the corporate world, this is called empire building.

Russia and China are threats to their neighbors, as are all empires, but the reason they must be considered a threat to USA is because USA continues to threaten them. The obvious way to reduce the threat to USA is to reduce USA’s threat to them, but that would interfere with the monetary goals of the. US military. It would also interfere with the wealthy state strategy of keeping the 99% in a state of fear.