With the Presidential election, center stage in the U.S. many are unaware of just how bad relations have fallen with Russia. While many Americans may have heard that Russian and American talks over the conflict in Syria abruptly ended earlier this months, they likely did not hear a significant ramification of that event. Within hours of our announcing a forfeiture to the talks, Vladimir Putin signed a decree ending Russia’s participation in a treaty with the United States to eliminate nuclear weapons. Though the U.S. administration denies the two are “not tit for tat” it is highly unlikely that they are not.
Putin further cited his reasoning as “a threat to strategic stability as a result of USA’s unfriendly acts toward Russia.” (Wilkinson, 2013). In the decree, Putin stated they would continue with the disarmament if America met a lengthy set of demands. While our strength as a Nation is debatable it is clear that Russia currently views the U.S. weak by these actions.
Interesting side note: Though our nuclear stockpiles are similar in quantity, Russia has more advanced nuclear capabilities than us at this time (and likely anytime soon). Here is a link to an interesting article breaking Nuclear capability down between the two. NUCLEAR ARTICLE
Possibly coincidentally but likely a symbolic gesture Russia launched a national defense exercise just days after the stalemate of Syria geared specifically at the preparation for nuclear war. According to the Ministry for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters the exercise will involve 200,000 emergency personnel and the co-operation of 40 million civilians.
If all of the above is not enough Russia just released a statement informing all of the State officials with children residing outside of the country to return immediately. While some analysts believe this is related to pride and patriotism others are have been quoted as saying it is to “to prepare the elites for some ‘big war’ even if it is rather conditional”(Belkovsky, Znak).
Whether or not we are heading into a full-scale nuclear war or not is still to be seen, however, what is obvious is that our position in the World is no longer as it was. Gone are the days that the American retribution was feared.
Welcome to the new Cold War