Lest we forget the Cold War
Those of us who lived through the Cold War remember what it was like to wake up every day to the threat of nuclear destruction and MADD (mutually assured destruction).
In the 60's we had air raid siren drills once a month, in the middle of the country no less. We remember the anxiety around the Bay of Pigs and the Russian missles stationed so near our doorstep.We remember the duck and cover drills as children, no matter how ridiculous they seem now. We remember the pictures of the tanks rolling into the Eastern European capitals as the Soviet threat expanded. All these things are part and parcel to Baby Boomers mind set.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the new generations have not had to live under the spectre of mutually assured annihilation (even if it were overblown by politicians at the time). These new generations have not had to feel the oppressive weight of an enemy that posed an intrinsic threat of complete human destruction.
Yes, you had 9/11, but it was a one time event that would not destroy an entire nation. Al Queda was never an intrinsic threat for the elimination our our entire nation. It is an important threat to address and ameliorate, but does not form a daily worry in the majority of our lives.
My point: Trump's exit from the IMF is problematical. The thought for Baby Boomers of a return to another arms race akin to the Cold War is not acceptable. Nuclear proliferation is not joke. The reality of living once again under that spectre of planet level destruction I suspect will not find a lot of support from my generation. At least I would hope not.
Our present Commander in Chief is not intellectually prepared for this type of challenge. He neither reads his intelligence briefs, nor listens to his advisors. He demonstrated during his candidacy that he has no concept of what a nuclear weapon is, or what its potential can be. An arms race as this juncture, with this president is even more perilous than what we Baby Boomers faced.
Our present CinC is not intellectually prepared for a stiff game of Risk.
An opposing head of state flatters him, gives a convincing imitation of sincerity and a firm handshake, and Trump "knows what's in his soul". A year later and we have Russia violating the INF treaty because Putin knows Trump won't call him out on it.
He is folding, knowingly or less likely, unknowingly, right into Putin’s agenda. By dropping out of the Iran deal, he has taken any incentive they had to not develop nukes away. By dropping out of the IMF he has put not only the US, but much more so Europe at great risk. Russia now has no need to even try and hide their nuclear missle program. They have little incentive to stop incursions into neighboring countries nor their expansion and alliances with the worst countries in the Middle East. Iran and Syria will be more than happy to align with Russia while we are losing allies other than Israel thanks to Cheeto’s ham handed foreign policy. Not sure we can survive another two years of his reign.
MADD is Mothers Against Drunk Driving. But you're sure right about the Cold War and how much it sucks. I was in a city in Southern Russia in 1998, walking around the town public market and just had a feeling of intense sadness over how much effort was made in demonizing the folks who were walking around with their shopping bags, cute little kids and old babushkas in their scarfs. It's madness.
As to Russia... yes, Putin will further mess up the country spending money they don't have on weapons systems. It's extremely likely he will make moves toward blending Belarus back into being part of Russia (which gives them a much more aggressive strategic position towards the Baltics, Poland and Western Europe... all NATO members). But remember Russia's economy is the same size as Italy's. This isn't the USSR with 250+ million people... it's a country with a very narrow economy, a stagnant population and, despite some closeness at the moment, will almost certainly be in more conflict with China over parts of Siberia which are becoming incredibly depopulated of Russian citizens and are being replaced by large numbers of Chinese workers and Chinese-owned businesses. It WILL become a big issue.
John Bolton and Pompeo are total idiots and exactly the wrong people to be in their positions right now. Needless to say, they were both hired by Orange Turd.
The Oligarchs existed before the fall of Soviet Communism, the new world merely allowed them to become open about it and to never fear being shot by the state. Today they just have to bribe their way out of it.
If managed properly, Russia would become the premiere superpower and economy. But as always the elite farm the proletariat like mushroom - keep them in the dark and feed them shit.
Putin's Russia is currently in a precarious state. What it needs is another Cold War to boost their failing economy. And someone just stupid enough to be easily made to think they doing the right thing. And Trump is more than stupid enough for that role.
Russia will need to borrow money to rebuild its Nuclear arsenal so that the world remains at peace. Now there is threat of war, that will happen. As they re-arm. The USA will need to do the same. Both arms dealers will make money and the world can tremble for a few decades just in case it gets out of hand.
Putin can play his hand that Trump won't live long enough or remain in power to deploy his new toys
and whoever follows him will be stuck on course. This buys Russia time, and like chess they are in it for the long game.
I agree with you about Trump and the threat of future cold war strife. As for the old one, I remember being made aware of it in school when we had "drop" drills and the regular siren tests on Friday mornings, but I never felt a day-by-day threat such as you described. I guess I knew it in the back of my mind, but it wasn't something I consciously thought of very often.
I was a back-room 'Cold-Warrior' towards the end of the Cold War era. I knew full well that if shit hit the fan, my call up papers were in the office safe. Next stop BAOR (British Army of the Rhine) and short haircut and some camouflaged clothes followed by a Soviet PoW camp if I'm lucky! If I stayed where I was, I'd be turned into a black shadow on the floor as the Rooskies nuked where I worked.
To be serious, once the INF agreement is out of the way, then we could descend into a real shooting war as future tempers become frayed leading to someone doing something stupid. Perhaps we should also follow the power and money. Who stands to benefit from this? Was Trump just doing his Russian masters bidding? Could Trump have simply been out-manoeuvred by the far more skilled Russians, causing him the pull out thus, making the USA the bad guys?
What this can do, is give Putin an excuse to carry out power grabs along his border states by political intervention and then direct invasion once a destabilisation of the EU has happened following Brexit.
The cold war never ended, we just thought it was over, we've been under attack the entire time.
For the same reason that Confederate flags keep flying, just because the Soviet Union fell apart there's no reason to believe that the Russian agenda has changed one iota.