It will be interesting to watch the developing events in the Crimea with some knowledge of what’s gone in the area in the last 70 years.
The region, which was once securely inside the Soviet bloc during the Cold War, may now be “permanently” back under Russian control.
The recent political developments in Ukraine once again shone a light on the fact that it’s a nation divided. The Crimea and the Ukraine proper were one of those clumsy geopolitical couplings of convenience rather than true similarity.
It was nation divided prior to the Russian move into the area and the sudden instability created by the change in government provided an excellent opportunity for Russia to change their policy on the fly.
While it’s easy to criticize Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s move into the area, it’s hard not to be impressed by his reading of the tea leaves.
Would the U.S. go to war for Crimea?
Almost certainly not. While some hawks are demanding blood in the war-weary nation to our south, quick action is unthinkable.
In fact, if you look back at any number of the chess moves by the United States and the Soviet Union in recent decades, American presidents regardless of their political stripe acted carefully.
President Barack Obama’s measured tone has been the correct one, even as the right wing is suggesting that Putin’s move was made out of a lack of respect for the U.S. leader. It’s hard to imagine Putin not making the same move with Mitt Romney in the White House because Romney’s response would have been the same; no one is getting very aggressive over the Crimea, regardless of what NATO’s obligations may be in the area.
Russia says it hopes this doesn’t spark another Cold War, but what else could they tell the world?
When there is an even playing field -- and a nuclear deterrent -- the Cold War showed that the big boys essentially do what they want. Putin made one of those moves by going into Crimea.
The biggest difference now is that with China in the game, there are three bulls in the pen instead of two.
This isn’t likely to be the last move by the big three as they consolidate their regional and strategic power bases.
The other wildcard is the delicate nature of the global economy at present. It’s unlikely that a wild new spending war is about to begin because none of the players are in a position to finance it.
Ronald Reagan proved 30 years ago that could spend your way to victory, and it’s a path that none of the three would be wise to embark upon.
Since Canada is likely a spectator rather somebody’s potential next roll of the dice in this global game of Risk, we’ll have to hope that the responses remain wise.
The alternative is unthinkable.
Prince Albert Daily Herald