Russia remains an uncertainty to the United States. With recent developments in both countries, one wonders if the world will embark upon another Cold War, but with the age that we currently reside in, that might be the last thing we expect.
Foremost, the recent developments in Russia, specifically the annexation of Crimea and an increased presence in the Middle East, global ripples have pivoted toward the United States. Specifically Europe and the remaining non-NATO countries. As Russia exercises its military might, many countries, such as Finland, which has witnessed Russian aircraft cross through Finland territory.
Finland’s premier diplomat to Russia, Hannu Himanen, calls for the debate on whether Finland should plunge into a NATO alliance. Other Baltic states, such as Sweden conducted military training with NATO troops in September.
This could potentially lead to aggravated tensions in Russia, as President Putin could sway this as the West trapping neutral countries into its influence.
The majority of politicians within the Finnish system believe the current status quo leaves everyone better off, but kudos to Himanen for at least acknowledging a possible threat to Finland’s sovereignty.
Moreover, citizens in another Eastern European country, Estonia, have formed the Estonian Defense League, which acts as a militia that has trained and prepared for a possible Russian invasion.
The US has increased its presence in Eastern Europe, particularly in Poland, where President Obama’s administration and currently President Trump’s administration have assured various European countries that the US will support European nations if war between East and West ever turned hot.
However opposition toward President Putin grows in Russia. A possible, strong opponent against Putin, Alexei Navalny, has lost his bid for the presidency due to embezzlement charges. Sources in Russia say that President Putin has this year’s election in the bag, but 2024 poses the biggest concern for him.
That being said Russia continues to stymie US foreign diplomacy. Interests in Syria and Iran continue to worsen as Russia backs Bashar al-Assad. Obviously, Eastern Europe again sits as the breeding ground for East-West conflicts.
The question being,how should the United States respond to Russia? Do we abandon Eastern European countries, who feel helpless and frightened against Russian aggression, or do we continue to dive into the quagmire that is the Middle East?
These questions need reevaluating as Russia toys with the balance of power in the world.
At the moment, Europe seems to be the biggest initiative for the United States money, instead of the Middle East. Will the United States push for a pseudo-Marshall Plan? We will wait and see.
Henri Baxhellari is a contributing writer for The Bradlo. Any views expressed by contributors should not be interpreted as the view of The Bradlo.