FOERIGN AFFAIRS (By Odd Arne Westad)
March 27, 2018
For about four years now, since Russia’s occupation of Crimea and China’s launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, there has been much speculation about whether another Cold War between East and West is coming. In the last month alone, headlines have proclaimed that “The New Cold War Is Here,” heralded “Putin’s New Cold War,” and warned that “Trump Is Preparing for a New Cold War.” But are we really returning to the past? Contemporary politics is full of false analogies, and the return of the Cold War seems to be one of them.
It was a dramatic show of solidarity that has escalated long-standing tensions between Russia and the West.
On Monday, the US and its allies expelled dozens of Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK.
It was the biggest such expulsion since the height of the Cold War era and the hostilities with the then Soviet Union.
There are now fears of a serious diplomatic crisis and a freezing in relations between Moscow and the West which has raised the spectre of the Cold War once again.
By Andrew Higgins (NYTIMES)
MOSCOW — The expulsion of scores of Russian diplomats from the United States, countries across Europe and beyond has raised, yet again, the question of whether the world is veering back where it was during the Cold War. The alarming answer from some in Russia is: No, but the situation is in some ways even more unpredictable.
For all the tension, proxy conflicts and risk of nuclear war that punctuated relations between Moscow and the West for decades, each side knew, particularly toward the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, roughly what to expect. Each had a modicum of trust that the other would act in a reasonably predictable way.