The Cold War is over. Right?
February 23rd, 2014
01:02 PM ET
9 years ago

The Cold War is over. Right?

(CNN) – Gay rights, Edward Snowden, Syria and now Ukraine: They’re all recent issues in which the United States and Russia have had disagreements.

Tension has always seemed to exist between the two countries, and that’s certainly been the case for President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Some days, it almost seems like the Cold War never went away.

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In the latest example, Ukraine, it appears the Russian-backed government of President Viktor Yanukovych has been removed from office after deadly protests, setting up a power vacuum in a country known for Russian meddling.

The U.S. stands with Ukrainian opposition forces hoping to increase democratic reforms and decrease influence from Moscow, while Russia slams the opposition, saying they failed to honor international agreements made last week aimed at ending the crisis.

The issue is a tough one for Obama. On one hand, he needs to act tough when dealing with Putin to please those who want the U.S. to stand up to Russia.

On the other hand, the President needs to be somewhat conciliatory. Russia and the U.S. are still dealing with the host of aforementioned problems that require cooperation, and despite their struggles over the past couple decades, Russia is still a global power.

But are all these issues the start of another Cold War? Not so much, Obama indicated last week.

“Our approach as the United States is not to see these as some Cold War chessboard in which we’re in competition with Russia,” Obama said Wednesday at a summit in Mexico.

“Our goal is to make sure that the people of Ukraine are able to make decisions for themselves about their future.”

But Sen. John McCain, a staunch critic of the Obama administration’s foreign policy and in particular its dealings with Russia, said that Obama is the most naïve president of his lifetime and that this situation is the latest example.

"The president said this had nothing to do with the Cold War," the Arizona Republican said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.” "In the eyes of Vladimir Putin, it does. He wants to restore the Russian empire.”

But Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said that dealing with Putin is tough, especially given his background.

“Let's remember that each president tries to find a positive track, but let’s not forget that Vladimir Putin wasn't just a member of the KGB, he was the head of the secret police, the Soviet KGB. This is a man that we should take very seriously,” Durbin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Still, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, said that issues in Ukraine give Obama another opportunity to engage Putin and the Russians.

“I believe the President needs to up his game and send a clear, unequivocal, public message to Putin not to interfere in what is happening in Ukraine. To let the Ukrainian people determine their future, to ensure that there is no interference in their sovereignty, and I think this is an important time for him to do that,” Ayotte said, also on Fox.

For all of the criticism about not being tough enough on Putin, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said that the President has held his ground but that the U.S. still must be pragmatic.

"The President is very plain and very forceful in his dealings with Putin. But it's not necessary, and it's not in our interest to return to a Cold War construct which is long out-of-date and doesn't reflect the realities of the 21st century," Rice said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

Filed under: President Obama • Russia • Vladimir Putin
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Kim

    More CIA color revolutions.
    The world is onto our games, since we have only one tired strategy.
    We are losing reserve currency due to our thugish bankers.
    Nobody trusts us anymore.

    February 23, 2014 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  2. John Stefanyszyn

    Senator Ayotte,
    President Obama has sent a clear message to President Putin.
    The message of President Obama, leader of the free world, is that he believes in the way of "freedom of self-rights"...for each to do what is right in their own eyes. It is this 'god above all fortresses' that is desired by all people, that is worshipped by all people, that is most powerful in the eyes of man.

    It is this "FREEDOM" that will cause the Ukrainian people to rule themselves.
    It is this "FREEDOM" that dictates that it is right to serve and magnify oneself (XES).
    It is this "FREEDOM" that President Obama has confessed in Jerusalem as being the "Light" and 'will' of his 'god'.
    ....and Senator Ayotte you too worship this same "self-freedom".

    AND this same "FREEDOM" also dictates that it is RIGHT to worship ANY 'god' as per one's own justification.

    BUT it was declared by the Son of the One God, Jesus Christ, that one is to worship the One Lord Creator and Him ALONE to serve in obedience.

    Note: it is Only the Lord Jesus Christ, He Who is Like the Father, He Who is of Him, From Him, and with Him, who will rule the earth in power according to and in obedience to the Will of the Only Creator and NOT according to man's first love for his "self-freedom".

    John Stefanyszyn
    ...a bondman of the One Lord and King Jesus Christ, Son of the One Creator.

    February 23, 2014 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  3. Matt

    Sure KGB but only Lt Col and in the GDR and why in his file it would say reckless risk taker, no exit strategy, no counters and that crackdown which basically would have lead to Russians forces entering western Ukraine, reckless, the military would have told him that. But it was the weather they had move before it warmed. He really can only use forces from Chechnya, Dagestan etc and short term, body bags are not popular in Russia, without the apartment bombing the body count to keep Chechnya would not have been tolerated. So he had to keep in mind the bulk of his forces for an occupation low KIA. Now having said that on one part it is EU expansion and a buffer, on the other Russia is basically a country of decentralized states. Even the corrupt old drunk would not let Chechnya go independent. Basically the UN not the EU should have brokered a deal and all monies EU, Russian, US via the IMF. To many vested interest too much mistrust. Anyway he who holds the reins is weaker than he who holds the fire cracker. The horse has a new mount.

    February 24, 2014 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  4. Tina

    I doubt the cold war is over. Obama hates Putin and I imagine the feelings are the same.. After all Obama cannot go on and on insulting world leaders and expect them to like him.. Why should they like him, half of America doesn't!

    February 24, 2014 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  5. Thomas

    The United States has started this mess, and now the media will spin it against Russia. Ron Paul warned against this interventionism.


    How did the USA start the mess ? And Ron Paul and his Son "Paul" are out of touch with reality .

    February 24, 2014 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
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