Relations between Washington and Moscow are at their lowest point in many decades and have entered what I would call the Cold War 2.0. Objectively, there is no reason for a new Cold War: There is no ideological confrontation between communism and democracy and no global competition between economic and political systems. Yet, the relationship between Russia and the United States continues to deteriorate and become more and more dangerous.
There are 4 reasons why I use the term Cold War 2.0 in describing the current state of affairs:
1. All of the stereotypes of the original Cold War have been revived: Propaganda has replaced serious strategic analysis; the ugly “enemy image” is back and fake facts dominate the public opinion.
2. The normal political interaction between the two countries has come to a standstill. The Russian-American Presidential Commission and the NATO-Russia Council have been paralyzed. There is a nasty “embassy war” and travel between the two countries is more difficult.
3. Instead of economic cooperation, trade and investments have been weaponized. It seems that economic sanctions will be in place for many years.
4. A new arms race has started and military tensions are growing. Arms control is in a deep crisis: Some treaties have been cancelled, and remaining agreements, like the INF Treaty and New START, are under attack.
Today, Russian-American relations contribute to a growing chaos in the international system, instead of providing the backbone to global security in a multipolar world. Is it possible to stop and reverse these dangerous developments? Can we stabilize the situation and reinvigorate arms control? Can we develop new cooperative approaches between Russia and the United States?
I’m hopeful that the work of ISKRAN and CISSM can help to promote the search for solutions.