Russia and security

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The current dangerous situation in Ukraine, is I believe the result of American foreign and defence policy makers’ shortsightedness. During the Cold War, the U.S. and Soviet Union were careful not to make the other feel militarily insecure, as this could result in dangerous or provocative behaviour by the other which could then trigger a nuclear war in which both countries would be annihilated. 

Russia’s move into Ukraine has been brought about by a deep feeling of national insecurity on Russia‘s part. This has come about by the fact that most former Warsaw Pact members have joined NATO, resulting in NATO members now pushing up against the Russian western border with only Ukraine as a buffer. Indeed, in 2008, then-president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev stated “no country would be happy about a military bloc approaching its borders.” Even of more concern for Russia are U.S. plans for a missile defence system in Europe (there already is a European missile defence shield, which is operational at a limited basis) that Russia worries may target and negate its nuclear forces. In May 2012, Russia’s top general warned that the missile defence situation could lead to “a decision to use destructive force pre-emptively.”

Indeed, the U.S. was prepared to go to war with the Soviet Union over the nuclear missile bases in Cuba back in 1962. The reason? The bases made America insecure, the same way Russia is feeling now. How would Americans and Canadians feel about Russian nuclear missile bases being built in Mexico?

It doesn’t help that the U.S. supported the overthrow of the democratically elected leader of Ukraine so that a leader friendly to the west could be undemocratically put in place.

Making Russia feel safe and secure will make everybody safe and secure because Russia would have no need for provocative actions.

Doug Smith

Grand Falls-Windsor

Organizations: NATO, Warsaw Pact

Geographic location: Russia, Ukraine, U.S. Europe Soviet Union Cuba Mexico

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  • Politically Incorrect
    March 12, 2014 - 07:32

    Well put. Neil Macdonald presented an interesting (if not “officially” sanctioned) editorial on the CBC site last week.