Russia and NATO

There are some in America, especially on the right, that think the Cold War is still going. They consider Russia to still be the old Soviet Union, and they consider it the duty of America to oppose it at every turn.

This is absurd. Russia is not the old Soviet Union. It’s no longer an ideologically motivated superpower that’s armed to the teeth. Russia would like to be in control of more of the world. Russia would like to be a major player. But the fact is it isn’t, and the Russians are pretty well aware of that. They are both cautious and fairly unambitious. They’ve only been rumbling around for the past few years because Obama is a weak president.

If we had a strong president, the Russians would back down fast. They realize they’ve got a weak position and they don’t want to risk trouble. Besides, Russia is in a state of considerable turmoil at home. They don’t want any troublesome engagements abroad.

All the chest thumping about Putin and his alleged Soviet dreams are nonsense. Frankly I find it surprising that so many well thought of intellectuals in America give so much importance to a bombed out former superpower. Russia is not a strong country today. Russia’s leaders know this, and they’ve set their goals accordingly. They’ll snatch whatever crumbs they can for free. But they won’t risk major trouble.

And this bring me to NATO. One of the rising articles of faith in sections of the right is to strengthen NATO. But NATO is both burdensome and unnecessary. It’s burdensome because we pay most of the costs and supply most of the military might ourselves. It’s unnecessary because the USSR is gone. Despite what others have said, the USSR was the only reason for NATO’s existence. Without the Red threat, there’s really no need for it. There is no threat in the world that can possibly require the combined military action of the entire Western world.

As such, I find it bizarre that so many people on the right consider it the corner-stone of the West. They seriously talk about dismantling NATO as if it will unravel the West’s power. But NATO hasn’t done anything meaningful in over 20 years. Why is such an organization so necessary?

It’s an interesting study in psychology to consider. This is just a hunch, but I think that NATO is a part of their concept of the world. As I noted in a previous post, the modern right is locked in the Cold War. As such, it’s likely that NATO is a corner-stone of their thinking because it was a corner stone in the Cold War. Never mind that the Cold War is over. As I noted in another post, people tend to be left behind by current events because their minds were shaped by the past. As such, it’s still 1985 for many on the right.

That explains why they’re so attached to NATO. It also explains why they’re so irrationally afraid of Russia.