20 March 2015
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its backing of secessionist rebels in Eastern Ukraine have set the Kremlin on a collision course with the West. The United States and its European allies have retaliated by imposing economic sanctions against Moscow and deploying North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops to Eastern Europe. The Obama administration has also signalled that its next step may be to send arms to the Kiev government.
In turn, the Putin regime has further raised the region’s temperature by despatching nuclear bombers perilously close to the airspace of the United Kingdom and other NATO states. Russian bombers have also increasingly transited the airspace over East Asia, particularly in the vicinity of Guam, which is home to a major US airbase.
Meanwhile, only last week the Russian government additionally announced its imminent withdrawal from the 1990 Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty.
From Washington’s vantage point, this frightening escalation of tension between the world’s two most formidable nuclear powers is deeply misguided. First, it is unnecessarily dangerous because although Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is contemptible and brutal, it does not encroach on any vital US interests.
…Evan Resnick is assistant professor and Coordinator of the United States Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 23/11/2015