As of June 2015, relations between the United States and Russia are so badly deteriorating that some observers are reminded of our infamous Cold War of 1947 – 1991.
At the heart of the corrosion is the aggression of Vladimir Putin’s Russia through annexation of the Crimea, Russian military intervention in Ukraine, and flight tests of a ground-based cruise missile with a range banned by our 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
Putin’s predictable response is that Russia has not violated the INF, that there is no need to fear Russia and that the U. S. has violated the INF.
Meanwhile, other world superpowers including Canada, France Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the U. S. and the European Union are attending the G7 Summit in Germany and apparently moving toward a tough stance on Russia’s aggression and violations. The G7 is also considering extending sanctions already imposed against Russia in connection with its militarism in Ukraine.
Russia was specifically excluded from the Summit due to the Putin-led aggression and violations. In fact, Canada has warned Russia that it will never rejoin the G7 so long as Putin is in command, tough talk that Canada can back up: it takes a consensus of all member nations, including Canada, to allow another country into G7. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper states that Putin is so contrary and divisive that in Putin’s mind “the Cold War has never ended.”
At this point, the U. S. is weighing its options in the face of Russian aggression and treaty violations, including but not limited to “counterforce” and “countervailing strike capabilities” that could mean destroying targets within Russia itself.
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