Published 17-10-2012, 06:51
MA, Diplomacy and International Conflict Management
"Never trust the Ruskies”. "Beware of the Red Threat”. "The Soviet Union is an Evil Empire.” These were slogans and retorts I heard growing up in public school and as an American Soldier at the height of the Cold War. As a former US Army soldier who held Top Secret Clearances and worked directly for the Assistant Chief of Staff of the Army for Intelligence, Lieutenant General William E. Odom, this experience ingrained a deep understanding of this part of our national history . General Odom later became Director of the National Security Agency. He was one of the Intelligence community’s top experts on the Soviet Union.
All during my time at the Pentagon, I was fortunate to meet luminaries like General Maxwell Thurman, General Daniel Graham and other Cold War military leaders. I learned a great deal about the Soviets, their spy missions and even later on met several of their top former KGB Operatives and Leaders.
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and emergence of the Russian Federation, the East –West Cold War conflict was replaced by competing markets, competing interest, and ironically shared security concerns. What are the shared security concerns between Moscow and Washington, DC? China.
World War II found the United States and Soviet Forces allied against European Fascism and Japanese Imperialism. The Cold War followed and two nuclear weapon super powers faced off until my generation. Now, a young Russian and American generation face a rising world economic crisis, Jihadi terrorism, and a rising military and global currency threat aimed at them coming from China.
With the fragmenting European Union, unstable world currency markets and terrorist attacks by flagless organizations, dissolving former alliances in North Africa and Middle East, Russia, America and Europe, will compete with China over oil, gas and natural resources to sustain their exploding populations.
US/Russian contentions may become obsolete in the face of these new emerging challenges. This may be one of those shifts in history, if we but have the foresight to begin negotiations to relax tensions, find common ground, and become stronger trading partners. The East Europeans would prefer to develop along their own path without undue influence from Moscow. Moscow would like to be a strong trading partner in more than weapons. Western Europe will need to be led out of its economic crisis. The US in spite of our currency crisis will pull back from the brink of the abyss and remain a force for good in the world, if we return to the core principles we were founded upon.
The bursting populations of China and India, and their burgeoning need to be fed will push them beyond their borders in the decades to come. Fresh water, farm land, produce and the ability to deliver it to population centers world wide, will be the source of future contentions and wars, not over ideology but national survival.
The remaining Super-Power and former adversary, combining the ingenuity of their people, military strength and economic vitality make better sense for the survival of all people than it does as perpetual enemies against each other. Imagine our combined efforts in technology, space exploration, ocean harvesting, medical research and economic boom, if our military budgets used to keep each other at bay, were used for humanitarian advancement. If our combined military alliances, would dissuade adventurism from a growing military threat in the East, it would benefit them more than if they were forced to it, by several billion hungry countrymen.
The course of human history has led us out of the dark ages to the wealth of nations and in the near future to the very survival of humanity, if we remain petulant in our own time.
I posit for scholarly discourse and foreign policy study, the idea of another alliance with the Russian people. This generation will need to follow a path that will lead to cooperation and peaceful resolutions of international conflicts.
If we, as a Nation, continue on the path toward irresolute perniciousness and bone headed, short sightedness, we will bequeath to future generations a world beset with conflict and the revolutionary idea of individual freedom, a relic of the distant past.