Russian Power is Required to Balance the World
Russia to my mind conjures up an image of a large bear. I also get a feeling that the Russian bear does not have very many claws. There was a time when Russia was the USSR and men like Stalin and later Nikita Khrushchev ruled the roost and made the Soviet Union a power to reckon with.
I have had a personal connection with the erstwhile Soviet Union. Being an officer of the air force I went any number of times to the old Russia- the Soviet Union. I am not aware of the politics involved but what I saw impressed me quite a lot.
The biggest takeaway from my schedules in Russia is the friendliness of the people, in particular, the Russian girls. Sometime back when the golden shower incident of Donald Trump hit the headlines, President Vladimir Putin mentioned that Russian girls are the best in the world. I will add further to this and say that the age-old phrase that Russian girls are the "loveliest of them all" is nothing but true. One experience stands out when I took my young Russian Corporal deep into Siberia on the Ural bike. I remember it was pretty cold and all we could look around and see for shelter was a small wooden shack with just a blanket. It was the most ruckus experience of my life and with the wind and rain outside and the temperature almost touching 2°. Yet it was a glorious time.
From the Indian point, Russia at that time was a big power. India had close relations with Russia and if my memory serves me right the USSR vetoed about 15-20 times, obnoxious resolutions sponsored by the UK and US in the Security Council on Kashmir. This was also the time when the Russians had almost 400 submarines floating all around the globe and many of them were nuclear-armed and they targeted the American mainland.
The US fleet was respectful of the Soviet submarine fleet. One can recollect that in 1962 during the Cuban crisis Khrushchev, the soviet PM played his cards very adroitly. He was able to get the Americans to dismantle their missiles from Turkey as he agreed to remove the IRBM from Cuba. But the biggest gain was that Kennedy signed on the dotted line never to destabilize the Castro regime in Cuba. The result of that promise was the Castro and his brother ruled Cuba for almost 60 years.
That was the age when the Americans realized they were not the only important power in the world. People like Nikita Khrushchev ensured that they were a counterpoise to the American power. One can recollect that during the famous 1971 war in East Pakistan, President Nixon had tilted towards Pakistan and ordered the Seventh Fleet to move to the Bay of Bengal. The Indians were not perturbed because at the same time the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev had ordered the Russian submarine fleet to tack on to the American carrier group.
The 70s was the high point of the USSR power and then the slide began. Gorbachev came with the unique idea of glasnost. I don't know if it was his idea or an idea by the CIA because glass note ended the Soviet Union- a state which had been kept with an iron grip by men like Stalin. It just collapsed like a house of cards. Gorbachov is guilty of this break up of the Soviet Union.
Losing World Power Status
Once Russia broke into 18 states the die was cast and Russia suddenly slipped down and lost its world powers status. Those were trying times and a pretty useless man like Boris Yeltsin came at the helm of affairs and under him, the Russians slid lower down.
The above is my view and was detrimental to the world order because, in the absence of Russia as a counterpoise to the USA, the vacuum was filled by China. The Russians were different from the Chinese, as China all along believed itself to be the inheritor and center of the world civilization. Even America is worried about China.
America as World Policeman
I am really surprised that the Americans have to make such a hue and cry about the nuclear weapons of a puny nation like North Korea but at the crucial moment, they allowed China and Pakistan to develop a nuclear arsenal. No American president or historian talks about this.
The exit of Russia from the scene in a way has been detrimental to America. Russia could have been a rallying force against China but surprisingly the American's have always gone soft on China. Now there is the Russia- China alliance but I have a gut feeling it won't last long. Russia under Vladimir Putin is now once again rising like the Phoenix, the mythical bird that rose from the ashes. The rise of Russia under Putin or whoever replaces him is good for world politics. For too long the Americans have arrogated to themselves the role of the world's policeman but that policeman is unable to police the world. They have allowed Pakistan to have nuclear weapons and they just sat back and watched when the Iranians captured over a hundred of their diplomatic personnel and kept them in cages for more than a year. They are on the verge of losing the Afghan war and they have nurtured the hydra of the ISIS and Taliban. We have now this sad spectacle of the Americans wanting to have a settlement with the Taliban knowing fully well that this means throwing in the towel.
I am nostalgic about Russian power because it's a friend of India and maybe because I have a dream. A dream that I could again go back to Russia and shack up with a Golden-haired Russian girl in a shack in Siberia. Is it possible? Harold Robbins Road "Dreams die first." I don't know what to say about the future