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Will The Renewed USA - Russia Lead To New Global War?

Updated on October 19, 2015

Aircraft carriers

French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (right) and the American nuclear-powered carrier USS Enterprise
French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (right) and the American nuclear-powered carrier USS Enterprise | Source

Earlier USA-USSR Rivalries and their impact on Global Peace.

The cold war which existed between USA and USSR began exactly after the Second World War in 1945. The two countries emerged as the World’s superpowers after the war. The USA was in the Western block and its allies in NATO and the Eastern bloc consisting of USSR and its allies in the Warsaw pact. Although they never engaged each other directly, these two superpowers supported the opposite sides on various proxy wars in different parts of the world.

USA and Russia Nuclear weapon stockpiles


A Map showing North and South Korea boundary


The Korean war of 1950- 1953

The USSR provided material and moral support to North Korea during the war. It supplied the North Koreans and its allies China with weapons, military vehicles medicines, doctors and even pilots during the war so that they could effectively attack South Korea, American and UN forces. The USSR also assisted North Korea with a great number of its war aircrafts mainly the MIG 15 Jet fighters. The UN forces used the American made F-68 Sabre, LockheedF-80 among others. The USA supported South Korea in order to limit the USSR influence and power in Korea. The US army was a part of the United Nations forces which were to maintain peace and order in Korea. This war led to an increased USA expenditure on military forces. Both USA and Britain fought together as UN forces during the Korean war and this greatly strengthened their military relations.

Crafts used during Korean war

F4U-4 | Source

Students opposed to Vietnam war


Vietnam/ Second Indochina war

After the Korean war, the next proxy war was Vietnam war of 1960s. Fighting occurred in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. North Vietnam was supported by USSR and China while South Vietnam was supported by USA and its allies. The USA helped North Vietnam conduct heavy bombing of the Northern side of Vietnam. This war led to a heavy loss of lives (800,000 – 3.1 M).USSR is believed to have provided logistical and moral assistance to the Northern communist during the war. After the removal of Khruschev as the leader in power, the new leader, Aleskei Kosygin signed a treaty of support with North Vietnam. North Vietnam jet fighter pilots were trained by Russia. There have been reports that a number of USSR military personnels operated in Vietnam and mainly assisted in shooting down American fighter jets.

The Afghan - Soviet war

Afghan village destroyed by the Soviets
Afghan village destroyed by the Soviets | Source

The Afghan - Soviet war (1979-1989)

During the Soviet- Afghan war, Western forces supported countries which fought USSR. The Western allies through other Arab countries and China supported the rebels. The USSR massive carpet bombing led to destruction of villages and communities. The United states Government under Presudent Jimmy Carter placed a trade embargo on USSR which further increased tension between the two countries. The Mujahideen rebel group fighting against USSR received support from USA, Arab countries and their allies.

The collapse of USSR following the separation of countries which formed it greatly weakened Russia. It does no longer spend the huge amounts of money it used to spend for military purposes. Russia however remains one of the strongest countries in the world militarily. Their only rivals are the Americans.Their army possess weapons like Borei class nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine, RT-2PM2 Topoi- M, about 2,000 tactical nuclear heads among others.

War in Ukraine

Battalion "Donbas" in Donetsk region
Battalion "Donbas" in Donetsk region | Source

War in Syria

One of the emerging moments of rivalry between Russia and USA and its allies seem to be developing in Syria. The Western allies have accused Russia of supporting the government of Al Assad a claim which Russia has denied. It has stated clearly that it is fighting the ISIS organization. The Western allies are supporting the rebels who are fighting for the removal of al Asaad administration.

Property destruction in Syria

Azaz Syria during the Syrian Civil War Displacement with Tractor
Azaz Syria during the Syrian Civil War Displacement with Tractor | Source

The recent rivalry between USA and Russia

The two global military powers were once again rivals in Ukraine. The Western powers accused Russia of supporting revolution in Ukraine. They even had evidence of arms support on rebels. This included the evidence of Satellite photos which showed Russian tanks crossing the border to enter Ukraine. They claimed that it was Russia which was supporting the separists in Ukraine region of Crimea.

Major issues which may arise from continued rivalry.

If the war in Syria goes to other levels, there may be risks of poorly coordinated air traffic system which may lead to collision or “friendly” fire in Syria. This would create suspicion and worsen the conflict of the different global powers. This may lead to the use of deadly weapons such as nuclear weapons as a way of outdoing each other. There are reports that the USA military have been practicing “blips” over Washington so as to protect themselves from any nuclear threat from the Russian cruise missile. There have been reports that Russia is already violating the Strategic arms reduction treaty signed between the two nations which is actually a threat to global peace. Some of the UK’s policy makers have expressed fear of conducting airstrikes in Syria due to the high risks of collision with the Russian forces. What impact do you think that this continued rivalry will have on global peace? Will it lead to the use of nuclear weapons in order to show weapon and military might?

The Coalition air strike in Syria

FA-18 launch during Inherent Resolve
FA-18 launch during Inherent Resolve | Source


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    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 

      3 years ago from Canada

      I don't think that I am being just a blind optimist by saying that, barring accidents, there is no chance of another global war. Nuclear weapons are the biggest guaranty that it won't happen. In the past two world wars the initiators could count on "hiding" somewhere in case of a defeat - as they actually did. In case of a nuclear war, the radiation of the aftermath would make their hiding impossible, as the whole planet would be affected. Besides, the very psychology of a victory is greatly spoiled by no possibility of a "glorification" in a world that has turned into one massive ruin. I think that nuclear race is just at the same significance like in times of Cold War : a pure psychological chess game.


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