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Warning from Russia

  1. Apr 26, 2007 #1

    Art

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    Over the past 18 months or so the Russian president Putin has leveled criticisms against the West on a raft of issues. The most recent complaint was in his address today to the Russian parliament wherein amongst other things he complained about the US defense shield.

    In response Condoleezza Rice said
    Ludicrous or not this is hardly what one would call a diplomatic response by a senior member of the US gov't to concerns expressed by the president of what is still a major military power.

    The strident language emanating from both sides is more reminiscent of the megaphone diplomacy of the cold war and so the question is are we heading for cold war II and if so is this something the West should be concerned about?


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6594379.stm
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2007 #2
    Nahh Soviet block collapsed, wont be another cold war. However it doesnt mean that Russia in its new form wont try bullying America or its neighbors to get what it wants..
     
  4. Apr 26, 2007 #3

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    Russia doesn't have the money for another Cold War. The only possibility is China and we can give them a few decades to catch up before we join...
     
  5. Apr 26, 2007 #4

    Art

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    Perhaps the Russians and some of the US's NATO allies don't see it that way.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,2054142,00.html#article_continue
     
  6. Apr 26, 2007 #5
    In the meantime, we'll just send all of our money there.
     
  7. Apr 26, 2007 #6

    russ_watters

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    It doesn't much matter how they see it or talk about it. What matters is what they can do. And they quite simply don't have the money to start an arms race.
     
  8. Apr 26, 2007 #7
    Money? You obviously have not been to Moscow recently. There is a LOT of money in Russia right now. Regardless it never stopped them before... I dont think that would the reason why they wont start another cold war, its because the global political climate is very different than that of after ww2. The soviets are gone, and we have a new Russia, who is getting more and more rich.
     
  9. Apr 26, 2007 #8
    Not to mention Russia is the richest country in natural recources. The whole periodic table is in siberia just waiting to be tapped.
     
  10. Apr 26, 2007 #9

    Art

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    Russia gets most of it's income from selling fuel to europe. They have already massively increased prices for natural gas over the past 2 years so if there is an arms race Russia will finance it's build up out of the rest of Europe's pockets.

    It is also worth bearing in mind that Russia doesn't have to compete in an arms race $ for $. They have only to spend a relatively small amount to create a plausible threat in strategic areas such as on Poland's borders to necessitate a much larger expense from the West in counter measures.

    Russia also has a valid point in questioning the continuing existence of NATO. This was originally a military alliance formed as a defense against the Soviet Union yet since the Soviet Union's demise instead of disbanding or at lest scaling back, NATO has actually increased it's membership. One wonders why???
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  11. Apr 26, 2007 #10
    you know, the usa could be getting a lot more help from other world powers such as russia and china on issues like iraq and iran. the problem is that american interests are apparently not interests that are congruent with other world powers.

    for example. why would russia want to try to influence iran to stop supplying IED materials to militias in iraq with the intent of easing pressure on american forces there when the usa insists on ignoring russian concerns in areas like missile defense. perhaps if iran keeps this up, the americans will have more pressing matters to worry about then missile defense.
     
  12. Apr 26, 2007 #11

    russ_watters

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    That's a completely meaningless thing to say. Here's the fact: Russia's PPP GDP last year was $1.73 trillion.

    https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/rs.html

    China's was $10 trillion and the US $13.98 trillion.
    Are you suggesting they are going to go back to a communist dictatorship? Otherwise, that's also a completely meaningless thing to say.
    Well yes, that is the main point: they aren't going to want to start a cold war, even if they could.
     
  13. Apr 26, 2007 #12

    russ_watters

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    NATO's existence today is a counter to the ineptitude of the UN. The prototypical example of this is Yugoslavia, 1995. It isn't a threat to Russia, but it is a threat to the UN.
     
  14. Apr 26, 2007 #13

    russ_watters

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    Regarding the issue in the OP, I don't see any other way to describe Putin's statement besides the word "ludicrous". Perhaps "rediculous", but they pretty much mean the same thing. With a planned missile shield of 10 interceptor's, the purpose is clear and the capabilities are utterly unsuitable for defense against a Russian nuclear attack.
     
  15. Apr 26, 2007 #14
    Irrespective of any actual threat from Russia or China currently, Condy's remark still bothers me--same ole we'll do what we want, when we want, and to hell with everyone else. A secretary of state should at least give the impression of being a diplomat. Course this is the gal who gave us the smoking gun might be a mushroom cloud remark GW seized upon in his speech.
     
  16. Apr 27, 2007 #15
    GDP and the money a country has available to it to tap are not the same thing. GDP is a reflection of work done and payment for that work rather than the amount of cash available to the government. As I already stated Russia has a lot of money...
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2007
  17. Apr 27, 2007 #16

    Art

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    Russia now has the third largest reserves in the world with annual growth of 7-8% so they are certainly not anywhere near the economic basket case they used to be plus as I said already an arms race doesn't mean you spend a $ and we'll spend a $ so I think it is fair to say money isn't a decisive factor in whether or not a new cold war develops.

    Estonia too is another source of friction, ever since they joined the EU and NATO they seem to be going out of their way to irritate and annoy Russia in any way they can.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2007
  18. Apr 27, 2007 #17

    Art

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    Probably also didn't help that she referred to the 'Soviet nuclear arsenal' in her comment. A slip of the tongue no doubt but one which could also be construed as an insult by Russia, a little like when people you deal with often forget your name.
     
  19. Apr 27, 2007 #18
    Good point Bob. Errrm I mean Art
     
  20. Apr 27, 2007 #19

    russ_watters

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    Having a lot of mineral wealth and having a lot of money are not the same thing. Most of Russia's mineral wealth is unrealized: it costs money to dig/pump it out of the ground and that is money they don't have.

    You talk like there is money sitting in banks ready to be spent on weapons. There isn't: Russia has a relatively low public debt (8%), but it also doesn't have good enough credit to get more.

    If Russia switched back to dictatorial communism tomorrow, making every penny of their GDP run through the government, they would still have less money available than our government does - and with more responsibilities to spend it on. Add to that the loss of the breakaway republics which decreased their population and other resources, they are a long, long way from being able even to turn their military back into something that the rest of the world considers functional, much less a force worthy of paying attention to.

    So for the way you are using the word, you are incorrect. No, Russia does not have a lot of money.

    All that said, if you have some actual facts (such as financial stats) that back up your claim, I'd be glad to evaluate them....
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2007
  21. Apr 27, 2007 #20
    I didnt say that... Honestly I dont have the energy to traipse through the internet to satisfy your need for some accountants figures who just so happens to have counted all the money in Russia. So you will just have to take my word for it that there is a LOT of money in Russia, and GDP is totally irrelevant to what I am saying, as I hope you know. Your facts are a best guess anyway, so instead of attempting to undermine my statement you should look at yours first. I am not going to try and redefine or attempt to argue with you on "what is money" I will simply say this:
    If you honestly think that Russia doesnt have "the money" to start an arms race against the USA, you are very wrong. However there are other far more important reasons why you are correct in saying there will not be an arms race, money isnt one of them.
     
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