Who says the US wants another Cold War?

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said yesterday that the US is going to ramp up military aid to Poland and Russia’s neighboring Baltic states. The encirclement or rather containment strategy is an interesting shift from the expansionary post-Cold War 1 strategy. After the Soviet Union fell the US has been steadily pushing east with EU and NATO membership until it has now hit Ukraine where, not surprisingly, it is meeting Russian resistance.

The announcement by Secretary Hagel seems to be a solidification of the new battle lines.

The United States plans to expand military cooperation with Poland and Baltic states to show “support” for its allies after Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel said Wednesday.

“This morning the Defense Department is pursuing measures to support our allies,” including expanded aviation training in Poland and increasing the US role in NATO’s air policing mission over Baltic countries, Hagel told lawmakers.

Subtle.

The question is how far will these symbolic responses go? The crisis in Ukraine is the result of a decades long provocation by US/EU forces – who of course are pretending publicly to be amazed by a rather logical response by Russia to encroachment.

At the same hearing, General Martin Dempsey, the US military’s top-ranking officer, said he had spoken to his Russian counterpart, General Valery Gerasimov earlier Wednesday, urging “restraint.”

“I conveyed to him the degree to which Russia’s territorial aggression has been repudiated globally. I urged continued restraint in the days ahead, in order to preserve room for a diplomatic solution,” the general said.

Yes I, like you dear reader, have no choice but to think about the Iraq War and how hypocritical that statement is. But let’s move on.

The US/EU can not help overthrow the  government in Ukraine, demand the opposition be recognized as the new government while offering them a billion dollar bribe, then call out Russia for “interfering in a sovereign country.” Well, clearly they can, they just can’t be taken seriously while doing so.

The US empire is now at the gates of the Russian empire and Ukraine, as Professor Stephen Cohen says, is the “brass ring” signaling complete triumph in Cold War 1. But now we see that ring will come at a huge price, likely a war with a nuclear power. Time for a rethink.

Update: Crimea Parliament votes to join Russia.