What is the present role of Russia in the world? They are clearly still a superpower. But they are in no way as dominant a force as they were until the late 80’s. They clearly want to have their influence spread around the world, and they are not merely satisfied focusing on internal economic issues. Does Vladimir Putin harbor dreams of building up a new Soviet Union? Perhaps – but it won’t happen. It shouldn’t happen.
The Cold War
Perhaps the longest war of the 20th century was the Cold War. It was a battle between the Soviet Union and the Western World for domination and influence. This happened mostly in Europe, but it truly spanned the entire globe. It all began in the midst of World War II, when the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union were allies. They joined together to defeat the German Army. It was absolutely vital for all 3 major powers to come together in order to open multiple fronts against the German threat. Germany was manufacturing weapons at a rapid-fire pace and they invaded the Soviet Union following a domination of most of Europe. This was the largest battle in history. It was absolutely vital for the West to open up a new front in the West in order to defeat the Germany army.
But after the Germany Army was defeated and pushed back all the way to Berlin, the Soviet Army and the Western Armies converged – in Berlin. Then, the Cold War basically began. The President of the United States had become Harry S. Truman, and he along with Churchill who was on his way out of leadership in England, met with Chairman Stalin at Potsdam. They basically sat down and negotiated for weeks, but accomplished close to nothing. The Soviet Union was not willing to budge at all. Berlin became the new border between the East and the West. Soon after, Winston Churchill spoke about an Iron Curtain that the Soviet Union had placed between itself and the West.
The Spread of Communism
The Soviet Union then continued over the decades to try to expand their influence in Korea, Vietnam, Latin America, and the Middle East. The United States led the battle to contain the Communist threat. We basically succeeded, but at great cost of life – especially in Vietnam.
But by 1989, the Communist system that the Soviet Union lived by had become so rotten to the core that it fell apart economically from the inside. The West won the war. Today, the Soviet Union is no longer. But Russia is the largest fragment of the former Soviet Union. It’s dreams of building another empire should be contained – but largely through economic maneuvering and an occasional show of force. But we should be past the era of major conflicts in order to keep the world safe of tyranny from Russia.