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Originally posted by maloy
Russia has recently been attempting to enter the world stage soon after Putin came to power, and increase its influence around the globe, with moderate difficulty.
To put it lightly, other world powers (read U.S. and team) are very reluctant to see Russia get out of its "neutered bear in a coma" state of 1990's. The government realized that the biggest thing going for Russia besides oil, is its nuclear assets. This is Russia's ace in the game of world politics.
Today Russia cannot match the military might and combat readiness around the world of U.S. and team.
So it decides to build on its competitive advantage - nuclear power. Putin declares that new ballistic missiles are being developed.
Then he makes a large investment in development of new ballistic submarines.
Then he cancels the various arms treaties that were meant but to neutralize Russia as much as possible during and after the Cold War.
And now he declares that Russia can use its nukes (wave them around, not launch) to play world politics. That's it.
I would have done the same, but it doesn't need nukes or nuclear threats to project its power around the globe. It has aircraft carriers, bomber fleets, and navy assets, and military bases around the world. That is how U.S. projects its power.
Russia simply cannot do this (nor can China or anyone else at this point). You can't expect them to sit the game out, so they are playing with what they have.
There is really no need to be concerned that Russia is going to nuke anyone first, because its government is hardly suicidal. But with this recent announcement there is a "what if" situation, which adds just a little bit of unpredictability.
This might do very little but force the U.S. to think twice about doing something idiotic as say attacking Iran with full force.
Maybe if the next Russian president will be a little more adventurous, he can yell out more sinister threats and even take off his shoe and shake it at U.S. diplomats. There will be at least a few people in the West who will use this as an excuse to hide in their underground shelters and prophesize on World War 3 (after all everyone is a little scared of unpredictable psychos, even if they only play the part).
Russia and U.S. may be on a slow collision path, but this collision will not involve any shooting, nuking, or armagedons (but you can still fantasize).
It will involve cleverly disguised speeches and threats, and a shoving match using all the know-how from the international economics/politics textbook.
Originally posted by Vitchilo
Do someone remember when China in the sixties was saying this: Bring nuclear war, we don't care if we lose 50% of our population, we have underground cities, we'll win in the end...
China doesn't see nuclear war as the end of the world, they have underground cities that they built during the cold war
The Soviets spend the equivalent of more than $1 billion annually (the CIA in Soviet Civil Defense estimates approximately $2 billion) on their CD program and have conducted some tests of their city evacuation plans. Although the extent of these tests is not fully known, they concentrate efforts on protecting political and military leaders, industrial managers, and skilled workers. Professor Richard Pipes of Harvard sees the CD organization under Altunin as "...a kind of shadow government charged with responsibility for administering the country under the extreme stresses of nuclear war and its immediate aftermath."24
The potential lifesaving effectiveness of the Soviet CD program is not a matter of unanimous agreement. However, several studies estimate casualty rates as low as two to three percent of the Soviet population in the event of nuclear war.25
In contrast to the U.S.'s desultory interest in civil defense, the Soviet Union is well advanced on a thoroughgoing program to protect its people against nuclear attack. The Soviet government has built shelters by the thousands and organized elaborate training programs, reported the Rand Corp.'s Leon Gouré, leading U.S. authority on Soviet civil defense, at a civil defense conference last week at the University of California at Los Angeles.
The Soviet civil defense effort is expanding steadily on a compulsory basis. "Once the Soviet government makes a decision of this sort," said Gouré, "it does not have to ask for public support or popular approval." Under directives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, all units right down to collective farms and apartment houses are required to organize so-called volunteer self-defense groups consisting of 48 trained fire fighters, shelter attendants and first-aid workers for every 500 residents. A claimed 22 million Soviet citizens—10% of the whole population-serve in these formations. Since 1955, these units have carried through three compulsory training courses for all citizens. This winter, says Gouré, the Soviet Union is giving every urban citizen between the ages of 16 and 55 an 18-hour course in how to protect himself against nuclear attack and how to behave in shelters. "Soviet shelter facilities," says Gouré, "are the most extensive anywhere." They range from concrete installations in every factory to the root cellar under every peasant hut.
They nearly went to nuclear war against the soviet union and some chineses generals were saying bring it on, we'll take back the whole asia.
Russia will soon change president, we'll soon see how much it will affect Russian's policies.
Originally posted by krill
reply to post by Vojvoda
thank you for pointing that out to me i had not been aware of the rise in oil prices idea, to tell the truth it completly never crossed my mind. i was aware that they provide a large quantity of oil, but for some reason did not connect the dots.