After reading about and comparing today’s events to the events of the Cold War, it has stricken me that we are in an era of a Second Cold War right now as we speak. Although in today’s world the situation is different, and there are new issues to deal with, history has pretty much repeated itself exactly, but with some differences.
Instead of the Red Scare being towards the American people and Hollywood the entire focus is on the Trump Administration and their ties to Russia. In today’s Second Cold War, the American people are more afraid that their own government has ties to the Russian government and more importantly Vladimir Putin. Also, instead of the president supporting and creating intelligence agencies, like in the First Cold War, it’s a battle between President Trump and the intelligence agencies, mainly the FBI and CIA.
In a poll ran by AOL, 52 percent of those surveyed are concerned with the Trump Administration and its possible ties to Russia. 45 percent surveyed said they aren’t concerned and three percent said they aren’t sure about their opinion given the current information.
Another poll reported by The Hill also showed that majority of Americans are concerned and view the Trump Administration’s ties to Russia as harmful to the U.S. 20 percent of those polled believed that President Donald Trump had illegal dealings with Putin.
While the Red Scare barely did much in the lines of finding Communist spies in the United States, evidence of the Trump Administration having dealings with Russia continue to pop up. In an article published by Billings Gazette, the FBI has information that associates of President Trump talked to suspected Russian operatives to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
However, the similarities to the First Cold War don’t stop there, President Trump. Business Insider published an article on January 4 analyzing the nuclear arms race and the current president. On December 22, 2016, President Trump tweeted saying, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”
Back in the First Cold War this was also a popular ideal. That the United States needs to have more nuclear weapons than other countries. In essence, President Trump is restarting the arms race once again.
What also spells Second Cold War is the fact that the president’s proposed budget calls for increased spending in defense and homeland security. The First Cold War was the first time the U.S. poured money into defense when not fighting in a war, and that seems to be happening again. Instead of fighting Russia however, the United States government’s efforts are turned towards ISIS, North Korea and China.
With North Korea having their own arms race to in essence be prepared for war against possibly South Korea, Japan and the U.S., Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that conflict with North Korea isn’t off the table. This could possibly spell a Korean War II, or more technically the end of the ceasefire in the near future since the Korean War has never officially ended.
However, this will only happen if North Korea does something to spark the U.S. government to act, like the advancement of nuclear technology, or an attack on South Korea or Japan.
Another less military similarity to the First Cold War is that President Trump said that he wants to “dominate space”. President Trump also recently gave more funding to NASA for Mars exploration. If other countries follow suit, we could see a second space race much like the First Cold War, except instead of the moon it would be the exploration and colonization of Mars.
While a second space race is less likely more than all the others, it’s still possible considering other countries like China and India have begun to be more relevant in space technology and missions.
With all of this in mind it’s clear to me that we are currently in the era of a Second Cold War. This era has just started ever since the first rumors of President Trump’s campaign having dealings with Russia. When it will end it is unclear, nor is it unclear that this Second Cold War will turn into World War III (that’s another discussion).