The New Cold War Continues to Escalate


Tension and conflict escalate in the new Cold War. The Middle Eastern front continues to expand amidst growing tension between Russia and Ukraine.

The Navy Times reported late last week that on four separate occasions, Iranian naval boats harassed US warships patrolling the Persian Gulf. One encounter was close enough that an American vessel fired warning shots. These sea confrontations between the US and Iran are increasing, according to US statistics.

Meanwhile, Newsweek is reporting on a new Cold War between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Saudi Arabia has an alliance, of sorts, with the US. They are a major exporter of oil, a vital strategic resource to America. The US in turn provides military support to the Saudi regime to ensure the supply continues undisrupted. This guarantees Saudi Arabia’s security in the Middle East, both internally and externally. Therefore any impact on Saudi Arabia’s security is also viewed by the US as a strategic threat to its interests. Thus, a Cold War between Saudi Arabia and Iran also heightens tensions between America and Iran, and this is exactly what’s happening now.

The clash between Saudi Arabia and Iran is one of differing Islamic sects that each country sees itself as representing. For Saudi Arabia, this is the Sunnis, and for Iran, the Shia. Out of this rivalry, not one, but two proxy wars are being fought. Both proxy wars involve countries the US is also engaged in, as part of its War on Terror. The two countries are Syria and Yemen.

In another part of the world, we’re seeing Ukraine emerge as a focal point for growing tension between America and Russia.

Things began to get hot in Ukraine back when President Viktor Yanukovych abruptly killed the country’s negotiations to enter the EU in 2013. With corruption running rampant, and the country a powder keg of unrest, this was the spark that set it off. Massive protests and calls for Yanukovych to resign began, and unable to put down the revolution that was taking place, Yanukovych fled to Russia.

Ukraine then set up an interim government, which Russia refused to recognize, having condemned the Ukrainian revolution as an illegitimate coup d’état. This set off a Russian backed proxy war, the annexation of Crimea, and a NATO move to encircle of Russia and the ongoing deterioration of US-Russia relations.

The most recent escalation in this new Cold War is a buildup of 40,000 Russian troops along its border with Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also accusing Ukraine of committing acts of terror. Ukraine responded by ordering its own military to high alert.

The National Review is now calling upon the US cease diplomatic attempts to resolve the tension between the two counties. They suggest, instead, an increase in weapons shipments to Ukraine as part of an effort to “enable Ukraine to better defend itself against Russia’s military.” And Time Magazine is now calling Russia, Iran, and Syria, the new “Axis of Evil.”


Wisconsin Governor Declares State of Emergency


Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has issued Executive Order #209, declaring a State of Emergency after a fatal officer involved shooting.

The Executive Order was issued yesterday, in response to a Milwaukee County request for Public Safety Assistance. The State of Emergency was declared in response to citizen protests and “an escalation of civil unrest in Milwaukee County.” The Milwaukee County Sheriff has requested assistance from the National Guard to provide security and other essential services.

Violent protests erupted after police shot dead an armed suspect during a traffic stop on Friday. According to police, the 23 year old man was armed with a handgun loaded with 23 rounds of ammunition. The man has not yet been identified, and it’s unclear at this time as to whether or not he fired any shots. A second suspect was arrested after fleeing from the vehicle.

Within hours, scores of people took to the streets to protest. The protest quickly became violent as protesters threw rocks and bricks, set a gas station on fire, and fired gunshots. One police car was also set on fire, and the windows of two more squad cars were smashed. One officer has been injured after being struck by a thrown brick.

Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett announced that at least three people were arrested in relation to the protest. He also issued a plea for peace, saying “If you love your son, if you love your daughter text them, call them, pull them by the ears and get them home. Get them home right now before more damage is done.”

The officer involved in the fatal shooting has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.


Tensions between Russia and Ukraine Escalate

Burning-apartment-in Ukrainian-conflict

Ukrainian President Poroshenko has put the military on its highest state of combat readiness, while Russia announces plans for War Games for in the Black sea.

On Thursday, President Putin blasted Poroshenko for allegedly sending agents into Crimea to perform acts of terrorism. According to the Kremlin, that same day Putin conveyed a meeting of top military commanders to examine ““scenarios for counter-terrorism security measures along the land border, offshore and in Crimean airspace.” This comes in the wake of a recent skirmish, where the Russian Secret Service (FSB) says they prevented the commission of terrorist acts in Crimea, by the Ukrainian Chief Directorate of Intelligence. Russia claims two of its soldiers were killed in the incident.

Ukraine says the allegations are false, and that Russia is fabricating a pretext to escalate hostilities between the two countries. Ukraine’s UN ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko has said that Russia has placed over 40,000 troops in the border region, and that this accumulation of force could reflect “very bad intentions.”

A “quiet” war is  ongoing between Ukraine and Russian backed separatists, that has killed over 9,500 people. Last month was the bloodiest since the conflict began, with 42 Ukrainian soldiers killed.

The newspaper Ukraine Today is reporting that, in light of these recent events, Russia is considering breaking off diplomatic relations.

This latest flare up comes amidst many other international developments that occupy attention elsewhere. One notable distraction is the heated election in the US between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Meanwhile, the EU – to which Ukraine had sought membership in, in 2008 – is undergoing its own problems. Aside from the UK voting to leave the EU, many EU member countries are struggling to cope with the mass influx of refugees exiting their war ravaged countries.