Expert: Russia Should Avoid Another Cold War

The past several months have seen tensions mounting between the U.S. and Russia.  Several Russian nationals were indicted on charges of trying to meddle in the 2016 Presidential election, the U.S. expelled Russian diplomats and closed one embassy over the Russians' alleged poisoning of a British spy, and the U.S. military has taken action against Russian forces in Syria.  It all adds up to predictions of another Cold War ahead.  But one expert says a repeat of the Cold War would be bad news for Vladimir Putin and Russia.

Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, believes Russia has much more to lose by ramping up tensions with the U.S.  He recently wrote an essay on the subject and spoke about it in an interview with Fox News.  Kazianis says President Trump's actions have only helped the U.S. strategically.  "Arming the Ukrainians, pushing back on Syria, helping our Baltic friends...(Trump) is showing President Putin that we are going to operate from a position of strength," he told Fox News.

When it comes to a 'tale of the tape' on a U.S.-Russia showdown, Kazianis points to three major areas of strength for the United States.  On military--the U.S. spends over $700 billion while Russia spends about $46 billon; on economy--the U.S. Gross Domestic Product is $19 trillion, while Russia's is about $1.4 trillion; and the U.S. has far more allies around the world who would support it in a conflict.  "I think it's incumbent on the Russians to decide one thing they want to be a rogue nation, do they essentially want to be the North Korea of Europe," asks Kazianis.

Ultimately, Kazianis believes Putin would be wise to find ways to work with the U.S. and not continue to increase tensions.  "Eventually where this could go is the United States will have to dust off that old Cold War playbook of containment, and we have to remember that is what brought down the Soviet Union," he says.  "So Vladimir Putin needs to be very careful."

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