The fear of the world facing a devastating third world war continues to rise. And the dangerous blame game the two superpowers, the U.S. and Russia, are currently involved in isn’t helping either. Threats have now been directed both by the White House and the Kremlin against one another, as tensions between the two countries rise to its highest since the end of the Cold War.
Joe Biden gave an interview to “Meet the Press” where he told host Chuck Todd that the U.S. was planning to “send a message” to Russia, following recent tensions between the two countries.
“We’re sending a message. We have the capacity to do it and it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.”
The Obama administration is said to be planning a massive cyber retaliation against Russia for (allegedly) interfering in the U.S. election. It has widely been reported that Russia has had a hand in the recent hacks concerning the U.S. election, particularly those targeting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Retired Admiral James Stavridis said that the U.S. should target the Putin Administration’s financial dealings to embarrass them.
“It’s well known that there’s great deal of offshore money moved outside of Russia from oligarchs. It would be very embarrassing if that was revealed, and that would be a proportional response to what we’ve seen.”
CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell told NBC that he believes that such an attack should be overt rather than covert, to set an example to the world.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked to comment on the U.S.’s cyber-attack threats during a press conference at this week’s summit of developing economies in India.
“You can expect anything from our American friends. But what did he say that was new? Don’t we know that official bodies of the United States are spying and eavesdropping on everyone? The only new thing is that for the first time the United States has recognised at the highest level … that they themselves do it [cyber-attacks].”
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has also addressed the threats, calling them troubling.
“The threats directed against Moscow and our state’s leadership are unprecedented because they are voiced at the level of the US vice president. To the backdrop of this aggressive, unpredictable line, we must take measures to protect our interests, to hedge risks.”
Severe tensions have been developing between the United States and Russia over the Russian military’s intervention in Syria. Putin’s officials had previously announced that they had foreseen an attack by the U.S. right after the two nations broke off their faltering talks over the Syrian conflict. After the talks were officially suspended earlier this month, Russia has been involved in a series of high-level military drills, including a nuclear warfare preparation drill for its citizens. Furthermore, it has also been reported that Russia is increasing military presence near its borders, including the movement of nuclear-capable missiles near its Polish border.
A former White House expert on Russia, Andrew S. Weiss, had commented earlier this month on the rising tension between the U.S. and Russia.
“Cooperation over Syria was the Obama administration’s last and best shot for arresting the downward spiral in the bilateral relationship with Russia. The mistrust and hostility toward the United States by the Russian leadership is real and growing. It is going to be the driving force behind Russian external behavior for many years to come.”
Ex-Russian Military officer, Lt. Gen Yevgeny Buzhinsky, also gave his opinion on the matter, blaming the U.S. for provoking the anger of the “Motherland.” Speaking to the Daily Star, the retired military man warned the U.S. of severe consequences if they don’t back off.
“Of course there is a reaction. As far as Russia sees it, as Putin sees it, it is full-scale confrontation on all fronts. If you want a confrontation, you’ll get one. But it won’t be a confrontation that doesn’t harm the interests of the United States. You want a confrontation, you’ll get one everywhere.”
In a rare interview, former Soviet statesman Mikhail Gorbachev also spoke about the rising tensions between the two superpowers of the world.
“I think the world has reached a dangerous point. I don’t want to give any concrete prescriptions but I do want to say that this needs to stop. We need to renew dialogue. Stopping it was the biggest mistake.”
[Feature Image by Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool/AP Images]