Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to start another arms race, which of necessity includes a technology race and a matching of economic strengths.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia would suspend its participation in the last remaining nuclear-arms treaty between Moscow and Washington, a vestige of the security architecture that has helped keep the peace for decades.
Despite the outcomes of Progressive-Democrat Party policies, we still have the strongest economy in the world, with lots of potential for getting even stronger, and we still have the largest economy in the world, with lots of potential for getting even larger. That feeds into our ability to innovate more rapidly than our competitors or our enemies, and so more rapidly in technology arenas, including weapons and cyber tech. And both our economic and technical capabilities potentiate our ability to produce existing weapons and the ammunition and logistics systems needed for them faster than our competitors or our enemies, and to more quickly develop new weapons and get them deployed in useful numbers.
We dissolved the USSR with that nation’s initiation of its late-stage arms race. Russia’s economic and technological establishment is even more fragile.
The People’s Republic of China? That nation is stronger than Russia, but not as strong—still—as the USSR was.
There’s this, too:
An entente between the two would replicate their Cold War anti-Western partnership with one significant difference, that Beijing rather than Moscow would be the dominant partner.
That prior entente was one in which the two nations routinely exchanged gunfire across their border, especially along the Amur River. One factor leading to those exchanges is the PRC’s—and Kuomintang China, and emperor-ist China and on back—longstanding holding that Siberia belongs to China and that Russia stole it centuries ago. This time around, the PRC is not only the dominant partner, it’s much more dominant than was the USSR in that prior arrangement. And the PRC still insists that Siberia is Chinese. Gunfire exchanges would be much more dangerous for Russia, although it would bleed the PLA, also.
That’s a risk worth taking seriously, but this is the much more likely outcome:
The prospect of the two great autocratic powers that dominate the Eurasian landmass moving closer together carries risks for Beijing. It would probably force European countries that now are hoping to maintain close commercial ties with China to move more decisively toward Washington, on which they depend for security. If that happened, geopolitical competition between the West (along with Asian democracies such as Japan and South Korea) and the Moscow-Beijing axis would solidify.
And that also would redound to the benefit of the US and to the West in general, for all the reasons listed earlier.