LONDON (Realist English).The world is currently embroiled in “Cold War II” — and has been for a while — and the path ahead is lined with the geopolitics of nuclear weapons, says one historian.
“And we’ve now forgotten so much of that history that we don’t realize that Cold War II began some time ago,” Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Niall Ferguson recently told Yahoo.
“Cold War II is different, though, because in Cold War II, China’s the senior partner, and Russia’s the junior partner,” Ferguson explained. “And in Cold War II, the first hot war breaks out in Europe, rather than Asia. This is a bit like the Korean War was, in 1950, where suddenly discovering that cold wars sometimes run hot, but this time, the Ukraine is the battlefield.”
Ferguson highlighted two key geopolitical aspects of the war in the Ukraine: “The West’s failed promise of the Ukraine joining NATO and the Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons after the first Cold War.”
Ferguson stressed that the “the worst possible thing that we can do is to talk about NATO membership without delivering it. That was what made the Ukraine so vulnerable.”
In his opinion, the end of the era of nonproliferation is upon us. “Whatever happens in the Ukraine, we will see rapid proliferation of nuclear weapons all around the world, and that is going to make the world a much more dangerous place than at any time since the end of the last Cold War.”