US Vs Russia – A New Cold War?

As Russia threatens Ukraine and the West, some are once again predicting a new Cold War. While there are differences between the two countries, the US and Russia share a common long-term goal: promoting autocracy and undermining democracy worldwide. They cooperate to wage hybrid warfare, threatening democratic allies such as Taiwan and supporting dictatorships abroad. And they are both competing for influence with China, a major rival that is using its economic power to isolate and weaken the United States.

In this new world order, the US must engage with Russia in a way that is consistent with its global interests and values. But that will not be easy. The current administration, like many of its predecessors, does not view the Russian regime as a potential ally. Instead, it sees Russia as an adversary that must be contained by a comprehensive set of sanctions and expulsions.

Moreover, the US and Russia have diverged on their approaches to military modernization. The US dominates in air and ground forces and has a huge advantage at sea with more carriers, destroyers and submarines. But Russia’s nuclear weapons are much more potent than those of the United States, and its forces are more concentrated and better trained. Furthermore, Russia’s research staff tends to be highly specialized in a small number of areas, while the USA is far more diverse. This makes a direct comparison of the country’s military capabilities difficult. Nevertheless, the data below provide some insight into the growing gap between the two countries.