Can the U.S. stop a war with Russia?

We are moving closer and closer to a real war. Republicans and Democrats talk tough on foreign policy towards Russia. When all politicians are in agreement, there is no discussion of alternative approaches. Any alternative to complete isolation of Russia and a NATO build up on Russia’s borders is a sign of weakness. Any alternative to this military build up is criticized as “appeasement,” likened to the failed foreign policy of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain toward Nazi Germany between 1937 and 1939.

Liberal Democrats historically are anti-war, but not this time. In the Czech Republic, there was the start of an anti-war movement when NATO paraded its military along its borders. “Tanks but no thanks” became a rallying cry. Czechs became uncomfortable with a muscle flexing approach to the standoff. Only a lone libertarian, Ron Paul raises a critique of the wisdom of this military build up.

The mistake that will cost America dearly is the assumption that Russia has the same ambitions as the Soviet Union. The cold war strategy used against the Soviet Union cannot be repeated with the same result. The Soviet Union was communist and atheistic. Modern Russia has returned to its Christian roots. There is a revival in Russian Orthodoxy with over 25,000 new churches built in Russia after the fall of Communism. On any Sunday, the churches are packed. Over 70% of the population identifies themselves as Orthodox Christians. Combine this religious revival with renewed Nationalism and Russia is growing in self-confidence.

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