While it may be too early to call Russia's Ukraine adventure the beginning of a Cold War redux, the crisis is providing indicators as to what a new version of the good 'ol days (yes it's a fallacy http://goo.gl/MehWiF , but let's roll with it) might look like. Given the signs, we came up with a few predictions below about "Cold War 2.0" as we're calling it. As we produce or receive new assessments, we'll add them to the list. The theme, you may notice, is the embrace (manipulation?) of the Information Age by all sides, which is the fundamental difference between CW 1.0 and 2.0. On to the list...
- CW 2.0 will be carried out over blogs and social media. Any player may use anonymous handles to attack those willing to opine. Bloggers will engage in entertaining, and sometimes concerning, accusations of "false flags."
- The faux press, reporters with biases toward or resources provided by one side or the other, will find and exploit leakers and biased or disgruntled sources. Al Jazeera will be one of the last bastions of reliable reporting (this is ironic to many, we know).
- Commercial imagery and other open-source intelligence will be fabricated to support arguments, positions, or even military action. http://goo.gl/ciuefC
- Energy resources will play a central role in CW 2.0 as they did in CW 1.0. Gazprom vs. US untapped resources...especially regarding EU customers...will play a central role in American politics.
- The West's key rivals - North Korea and Iran - will come out as winners. (http://goo.gl/KYp1FE). Arms, energy, trade, and technology are likely coming their way (via Uncle Vlad).
- The Sunni bloc will use CW 2.0 as leverage to urge US to do more in Syria. The US calculus may consequently change...resulting in an mini-arms race with Russia inside Syria.
- CW 2.0 will invigorate the Defense Hawks causing Sequestration to whither away. Likely beneficiaries are the US Air Force and the Navy.
- Russian studies and language programs across Western universities are about to get a substantial budget increase.
More to follow....