Recently, Vladimir Putin threatened to cut off sales of natural gas to Kiev unless£1.2 billion debts to their country are paid in full. This threat carries high stakes for Europe, a continent that relies heavily on Russian natural gas. Previous declines in exportation of Russian natural gas in 2006 and 2009 endangered European national grids and caused sharp rises in prices.
This threat is just the latest in political posturing made by Vladimir Putin in regard to the Ukraine crisis. Though he claims that he does not want a confrontation over Ukraine to spiral into a “new cold war”, the chill is definitely returning.
When dealing with Vladimir Putin one must remember that he is a product of the cold war. And although the USSR lost this war, he most likely still fights it every day in his head, lamenting in all that Russia has lost. He is a man also who wants nothing more than to reclaim Russia’s days of glory and retake what he thinks is rightfully theirs. He is a man not concerned with personal freedoms or of the sovereignty of the previous Eastern Bloc countries. His goal is both focused and single-minded. He wants the return USSR to spread communism worldwide. If this is not a cold war mindset, then I don’t know what is.
Now, with the vast riches of natural gas which his country possesses, he has found a way to exert his will without the use of brute military force. The man is both brutal and ingenious in nature. Day by day, we see him winning the political chess game against our community organizer president and our weakly united NATO allies. He has made a mockery of out of Obama in Syria and is again doing it in the Ukraine.
The sad truth is that we can once again beat the Russian in this new cold war without the use of any military options. Remember, the USA has one of the greatest supply of natural, combustible fuels in the world. If we were to really tap into our natural gas supply, drilling for oil and begin fracking, we could usher in a whole new economic era of prosperity. Not only would we would no longer rely on Middle Eastern oil but we would also negate the Russian natural gas threat. Plus, in the process, we would solve the national debt problem and create enough jobs to keep the American private sector thriving for another hundred years.
The ball is our court. I just someone would take it!