Cold War II: Cold Harder

The story thus far:

Vladmir Putin signed into law an act allowing for the execution of enemies of the regime even on foreign soil. The British prime suspect for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoy cannot be extradited from Russia. Russia refuses to extradite its citizens. Litvinenko was killed by the radioactive isotope Polonium 210.

The British expel 4 Russian diplomats from England over the row. In retaliation the Russians expel 4 British diplomats. The standoff over whether or not the Russian regime will be allowed to murder people in foreign countries with impunity continues…

Technically, Russia jsut committed an act of war against Britain. Whether Gordon Brown will have the spine to deal with this remains to be seen. However, I have a real hard time seeing England taking this lying down.

Hard to see what they could do, other then symbolic actions like…well like expelling diplomats.

Britain could always send one of her vaunted Double-Oh agents in retaliation. Of course, they often seem to get burned, or shot, or strapped to a table and cut in half by a laser. “Choose your next witticism carefully, Mr. Bond. It may be your last.”

Anyway, this sort of thing is hardly without precident. You’ll recall that Dr. Trotsky was famously dispached by Soviet assassins after several unsuccessful attempts, and of course the United States repeatedly tried to rid itself of its bearded tinpot despot to the south.

“Cold Harder”? What the hell does that mean, anyway?


Probably a play on Die Hard II: Die Harder.

I don’t think there’s a list of acts of war that nations can check off. An act of war is anything that causes one country to declare war on another. If it wanted to, Russia could claim it was the UK that committed an act of war by harboring a known enemy of Russia.

Putin’s increasingly fascist actions (he even has a Putin’s Youth equivalent in the Nashi, that seems to be getting bolder) have me much more worried than any terrorist threat. We really, really dropped the ball post-Berlin Wall.

Yeah, but it still doesn’t make any sense. “Cold Harder”? It sounds like a hero in a bad Clive Cussler knockoff.

You can thank the last couple of Presidential Administrations for that. I grow weary of hearing of Clinton’s vaunted foreign relations successes when he almost totally ignored the bear in the room, and Bush the Younger has served to make Millard Fillmore look effectual and astute. Now we live with the consequences.


In recent news … Russian bombers made an incursion on UK airspace. Fighters were scrambled.

Not so recent news … Putin wishes that meant something on the international scene.

Less then recent that that … The Russians were actually just as toothless during the real cold war.

Have Russia and the UK expelled each others ambassadors yet? :confused: Or just lower ranking diplomats?

Just lower ranking diplomats, so far, as far as I know.

When was this?

Nevertheless, there is a limited range of actions which can constitute an internationally recognized casus belli.

No offense, but I just don’t see it. Or rather, I don’t see it being any different than anything every other country does–the US killing and bombing people in other countries (Pakistan, say, in pursuit of our enemies), Israel’s Mossad assassinating terrorists, etc. I mean, it’s dirty tricks, but hardly unusual, and doesn’t quite rise to “act of war.”

I’d like to see this “internationally recognized” list.

There’s no clearly defined list, AFAIK, just things everybody knows. Any overtly hostile action by one state against another – even a trade embargo – might be held to justify a war. Mere disapproval by one state of another’s regime would not.

Except how does this constitute a “Cold War”? Diplomatic squabbles and nasty communications and dirty tricks don’t constitute a cold war. To create a credible cold war Putin would have to have dozens of armored divisions poised to invade western europe.

With unauthorized wackage of someone by one state in another states jurisdiction being a somewhat gray area…no?


The Russians are/were toothless? So the USA could have launched a preemptive strike with no worrys?

Or, do “I got woosh”?

Earlier this week . There was another attempted incursion earlier in the year too. Just like the good old bad old days. Perhaps we should despatch a gunboat or two?

There are other – subtler – ways to make a cold war.