scroll to top arrow or icon

Are we on the brink of a new cold war?

Are we on the brink of a new cold war?
Are We on the Brink of a New Cold War? | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

“We are back in a period of superpower competition that will probably go on for decades. And that, if we're lucky, remains a cold war.” David Sanger, a Pulitzer prize-winning national security correspondent for The New York Times, joins Ian Bremmer on a new episode of GZERO World to offer a clear-eyed take on America’s adversaries. He’s out with a new book called "New Cold Wars: China's Rise, Russia's Invasion, and America's Struggle to Defend the West." The takeaway: we’re entering a new and increasingly unstable era of geopolitics where the US, China, and Russia will be vying for power and influence like never before. China's rise as a world leader and economic powerhouse, along with Russia's nuclear saber-rattling and increasing military cooperation, poses an unprecedented challenge to US dominance.

But unlike the Cold War that dominated the 20th century, where the US and the Soviet Union could operate essentially independently from each other, the world today is far more connected. "It's a cold war that bears almost no resemblance to the one that you and I are old enough to remember, because in that Cold War, we had a single competitor, and we weren't dependent on them, nor they on us for very much."

Sanger also talks about America’s missed opportunities and misjudgments in dealing with Russia and China. There were early hopes of engagement with Russia under Yeltsin's presidency, which quickly eroded when Putin came to power. Similarly, there was a belief that integrating China into the global economy would lead to political reform. However, this bet did not play out as expected, with the Communist Party using digital forces for explicit repression techniques. "It became pretty evident, pretty clearly that the Communist party had learned how to take these same digital forces and use them for the most explicitly designed repression techniques we have ever seen.”

But one area where both Russia and China have a shared interest? Pitting Americans against each other. “They have every incentive, both Russia and China, to be subtle actors in the background of this coming presidential election,” Sanger tells Bremmer. “And that's one area where if they are not cooperating, it would pay them off considerably to coordinate.”

Catch GZERO World with Ian Bremmer every week on US public television (check local listings) and online.


Subscribe to GZERO's daily newsletter