Mike Ko Personal Portfolio


Home-School Education
Hong Kong

University of Durham
Bachelor of Science
United Kingdom

2017 - 2018
United Kingdom

    The Cold War Lives On?

         The poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil has made for a shocking and sensational story. The attack in Salisbury with a Soviet-invented nerve agent has left multiple world leaders to accuse Russia of being the culprit. While there is no hard proof, this assessment was enough to prompt a concerted expulsion of Russian diplomats from 29 countries. Russia soon retaliated with its own ejections while maintaining its innocence and denouncing the unjustified international response.

         Facts are few and far in between in this rather mysterious case, but there were certainly no shortage of commentaries and speculations. In particular, there are multiple aspects to consider as far as international relations were concerned. Some focussed on how British Prime Minister Theresa May and the Western community in presenting a unified front against Moscow. Others mused about just what kind of game Russian President Vladmir Putin is playing, if his country was truly responsible. In this recent confrontation between the Western bloc and Russia, the ashes from the Cold War are beginning to smoulder once more.

         Older generations will be quite familiar with this decades-old conflict and its dynamics, an unfortunate product of the Second World War. Today, perhaps one can be forgiven for wondering about just what exactly those involved are fighting for after so many years. Is it to protect domestic security and maintain international clout? That implies both sides are expecting enemy interference and hostility in their respective activities. Granted, this may be a reasonable conclusion given the historically antagonistic relationship between the West’s democracy and Russia’s socialism. Realistically, however just how much do these countries feel threatened by competing political ideologies in current times? Even if both sides were secretly plotting to usurp each other’s incumbent regimes, what purpose would it serve? To insert friendlier replacements? To undermine the opponent’s international influence and ability to compete in diplomacy and economics?

         All of these, of course, are questions that everyday men and women will have no hope of finding answers to. Maybe behind this international duel of espionage lie legitimate threats to both sides’ very existence. But unless they are actually revealed to the public one day, it may be hard to shake the feeling that even world leaders are simply trapped with Cold War-era mentalities. Locked in an uneasy equilibrium with dated assumptions, the spectres of past wars continue to block the path towards true peace.

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