Article published in The Daily Express, 24 July 2020. © Richard Kemp
Britain’s guard against Russia, maintained from the end of the Second World War, has increasingly dropped since the fall of the Soviet Union. A naive belief overtook our political leaders — in the the same way as with Communist China — that ever-greater inclusion in the international order would turn this authoritarian regime from opponents to friends of the West. The conditions for this optimistic attitude in the West were systematically created by decades of Soviet influence across all elements of society, from universities to government institutions to industry.
Another factor in permitting the Russian danger to increase was the growing threat from international terrorism in the years since 9/11. Not only did this serve to distract from apparently less immediate foreign challenges, but our police and intelligence services necessarily focused huge amounts of their finite resources on it.
One of Russia’s primary objectives is to divide and weaken NATO as part of their effort to gain power and influence relative to the US. Divisions in the alliance in recent years, resulting from antagonism between Europe and the US, largely as a result of European states’ failure to pay their way, play directly into Russia’s hands. Continue reading