As one of Russia's nuclear-powered warships heads toward the Caribbean for military maneuvers with Venezuela, the suddenly resurgent country is raising fears of a future war with the United States.
The seizure of territories in the republic of Georgia last month seems to be only the first stage in a planned projection of military strength around the globe, say military experts.
The military exercises, which Venezuela President Hugo Chavez announced only two weeks ago, has U.S. officials and others dusting off old Cold War strategies involving threats from Cuba, Mexico and South America that many thought were no longer valid.
“The Georgian war in August was simply the first effort by a resurging Russia to pulse out, expand its security buffer and, ideally, in the Kremlin’s plans, break out of the post-Cold War noose that other powers have tied,” writes Peter Zeihan at Stratfor.com, a defense analysis Web site.
Zeihan goes on to predict that Russia will continue to behave much as the Soviet Union did, forging bonds with hostile Latin American governments like Cuba and Venezuela, while working with drug mafias to destabilize Mexico. That will keep the United States busy in its own backyard while Russia can gain footholds throughout Europe.
The nuclear-powered flagship Peter the Great set off for Venezuela Monday with the submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and two support vessels in the first Russian naval mission in Latin America since the end of the Cold War. In November, they are to be joined by a unit of Russian long-range anti-submarine patrol aircraft that will be temporarily stationed at one of Venezuela's air bases.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE