Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

We Are Now in a Global Cold War

By Michael Hirsh

27 Jun 2022 · 9 min read

Editor's Note

NATO leaders aren’t only preparing for confrontation with Russia. They are also hardening their stance toward China, making for a new Cold War of global dimensions, according to this FP analysis.

When then-British Prime Minister Winston Churchill laid out the contours and stakes of the first Cold War at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946, he didn’t just talk about Europe. What people remember, of course, is this famous line: “From Stettin in the Baltic, to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.” But later on in the speech, Churchill also warned of the coming “shadow” of tyranny “alike in the West and in the East.”

The nascent Cold War, in other words, was already going global—even as it was being defined for the first time. That Cold War may have ended three decades ago, but another, very different sort of cold war is beginning. And this one is also about to go global. NATO’s leaders are convening this week with an eye on the Indo-Pacific, and they are preparing to confront China as well as Russia.

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