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East and West: Hurtling Towards Conflict At Warp Speed

As it becomes clear that US aims in Syria are far from just defeating Daesh, and the current Cold War between the US and Russia is ever closer to a hot war, John Wight sits down with experienced journalist and UN correspondent of 25 years, Joe Lauria, to discuss how far away we are from East/West conflict.

How has it come to this? Three decades on from the collapse of the Soviet Union how have we found ourselves on the brink of military conflict between East and West?

In years to come historians will look back on this period and, providing the world survives it, level a harsh judgement against today's crop of global leaders, particularly in the West, which on the basis of nothing more than ideological attachment to US-led global hegemony, allowed the world to come this close to conflict.

Neither an abiding love of Russia nor a burning hatred of America is required to appreciate the need for a multipolar alternative to the unipolar world that has been led by Washington since 1991, the year of the Soviet Union's demise. A cursory examination of the history of conflict and chaos without end that has ensued since leaves no doubt of it. But now, with the Middle East never so unstable and tense, the gathering clouds of war are gathering — gathering as never before. And this is without mentioning the worsening of relations between Washington and Beijing over ongoing territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas, or the crisis in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, where NATO troops and military hardware are deployed closer to Russia's border than at any time during the Cold War.

John sits down with US author, journalist and Middle East expert Joe Lauria to explore the contours of what is an ever deepening crisis, one that would appear to show no sign of being resolved diplomatically anytime soon.

Hard Facts is out every Wednesday. You can join in the conversation here.

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