The Russian Bear Loosed ... Again
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Nature abhors a vacuum. When the current leadership of the United States decided the US would no longer maintain its leadership position in the world, a momentary vacuum was created. As of March 4th, that vacuum was filled. Vladimir Putin has returned to the Kremlin. (Geez. Even the word "Kremlin" causes my heart to go cold and my skin to crawl.)
The Russian bear, under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, is more than ready to take over the world leadership role from the United States. That will mean that Mr. Obama can have the back seat he seems to crave so much.
If you are old enough to remember the Cold War, you certainly must be asking yourself if Putin's election as President of Russia means the kick-off of Cold War II. The return to a bi-polar world could be just around the corner.
Putin has remarked that he sees the United States as a parasite on the world. Now, that's not a very friendly thing to say, right? Nevertheless, he said it, and, frankly, I believe he meant it.
Relations with Putin's Russia is going to get very complicated very fast. Putin is known to long for the old Mother Russia and the gone -- but certainly not forgotten -- Soviet Union. He'd like, very much, to reconstitute the old USSR. And I expect he will attempt to, at least, recreate as much of it as he can.
Dealing with Putin is going to be tough -- very tough. However, America is blessed with a President who is a "word man" and not an "action man." I truly suspect Obama believes he can just overwhelm Putin with his soaring oratory and overcome him with just the weight of his WORDS. As my British friends would say: "Not Bloody Likely!"
Putin TALKS tough, and goes to great lengths to make sure he ACTS tough -- and is SEEN acting tough.
Obama plays basketball and golf.
See how perception can have such a tremendous effect on foreign policy and practically everything else a country does outside its own borders.
Putin can, and will, make Obama's life much more complicated that it was before March 4th.
Right at, or near, the top of the list of problems Obama is going to have with Putin is the U.S. plans for the missile defense system deployment in Europe. Even before Putin walks into his old/new office, that missile defense problem is deadlocked. At least it is deadlocked as long as Obama remains President of the United States.
That may change in November -- if the US voters show Obama the door and place a stronger President in the Oval Office. A new President may just say the heck with Russia and deploy the missile defense system and let the Russians howl all they want.
I suspect that, right off the bat, Putin will want to show off his Russian military might to the rest of the world. Once again those Bear bombers will be bumping into US airspace off Alaska and they will most certainly be skirting our airspace along the eastern seaboard just as they did for decades during Cold War One.
Look for Putin to scrape together another Russian Navy from the scrap heap of a navy he now has. If he is able to keep his nuclear submarines from exploding, he might even be able to get one or two out to blue water -- before they sink or blow up.
Never fear. The Russians can be an industrious people. It will not take long for them to rebuild their military and with the cash pouring in from their oil sales they will be able to afford it.
Just think about it. While the US is cutting back on the size of our military the Russians will be working like crazy to build their military UP -- bigger and better than that of the old Soviet Union. That ought to make for some sweet dreams tonight -- especially for us old codgers who remember what it was like facing down the Russians/Soviets at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin about fifty years ago. Americans and Soviets were eyeball to eyeball, toe to toe, both sides leaning forward ... waiting, just waiting -- for the Third World War to begin. Believe me when I tell you -- I do not long for the return of those days and that kind of international stress and strife.
Putin is a man of few words ... far fewer than Obama. And, unlike Obama, he does not employ nuance. Nosiree. He can say Nyet! (NO!) quite clearly and forcefully, thank you! Putin is famous (or infamous) for being intractable. When he DOES say "nyet" ... the negotiations are ended, period.
The US can certainly expect to have problems with Putin's government in the Middle East. That is already clear. We've learned, just this week, that Russian troops have been deployed to Syria. The Russian Navy was been represented in Syrian waters for a while now.
What we are about to see, I believe, is a rebuilding of the Russian superpower under Putin. There is simply no way that can be good for America.
What will be even worse for America is to have Obama reelected and have to watch as Putin chews him up and spits him out.
J. D. Longstreet