RUSSIAN DELIMA

Posted: February 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Several years ago I wrote about the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin and how he was a leader to take very serious. We looked at how he had emerged in Russia at just the right time with a political background that would turn Russia once again into an adversary. I talked about Putin being brought up in the KGB, the Soviet Union’s counterpart to America’s CIA. Also discussed was Russia’s need to have a positive opinion of itself and how America and the West did not develop the country following the Soviet Union collapse. Putin was the man for the time and he was good at what he did and at times brutal to opponents. The country embraced him and his nationalistic spirit. The longer he was in power the bolder be became.

Putin plays chess and he knows how to calculate his moves and anticipates the moves of his rivals. He outplayed America in the Mid-east. When we should have fully supported the rebels that were fighting the despicable dictator Assad of Syria, Putin sent troops and weapons in support of Assad. Before we decided how to handle the Syrian situation he made a move to pick sides and assumed that America and the West would do nothing to oppose him. He was correct.

Every move that Putin has made had emboldened him to the world and made a hero of him to his fellow Russians. He sent troops into Ukraine to support a civil war and annexed the Crimea and the West did nothing. This gave him a sense of even more power and it is working. The world does not want to cross swords with Russia and now they are adding fuel to the cold war that continues to escalate. Putin is now deploying a new ground launched Cruise missile that was banned in agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union in the early nineties. Putin has also called for an expansion to nuclear weapon development and deployment.

A cold war is not fun and I remember the stress the world was under when I was child. Our courthouse had a nuclear sign on it that disclosed that it was a fall out shelter to house the people in Farmerville if America came under attack. SciFi movies showed hideous monsters that developed from radiation set loose by the nuclear bomb. Small pamphlets were available at federal offices. The yellow document had pictures of small family bomb shelters that could be built plus instructions of what was needed to stock the shelters for a two week required stay until the radiation dissipated. It was not until many years later that it was realized that a full scale nuclear war would lead to a “nuclear winter” that would ultimately lead to wide scale starvation.

So what will Putin do with the new administration. Donald Trump is a new and unknown challenge. Trump does not represent anything that Putin has dealt with in the past. Trump was never a politician and dealt with international affairs from the perspective of a businessman and not a diplomat.

One thing is certain; the average Russian civilian wants close and friendly ties with America. Trump rallies were held in Russia as the country hopes that tensions ease.   It will be interesting to see how President Trump handles Putin and how Putin handles Trump. One thing is certain, Russia did not take America seriously for years. What Russia understands is action and the American government was not prepared to take a hard stance against Russia. Let’s see if that changes over the next four years.

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