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New World Disorder
Vladimir Putin Is Not Impressed

A U.S. delegation will travel to Moscow to look into allegations that Russia conducted mid-range missile tests. If they are substantiated, Russia will be found to be in violation of a 1987 anti-missile treaty that was a cornerstone of the institutional mechanism by which the Cold War nuclear standoff ended. From the New York Times:

At the heart of the dispute is the United States allegation that Russia has tested a ground-launched cruise missile in violation of the 1987 Soviet-American treaty banning intermediate-range missiles based on land. Russia began testing the cruise missile as early as 2008, according to American officials. The Obama administration first raised its concerns with the Russians in May 2013 and formally alleged that the test was a violation in July. […]

Western experts say that nuclear weapons have assumed a larger place in Russia’s military doctrine to compensate for weaknesses in its conventional forces. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia reinforced that impression last month when he highlighted Russia’s nuclear prowess in comments that appeared intended to dissuade the West from providing significant military support to Ukraine.

Yet Putin is not exactly quaking in his riding boots. He has sailed by all of the outs he has been given by the West, whether they come with threats of new levels of sanctions or of delegations making treaty-ending decisions. Western leaders should have figured out by now that Putin does not care about or respond to anything but real (rather than nominal) power. He is a revisionist, and we can expect to see him continue to subvert the institutions that were put in place to keep the post-Cold War world order in place. Anybody who does not expect that is going to fail to understand him, and therefore fail to thwart him.

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  • Duperray

    Yap, assuming US stance be correct “Russia will be found to be in violation of a 1987 anti-missile treaty”, Putin can claim that NATO / US violate its committment to “not extend NATO territory by one inch” made to Gorbatchev around 1991.
    This would be a tit for tat answer…

    • f1b0nacc1

      There is an enormous difference between the US/NATO going back on a pledge (which had NO legal standing), and Russia violating a treaty obligation.

      • Duperray

        Upon a pure legal aspect, you may be right. But between one isolated test and the extension of an armed military zone by millions of square miles, there is an abysmally deep difference. And also, who will ever trust a country violating its word about such a large issue?
        I regret to say that West has shown, in a few recent weeks, that it can no longer be trusted upon, to my dismay as I belong to West.

  • Thirdsyphon

    Why does this publication insist on seeing Putin’s every asinine gesture of belligerence as a terrifying display of his superhuman cunning and steely resolve? He’s a bumbling clod who’s stumbled into a ditch that he can’t get out of, so now he’s left with no option but to keep doubling down, again and again, on his bad decisions. The 1987 anti-missile treaty constrained the U.S. just as much (if not more) than it constrained the USSR. . . but Putin’s real problem is that China never signed the thing at all, and has been free all along to develop and deploy as many land based intermediate range missiles as it likes. (And going forward, China would probably “like” to deploy a whole lot more of them, in light of this development).

    The danger, expense (and profound local unpopularity) of these weapons systems are what motivated the US and USSR to rid Europe of them in the first place. As always, Putin never stops to imagine what countermoves his rivals and adversaries will make in response to his adventures. . . which makes me wonder if perhaps Bush ’43 really did get a “sense of his soul.” On some levels, they have quite a lot in common.

    • Corlyss

      You can’t be serious.
      The man is intent on two things: 1) reconstituting the old Russian empire of his youth; and 2) eviscerating NATO and exposing it as a paper tiger, which it clearly is with Doofus in charge of the US. So far, he’s not gotten much credible push back.

  • Corlyss

    I commend to your collective attention the second segment of Batchelor’s 4th hour for the discussion with Bret Stephens of WSJ.

  • BobSykes

    The world’s real problem is the rampant aggression and tantrums of the US/EU/NATO Ruling Class. These monsters are one of the main sources of war and terror on the planet, rivaling Islam: Haiti, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Congo, Iran, Granada, Somalia, Serbia/Kosovo, Iraq (twice and soon three times), Afghanistan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Ukraine …. Russia is plainly in their sights.

    The leaders of US/EU/NATO are besotted by their power. They think that their power is so transcendentally overwhelming that they are gods and that all the world must submit to their whims and beg for scraps.

    Everywhere they go they leave devastation, death, turmoil. Clearly, Russia needs all the nuclear weapons it can get. Clearly, Putin is the good guy.

    • Tom

      Yes. Putin, the man who jails and surreptitiously kills his political opponents, is the good guy. (Nods)

  • lukelea
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