Geostrategy 101
The Importance of Checking Putin
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  • Pete

    “When the Russian attack on Ukraine started, there were many predictions that the West, with its huge advantages in money and military power would have little trouble brushing Putin aside.”

    What boobs ever thought that? Only ones who flunked history and geography.

    • Honk

      “What boobs ever thought that? Only ones who flunked history and geography.”
      I think you underestimate the decay of our public education…

  • El Gringo

    “The West is led by conventional thinkers who all believed in one way or another that the only things they had to fear were losses in elections and investigations by prosecutors. The bad old days of real struggle between genuinely hostile great powers were gone forever.”

    The West can’t be bothered with geopolitics when there are more important issues like global warming and gay rights to resolve.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Thanks for letting us know you live safely above sea level.

  • lukelea

    a new and uglier stage of history has begun to unfold. . .

    Well, maybe in the Middle East, and maybe in a little while around China, but I just can’t see it in the case of Putin and eastern Ukraine. Maybe I’m wrong. But maybe WRM & Co. are blowing this thing up out of all proportion to its true significance, which is mainly local..

  • Jim Blaisdell

    Sir:

    I have been one of your regular readers for a long time and have always appreciated your well thought out and insightful commentaries. That said, I have some real doubts about this piece.

    Even the thought of military pressure against Putin in the Ukraine is fraught with danger. Yes, we’re richer and stronger than Russia militarily. We are also sodden with debt, so maybe we are not quite as rich as we like to think. Secondly, any military pressure against Russia would take place on the Eurasian land mass which would be almost home turf for the Russians and would probably neutralize some or all our military advantages. One can get into a lot of trouble underestimating the Russians as the Swedes, French and Germans all learned to their sorrow.

    And they have the nuclear card to play.

    And NATO, all the huffing and puffing notwithstanding, would be of little help. Most European armies are little more than constabularies and even the doughty British have significantly reduced their fine armed forces. At the end of the day they would expect Uncle Sam to pluck their chestnuts out of the fire. The American public is getting a little tired of this playbook.

    And as of now I believe the Obama administration is carrying out significant cuts to our own military. Given challenges from the Middle East to the South China Sea this may not be the time to go picking fights.

    Finally, our interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the competence and well documented bravery of our fighting men (and some women these days) not withstanding, raise serious doubts about the judgement of our political class. And then there’s Libya! If the American public is not anxious to get into another quagmire, given the conduct of both the Bush and Obama administrations they have plenty of reason for such reluctance.

    Whatever we do, we’d better think it through first very carefully.

    JIm

  • Brett Champion

    Putin could pull in all of the former Soviet republics into a new Russian empire and it wouldn’t matter a lick to the US, except, of course, in reference to the Baltic states, which we made the terrible mistake of promising to protect.

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