I’ve often thought that U.S. foreign policy after the Cold War has been consumed with cleaning up the disastrous mess the Soviet Union left behind. From nuclear Stalinism in North Korea to the legacy of the (Soviet-trained) Yasser Arafat, to Cuba where my cousins remain imprisoned within a Soviet-inspired nightmare, it sometimes seems as if most of the world’s most serious problems were created by the Russians.
And they’re not done. Building nuclear reactors for Iran, selling tons of weapons to Venezuela, using their gas pipeline monopoly in brazen acts of Eurasia-wide extortion, Russia is far more a problem in the War on Terror, than part of the solution, despite decades of of being one of the main targets of terrorism.
For the fourth century running, Putin is proving the old diplomatic adage: “Russia is never as strong as she looks; Russia is never as weak as she looks.”