Monday, January 04, 2016

From the Bureau of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Putin's Russia believes we are their foe:

A new appraisal names the United States as one of the threats to Russia's national security for the first time, a sign of how relations with the west have deteriorated in recent years.

The document, "About the Strategy of National Security of Russian Federation", was signed by President Vladimir Putin on New Year's Eve. It replaces a 2009 version, endorsed by then- President Dmitry Medvedev, the current prime minister, which mentioned neither the United States not NATO.

Right now, he's right. Although not his analysis that this is because we oppose Russia's attempt to "solve" international problems.

We are becoming Russia's foe under Putin's leadership because Putin is acting aggressively toward the West.

Face it, before Russia started acting up, we were happy not to think much about Russia at all and focus our power and attention elsewhere. Like in the Middle East and Asia.

Truth be told, I think this inattention kind of hurt Russia's pride, which was used to being the "Big Bad" during the Cold War (as the Soviet Union).

So little have we thought of Russia that today we find we lack experts on Russia:

Top intelligence and national security officials — including the top general of NATO — have warned that the United States’ depth of knowledge and capacity for collecting information on Russia is not up to snuff, given the stakes of the conflicts at hand and the threat an unpredictable Kremlin poses to U.S. interests.

Experts, lawmakers and former administration officials describe a national security apparatus that, once teeming with experienced Russia specialists, including at the highest levels of decision-making, now relies on looser regime of more junior experts who lack the reach to directly influence policy. The result, they say, is a series of missed opportunities to anticipate Moscow’s recent moves in areas such as Ukraine and Syria, even when clues were readily available.

We were surprised by Russia's military action against Crimea and in Syria, the article says.

Funny, while I didn't major in Soviet studies in college (it seemed too pessimistic to me--what, they'd always be there?), I did focus on them.

And in this blog I long talked about the possibility of Russia taking Crimea and eastern Ukraine as well as speculating on Russian intervention in Syria.

Not that I predicted either, but when clues in the news came up, I did openly wonder what was going on. So I was hardly surprised by either Russian action.

But I digress (as I can!)

This lack of Russian experts, my Russian friends, is an example of not plotting against you for a quarter century now. If we were plotting against Russia, we'd have Russia experts.

But no. Russia's boob-like rulers had to call us their enemy. And then make us one.

This might have seemed clever when Russia really wanted a "safe" enemy to puff their chest up against even as Russia appeased a rising China.

But now Russia has pushed the West too far and has an awakened West and a rising China.

Ah, strategery! 

And the year 2020 is coming fast. Putin's new 5-year plan better be real and spectacular.