Monday, March 09, 2015

Their Psychological Problems Are Our Problem, Unfortunately

The funny thing is, for all of Russia's paranoia about Western plots to undermine and destroy Russia, we actually don't have any interest in Russia's collapse or defeat.

That NATO-Russian relations have reached this stage is just ridiculous and the Russians should be embarrassed by their paranoia:

NATO and Russia exchanged heated language reminiscent of Cold War days on Thursday with accusations of sinister geopolitical plotting and human rights abuses flying across an increasingly deep divide.

NATO's top U.S. civilian official, Alexander Vershbow, said Thursday that "an angry, revisionist Russia" was stopping at little to re-establish its clout in Europe, including redrawing "borders by force to achieve its goals."

But what are we supposed to do? Just let Russia push their borders west until Moscow feels secure?

Paranoia of the kind that grips Moscow these days can never be assuaged.

Even as we have to resist Russian efforts that threaten the West, we don't want our efforts to cause a further collapse of Moscow's territory that allows China to pick up the pieces, either formally or by local proxies cutting deals with Peking.

In my frustration over Moscow's actions and attitudes, I've written that Russia would get what it deserves if China pounces on their Far East as Russia fixates on a false threat from NATO.

While Russia might deserve that outcome, I actually don't want that to happen.

I don't want China to gain territory at Russia's expense and I really don't want Russia with their paranoia and large nuclear arsenal to feel like they are being dismembered by a vast plot of foreigners that includes America as well as China.

Russia under Putin is the sick, angry man of Europe (of Eurasia, actually) whose threat to the West lies as much in their collapse as in their hostility and aggression, as I wrote after Russia's aggression against Georgia:

Now we have to figure out what to about the Russia Question: An angry sick man of Europe that has nuclear weapons and enough residual conventional power to threaten small neighbors, whose potential for collapse is as disquieting as their aggressive stance.

As much as I have so little respect for our American and European allied leadership to handle the problems, I'll never claim that dealing with Putin's Russia is easy.

UPDATE: Putin's attitude is spreading:

After a year in which furious rhetoric has been pumped across Russian airwaves, anger toward the United States is at its worst since opinion polls began tracking it. From ordinary street vendors all the way up to the Kremlin, a wave of anti-U.S. bile has swept the country, surpassing any time since the Stalin era, observers say.

That's nice. Many in Russia really do think we're out to get them, when in reality we've hardly given them a thought over the last 25 years except when they invaded Georgia and Ukraine.