Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Fervor of Recent Converts

One of the problems with Democrats going full Jack (D) Ripper on the Russky threat is that while we should block Russian attempts to dominate their western border neighbors and intimidate NATO, reacting too much is a gift to China which is a rising rather than faltering power.

China would love it if more of our power is sucked up by political pressure to confront Russia.

I'd rather have NATO Europe arm up to hold Europe with minimal American help, to free up American power for the Indo-Pacific theater (and sigh, I still wish it was renamed the Pacific-India Command--PAINCOM). I don't really expect more than nominal European help in the Pacific Ocean.

Rather than forward deploy a lot of troops to Eastern Europe, I'd rather have tripwires and a much greater ability to reinforce and supply Eastern Europe if Russia attacks; which is a footprint that doesn't pose an offensive threat against Russia.

Russia is a revived worry. But it should not be treated as a Cold War 2.0 focusing our energy. Because China. And I'd rather try to promote Russian-Chinese friction over their long border and the contest for supremacy in former Soviet Central Asia.

And I am fully consistent on this, having argued against overreacting during the Obama era after the Russian invasions of Ukraine:

We don't need to go Cold War II on Russia--why stroke Putin's ego with that? President Obama was right--psychotic, but absolutely right (sorry, Animal House reference, there)--Russia is just a regional military power[. ...]

But they are an aggressive regional military power in a region of great importance to us.

So no new Cold War. There are lots of reasons it is not. But do treat the Russians under Putin as the potential threat that Putin is happily turning Russia in to these days.

It will take a little longer than I'd hoped for sanity to break out in post-Soviet Russia.

Russia is a regional threat with lots of nukes. But respond appropriately, and not based on your domestic political needs.

I am upset that Trump blamed bad relations with Russia on America. But nothing was surrendered other than the optics. And as usual, the incredible Democratic/media complex's ability to turn the Resistance dial to 11 drowns out the problems of Trump's statement with the massive unjustified drama of the over-reaction. Or did I miss the media outrage over Obama's "apology tour."

And note, too, that I never accused Obama of treason for his "outreach" efforts even though I strongly disagreed with him.

Putin's Russia is bad. That's good to realize. But a little perspective please.