Sunday, January 23, 2022

The Well-Armed Troll

Putin is, in that sense, a very well-armed troll — opportunistic, attention-seeking, happy to upset the cart and see if any apples roll his way. But the Russian regime necessarily looms larger in the Western mind than do those of Putin peers such as Kim Jong Un for three reasons: (1) The Cold War trained Western policy intellectuals to think of Russia as a great power, and the habit remains even though Putin has nothing like the real geopolitical power enjoyed by Joseph Stalin or Leonid Brezhnev; (2) Putin’s forces are in close proximity to our European allies, including NATO members; (3) although the old Soviet nuclear arsenal has declined, Putin has something on the order of 1,600 strategic warheads ready to go — on missiles, bombers, and submarines — and a thousand strategic warheads in storage, according to the estimate of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The first of those three considerations is a matter of intellectual inertia, but the other two are live concerns.

1 comment :

  1. So now the liberal media is downplaying the Russian threat? Imagine it's 1939 and the National Review tries to point out that Hitler isn't really going to invade Poland because the economic consequences of upsetting the Allies will outweigh any gain in terroritory.
    (1) Russia remains a great power. It has a powerful army with fleets in all the oceans across two continents. It's got a huge nuclear inventory. It controls the gas supply of Western Europe which, through its ecofascist stupidity, is totally reliant on that gas.
    (2) Consider what America is facing, probably a month after the Chinese Olympics end. No one will do anything until then because they want the Games to go on but once they're over (remember what happened a month after the last Russian Olympics?) Russia might try to invade Ukraine and at the same time China will seize Taiwan.
    (3) Consider Western leadership. America is run by a sleepy demented president and his vice-president and armed forces are more worried about personal pronouns than geopolitical threates. Britain is run by a party boy on his last stand as prime minister. There are no credible and powerful leaders in Europe. When two fronts start WW3, who will lead?


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