WASHINGTON, September 16, 2013 – While nobody in their right mind would dispute that the United States and Russia are far from equals at this time in history, Putin understands much better than our own leader that the true global currency is not the dollar—it’s power.
President Obama’s gross mishandling of the Syria situation has dramatically weakened America’s power in the world. It has given strength to those who declare that we are a paper tiger. Opportunists including Putin and other despotic autocrats who don’t share our values smell America’s blood.
Through its incompetent bungling of Syria, the White House has managed to empower America’s enemies, undercut American credibility and jeopardize more than just Syria. Washington has inadvertently sent the Middle East and potentially many other areas across the globe onto an even more dangerous path.
Putin understands that power, and often just as importantly, the perception of power, is perhaps the most vital ingredient in steering global affairs.
Russia is undeniably a shadow of the country that it was during the height of the Cold War. During that time, the United States and the Soviet Union stood head and shoulders above their nearest competitors in terms of military strength. The threat of mutual assured destruction through nuclear war kept the two superpowers on a level plane until the bankrupt philosophy of communism began to unravel and the Iron Curtain tumbled down.
What Putin has cannily managed to do in recent weeks is to resurrect the stature of Russia in the world. Remarkably, he has done it not by improving the country’s flat-lining economy or cutting through its dense layers of government cronyism and corruption, but simply by being the anti-America.
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