Ain't got a clue
Cold War? That's part of the nostalgia business. With a comatose Europe; multiple frictions between Europe and the US; Beijing looking inward trying to solve the puzzle of tweaking its development model; and a paralyzed Obama administration, Moscow has identified the perfect opening and has embarked in no holds-barred, strategic commercial expansion.
The cluelessness of the Obama administration -- not to mention US Think Tankland -- cannot be overemphasized. Nobody in the Beltway has articulated a sound Russian policy -- apart from demonizing Putin. That suits Vlad the Hammer fine; he's busy carefully constructing a new strategic reality not only in Europe's periphery but at the core as well. Russia is back -- with a bang.
In this larger scheme of things, drifting towards a post-Post Cold War environment, the Snowden affair is just a piece of the puzzle. And here's where the personal perfectly mirrors the political. Vlad the Hammer knows exactly what he's doing -- while Obama the wimp looks like a deer caught in a Trans-Siberian locomotive's headlights.
1. In wishing Bush well, Putin has message for Obama, Reuters, August 8, 2013.
2. What's the Point of a Summit?, The New York Times, August 7, 2013.
3. Saudi offers Russia deal to scale back Assad support - sources, Reuters, August 7, 2013.