I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert on Russian history however, my limited studies lead me to several conclusions.
- Like many egomaniacs Putin wants to be feared, respected, and admired (started to write loved but not the right word for him).
- The US has been dismissive of Russia since the 1990’s and George W dismissal of Russian assistance angered Putin.
- ‚Russia has a historic inferiority complex.
- Russia has used our almost 20 year preoccupation with the Middle East to play 3 dimensional chess on the world stage while the US plays checkers.
- Russia has a good feel for internal US political divisions and is using to their advantage.
- Putin is a dangerous man–but rational. He is a Czar sitting on an ethnic and religious time bomb.
- Russia understand strength.
- Engagement not containment; cooperation not confrontation are the keys to engaging a resurgent Russia.