by Ralph Peters
Hoover Institution
November 14, 2013
Vladimir Putin befuddles our foreign-policy establishment. Washington sages will not entertain the simple fact that Putin enjoys beating the diplomatic daylights out of our president–and otherwise responds emotionally to a range of foreign-policy matters. Westerners who view Putin as a mere thug dangerously underestimate the man. Putin has incredible strength of will and may be the only major world leader in our time who is touched, if darkly, with genius. The tragedy–which in true Russian spirit often veers into farce–is that Russia and the United States face many of the same threats and challenges: Islamist fanaticism, the rise of China and many lesser concerns. Yet, cooperation on these matters, by Russia’s choice, is limited or non-existent. Russia doesn’t really fear us–that’s hogwash. But Russians are infernally jealous of our position in the world, of our wealth, success and attractiveness as a system and a culture.

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