July 27, 2015
By Leon Aron
President Obama called Russia a “regional power” with the obvious implication that the US should not worry about it too much. He has praised Russia for its “help” in negotiating with Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry, too, has held up Russia’s cooperation on Syria as an example “of what happens when Russia and the United States work together.” Should we follow the administration’s lead in its basic sanguinity about Russia – or are there grounds for serious and long-term concern?
1. Is Putin’s Russia a mere “regional power” or is it a clear and present danger to US national security – and if so, why? Putin’s Russia presents an unprecedented challenge for the US: a revisionist (perhaps even revanchist), nationalist, ideologically inflamed, messianically-minded, dictatorship in possession of 1,582 strategic nuclear weapons on nearly 500 strategic delivery vehicles.
No, this is not Cold War II in the sense of a long-term global contest between liberal capitalism and totalitarian communism. Yet, paradoxically, the Putin regime may be more dangerous in the long run than the Soviet Union was...
Read the full article at the American Enterprise Institute: 5 questions every presidential candidate should answer: Vladimir Putin’s regime edition