What is confusing the vast majority of the American public, and pushing Russia back into the position of presumptive superpower, is the attempt by Moscow’s aspiring czar Putin to protect its Mideast dominance and regain the prominence it lost when the Soviet Union fragmented in 1990, thereby ceding the world’s foreign policy dominance to the U.S.A.
The predecessor Soviet Union, which controlled most of Eastern Europe, the Baltic States, much of the Balkans, the Ukraine, Belarus, the Caucasian provinces, and a large swath of central Asia, also lost its military dominance, and much of the population and technological pre-eminence, which seemed to have made it the equal of the U.S.
However, it held on to its dominance over Syria and a major naval port, Tarsus, which gave it an outlet for its large navy, which it had never held in previous centuries.
Russia’s growing Putin dictatorship also led to the utilization of its Security Council veto and a solid alliance with Security Council member China to exert its influence over increasingly extremist Iran, beset by widening world sanctions.
However, what most pundits don’t seem to realize is that the major factor that is frightening Russia is that the U.S. is ready to invade Russia’s only relative monopoly over its neighbors’ oil and natural gas requirements. Once the U.S. “fracking” revolution gains full throttle, it will reduce much of Russia’s fossil fuel dominance over its neighbors. At this point, Moscow’s fossil fuel production is the only tangible leverage it now has with neighbor nations, in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse.
By using Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas as an ally against Israel, it is likely that Putin will demand the overall Mideast arena as an area free of weapons of mass destruction, to force Israel to give up its one major defense card— an arsenal of 200 warheads that have kept its potential enemies at bay since the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
What is most troubling is that Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and centuries of intrigue and deceit will likely attempt to out-maneuver President Barack Obama, John Kerry, and the relatively amateurish U.S. Defense and State Department teams.
As we head into the end of the 2013 fiscal year, and face the implementation of Obamacare, a soaring debt, and an unbalanced budget, it’s more than likely that the overhanging sword of world power politics may trump all other issues.
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