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Whatever the state of affairs may be, the staging is in for the next Administration.

Putin has reinvented Russia as a neo-imperial power with privileged classes anchored by the “New Nobility” (FSB) and the oligarchs with himself a level or two above all he has leveraged (in service to his own unlimited narcissistic supply).

The United States has managed to force Putin to attempt to produce a national economy based on other than oil revenues and skimmed proceeds from others states — and Putin has produced law for punishing the oligarchs from exporting their capital (capital flight in Russia over many years plus the loss of anticipated oil revenues plus sanctions have had good effects).

NATO has moved its machinery into place to stall additional inroads against former Soviet clients, and it has recently put on a demonstration of power against Russia’s own parading of nuclear might.

I got to tell you have so many years of tracking the Islamic Small Wars and discovering the “Phantoms of the Soviet” in contemporary foreign affairs, this is scary stuff!

Of course, there are “Phantoms of the Soviet” also in American domestic affairs.

Start with Black Lives Matter and the Chicago Coalition Against Racism and Political Repression along that line and end in the murky affection between V. Putin and D. Trump and the oddness of Trump’s having for his political advisor the same Paul Manafort as Ukraine’s deposed President Yanukovych.

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