What both administrations fail to realize is that the West is already at war, whether it wants to be or not. It may not be a war we recognize, but it is a war. This war seeks, at home and abroad, to erode our values, our democracy, and our institutional strength; to dilute our ability to sort fact from fiction, or moral right from wrong; and to convince us to make decisions against our own best interests.
Those on the Russian frontier, like my friends from Ukraine and Estonia, have already seen the Kremlin’s new toolkit at work.
Reading highly recommended: Putin’s Real Long Game – POLITICO Magazine – 1/2/2017.
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4. Don’t listen to “realists.” Self-described “realists” have suggested that Russia be given a free hand in the former Soviet republics in return for cooperation on issues that are vital to U.S. and Western security. This call to make a “deal,” in addition to its blatant immorality, ignores the fact that it makes sense to reach an understanding only with those who will keep their side of the bargain. The fact that the Russians are seeking to deny the former Soviet republics their rights as sovereign nations is all the indication one needs that an unenforceable “gentleman’s agreement” to cooperate with the West will be violated the minute it ceases to be to Russia’s advantage. The rejection of a moral framework for relations, meanwhile, will set the stage and help provide the justification for new and more outrageous Russian demands in the future.