Why Putin has not been deterred
NATO members have a collective GDP seven times larger than Russia’s. Their aggregate population is 1 billion. Yet the majority will not spend enough on defense to deter their weaker enemies.
The second-largest NATO member, Turkey, is closer to Russia than to the United States. Its people poll anti-American.
Germany is NATO’s richest European member and the power behind the European Union. Yet Germany will soon be dependent on imported Russian natural gas for much of its energy needs.
In a recent Pew Research Center poll, 70 percent of Germans voiced a desire for more cooperation with Russia. Most Americans poll the exact opposite.
Worse, 60 percent of Germans oppose going to the aid of any NATO country in time of war. Over 70 percent of Germans term their relationship with the United States as “bad.”
We can translate all these disturbing results in the following manner: The German and Turkish people like or trust Russia more than they do their own NATO patron, America.
They would not support participating in any NATO joint military effort against even an invading Russia — even, or especially, if spearheaded by an unpopular United States. …
Putin was once furious that Trump unilaterally left an asymmetrical U.S.-Russia missile accord. Trump ordered lethal force to be used against large numbers of Russian mercenaries who attacked a U.S. installation in Syria. He sold offensive weapons to Ukraine. He acted forcibly in taking out terrorist enemies such as Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani, the Islamicist Abu al-Baghdadi, and ISIS itself.
With Putin’s nemesis, Trump, gone, Russia assumes the appeasement years of the Obama-Biden Administration are back again. As in 2014, once more Putin is moving against his neighbors.