Vladimir Putin, the leader of Russia, is a Slav. The US does not understand Slavs. If they did, they would not have been so belligerent since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Hubris is always self-defeating.
The US indulged in tub-thumping the idea that it was the world’s undisputed superpower, when it was already obvious. Their subsequent litany of much publicised and failed attempts at being the world’s policeman then made them an object of derision.
The US is now discovering that the Slavs will not be intimidated. Putin is going ‘all in’. Beyond a certain point, the Slavs do not do diplomacy. Insult is met with insult, aggression with aggression, fire with fire. Even if is a losing situation, or a lose/lose situation, that is their way.
And what is the reaction of the US to the Russians sailing their whole Northern Fleet, including the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, to the Mediterranean and overtly threatening to go nuclear?
John Kerry, after consultation with his hairstylist, threatened an overwhelming response… to North Korea. Ahem.
The US brought on an unnecessary fight and then appears to be turning tail now that the designated enemy has turned up. It is the sensible reaction, but what an unnecessary (that word again) further loss of face and prestige.
Russia is on its last legs economically and demographically. Only funding for the military, espionage and propaganda remains intact. Even that cannot last. Under such ‘on the ropes’ circumstances, Putin is not totally averse to war. Clinton, on the assumption that she will be elected, is psychotic enough to oblige.