How Putin outmaneuvers a blundering United States on the world stage

How Putin outmaneuvers a blundering United States on the world stage

By Stephen Kotkin, Washington Post

The United States and its allies won the Cold War, a prolonged struggle across the globe, but news accounts nowadays give the impression that the West has lost the post-Cold War “peace” amid a resurgence of authoritarianism.

Exhibit A: Russia.

Russia is a regional power,” President Barack Obama said dismissively at an international gathering in March 2014, after Moscow’s forcible annexation of Crimea. Back then, a Washington consensus largely belittled the United States’s former Cold War rival as a fatally declining has-been with less than a 3 percent share of global gross domestic product, compared to a U.S. share more than seven times as great.

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