- - Tuesday, October 11, 2016


It’s Vladimir Putin’s world, and we’re just living in it.

In the past week or so alone, Mr. Putin’s Russia has pulled out of two nuclear treaties, threatened to shoot down American jets in the Middle East, moved its navy into the Mediterranean, and issued a list of outrageous demands to President Obama.

Adding insult to injury, American intelligence agencies confirmed that Mr. Putin is behind a series of ongoing cyber-attacks interfering with the upcoming presidential election.

The response from Mr. Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry? Nothing. Once again, this administration rolls over in the face of Mr. Putin’s aggression.

But Mr. Putin isn’t lashing out at random. He has a master plan to make Russia a global superpower again.

Mr. Putin’s master plan will break up NATO, roll back American influence, and replace it with Russian power around the world.

We are seeing his master plan at work from Syria to Ukraine to Iran to North Korea, with American power and influence disintegrating while Mr. Putin grows stronger every day.

Mr. Putin is working tirelessly to destroy the world order that has stood since the end of the Cold War, especially in Europe, and replace it with one where Russia has the power, influence and military strength to get its way on every issue.

This means attacking Russia’s immediate neighbors and turning them into Mr. Putin’s puppets, neutralizing Europe and ending the trans-Atlantic relationship with America, and driving an endless series of global crises that drain the West’s ability to influence global affairs while promoting the interests of Russia and its allies.

In short, Mr. Putin plans to make the 21st century a Russian century.

Mr. Putin’s master plan for the future of the world is evident in his pattern of military aggression, dangerous provocations and destructive interventionism that demonstrates his single-minded strategy to resurrect Russia as a global superpower.

Mr. Putin’s determination to achieve this vision should not be underestimated. But Western leaders appear blind to his far-reaching plan. When Mr. Putin first invaded Ukraine, Mr. Obama’s only response was warning Mr. Putin that he is “on the wrong side of history.”

On the contrary, Mr. Putin is writing history. Mr. Obama, Mr. Kerry and the rest of America’s foreign policy leaders have completely failed to stop him and continue to naively believe that he is interested in peace and friendship.

The cost of Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry’s naivete has been enormous.

The wars started by Mr. Putin have claimed the lives of untold thousands, with the bloodbath in Syria and the grinding conflict in Ukraine both horrific evidence of how far he will go to get his way. Mr. Putin’s support for the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea could have dire consequences in the very near future.

And Mr. Putin shows no signs of letting up in Ukraine, Syria, Iran, North Korea or elsewhere

Should Mr. Putin achieve his master plan, the world will become a much darker and far more dangerous place. Mr. Putin and his rogues’ gallery of allied totalitarians, tyrants and extremists will bully their neighbors, invade their enemies and slaughter innocents to get their way. And America won’t lift a finger to stop them.

Vladimir Putin’s master plan reaches from the United Kingdom to the United Arab Emirates, and from Korea to Kyrgyzstan, with consequences for every country, especially America.

Mr. Putin is already unleashing hybrid warfare, cyber-attacks, targeted propaganda, and political disruption against Russia’s immediate neighbors in Ukraine, Georgia and the Baltics. These smaller, weaker countries have been largely abandoned to Mr. Putin by their supposed allies in Washington and Brussels.

In Europe, Mr. Putin backs pro-Russian populist political parties on both the extreme left and extreme right that disrupt politics, spread anti-American propaganda, and work to undermine NATO and the EU.

In the Middle East, Mr. Putin has sent the Russian navy and air force into Syria while backing Iran’s successful bid for regional power, but he also has no problem selling arms to disillusioned American allies, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

In Asia, Mr. Putin is pursuing an ever-deeper strategic partnership with China, and backing the sickeningly brutal North Korean regime.

There is even discussion of Russia reopening a military base in Cuba.

So far, Mr. Putin’s master plan is working. Russia’s power is growing in every corner of the world, while America retreats.

The new reality of an insurgent, increasingly lawless Russia opposed to American-led democratic norms must be recognized and confronted by American foreign policy.

Our current administration has failed miserably to fight back against Mr. Putin or put a stop to his master plan, and prospects for change in the future — with a new presidential administration in 2017 — are uncertain at best.

Yet unless the United States awakens soon to the real threat that Vladimir Putin poses, his world-spanning master plan, and his unbreakable determination to achieve global power, we will continue to fail.

America faces a dangerous future, as do our allies around the world. Mr. Putin is winning, and we are losing. Only vigorous assertion of American power can write a different script.

Douglas E. Schoen is a Democratic consultant and pollster, and the author of “Putin’s Master Plan” (Encounter, 2016).

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide