The NY Times is reporting on an intelligence-sharing accord pertaining to the Islamic State between Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran. The Russians did not consult with the United States before initiating this accord, so once again Putin has done an end run around the Obama administration, highlighting the stark contrast between “leading” and “leading from behind”.
I sized up the characters and personalities of both men along ago and it felt odd for me, being a Cold War warrior about the evils of the Soviet Union, to find myself choosing Putin as a far better geopolitical strategist than President Obama and his lame narrative-writers. Sure, lots of western analysts cast Putin as just an opportunist, but I think they’re underestimating him. Back in January 2013 I wrote “Putin By A Mile”, about who would you choose in a geopolitical match-up between Putin and Obama. I think my call was right:
Taking “a walk a mile in their shoes approach” puts us on firmer strategic ground than all this suspect psychobabble our assessments often contain. To understand Putin all it takes is to view Russia from where he stands. George Friedman does this best (here). While Putin’s actions do remain diametrically opposed to ours and most assuredly will produce future friction points, his actions make perfect strategic sense from the Russian viewpoint. He aggressively has secured energy resources and engaged the US in nuclear arms wrangling where he certainly pushed and received the things that are advantageous to Russia.
Then we have Barack Obama where he refused to sign the Keystone Pipeline deal, he gave away too much in the nuclear arms dealing and he and Madame Secretary have made one after another terrible missteps, stabbing our allies in the back, while bowing and scraping to our adversaries. He’s put us on the path to not only universal healthcare, but to being a universal third-rate bit player on the world stage. If I were assessing how the strategic plane looks from others’ vantage points, I would wonder, “those stupid Americans, they don’t even have the national will to promote their own interests”. And truly, any administration that utters a phrase like,”leading from behind” is worthy of only supreme contempt, in my opinion.
The ill-mannered TV reality urchin, Honey boo boo can keep Barack Obama, but as for me I’d pick Putin by a mile.
Leadership is about character and sadly for us we have the Captain of the JV team in this match-up….