While many may cringe at even the mention of a Cold War, Russia has no problem carrying out the policies that allowed the Soviet Union its breadth of influence in the last century: From Europe to the Arctic to Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, the Russians have embraced full-on Cold War tactics, while the U.S. struggles to play catch up. The Russians have been doing this for years.
First there was Moldova, where just days after independence in 1992 Russian troops decimated the tiny and massively overmatched Moldovan military. Today over 1,500 Russian troops and hundreds more so-called Russian “peacekeepers” occupy Transnistria, a region Russia conveniently calls a legitimate separatist region, which also happens to share a border with NATO ally Romania.
Sound familiar? It should.
Russia used the same tactics when invading Georgia in 2008, referring to Georgian sovereign territory of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as legitimate separatist regions.
The pattern continued with the grand prize for Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinSullivan says threat of Russian military invasion ‘high’ Democracy is on life support — and the GOP wants to pull the plug Biden defense chief voices support for Ukraine in call MORE: Ukraine — an invasion, followed by an annexation and yet another push further west.
All of these Russian ventures left a trail of death and destruction. Yet the response by the West has never been quite enough to thwart Putin’s ambitions, largely fueled by blackmail and extortion.
When the Biden administration came into power, it was forced to deal with a cascade of high-profile cyberattacks and espionage on both critical infrastructure and even the U.S. government. Cyber “rules of the road” were the name of the game when Biden sat down with Putin in Geneva, and Washington hoped the digital campaigns would cease, or at least slow. Barely a month afterwards, it was clear that the attacks were not stopping, and that the Kremlin was doing…