Government Watch / National Security / Politics

Reading Putin’s Mind

Putin

What is Putin thinking? After aligning himself with China, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela, invading a free neighbor, suffering up to 30,000 military dead, revulsion of world leaders, unifying NATO, he suddenly gives a speech vilifying Western values, warns “all things come to an end,” says we are acting as “God’s messenger.” What goes on in the mind of Russia’s leader?

From one perspective, Putin’s mind is probably hard to unpack, awash in machinations of a former Soviet intelligence officer, an insecure and unrepentant autocrat, a transparently messianic and narcissistic megalomaniac. Other than that, he seems – perfectly normal.

From another perspective, however, his thinking may not be irrational, just hungry for historical reaffirmation of Russia’s place in the world, a nation boxed in by China’s economy and modernizing military, plus a reunified West led by the US, devoted to democracy, liberty, and equality, not centralized power and autocracy.

Putin came to political consciousness when the Soviet Union was a superpower, served in Eastern Europe as an intelligence officer, saw the Berlin Wall crumble, fled, then rose to power on Russia’s oil economy and the notion that Russia was still a superpower.

What does the world look like to such a leader – now? Not very inviting. Even before Russia undertook its disastrous attack on Ukraine, the world was slipping away. Putin’s oil economy was up and down. belligerence toward the West growing, relations with China tightening, along with domestic repression.

Then, with the world assuming he possessed a strong conventional military, he invaded Ukraine – an act Biden could have deterred, but one Putin felt confident executing. This disastrous undertaking has cost more dead than ten years of occupying Afghanistan, and incalculable loss of prestige. Today, he has 80 percent support at home, but this may also change.

In 2020, Putin followed Communist China’s President Xi, seeking a constitutional amendment that would keep him in power until 2036, and got it. Relations continue to tighten between China and Russia.

That said, opposition to Putin – even against a backdrop of fear, new laws punishing “fake news,” and trimming protests – is real. Putin knows, despite current popularity, a wave of discontent could rise this winter as Western sanctions kick in, tens of thousands of young men do not come home, and food gets short.

More, he knows other facts. The world thought Russia possessed a well-trained, well-equipped, high moral military. That turns out to be untrue, huge gaps – compounded by combat losses – in readiness, capability, and reach. More embarrassing, Putin apparently did not foresee this misfire.

All this points to lost prestige, confidence, perceived capability. Global condemnation may widen, going from outrage over mass human rights violations to a global food crisis, as winter comes. Russia has blocked agriculture and shipping from Ukraine, which experts say may create global famines.

So, with bad news getting worse, what is Putin thinking? What is to be achieved by a speech threatening the West ideologically, morally, and even militarily? The answer is probably simple.

China and Russia declared a “security pact” in February 2022, playing off Biden’s weakness and internal US divisions.  In that pact, they pledge to redefine the world, ending the post-WWII political and military consensus, the premium on human rights, democracy, individual liberties, self-determination, and free elections.

Rather than timeless rights, well-recognized in our Bill of Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Geneva and other conventions, China, and Russia aid to advance communism and autocracy.

On its face, this seems untenable, but China and Russia want a “new world order,” permission for lawlessness at home and abroad, backed by superior military might. President Xi and the Communists have pushed this agenda, and now Putin is doing his part.

So, what does Putin’s speech really mean? 

First, Biden and NATO must wake up, fund their respective militaries, and be prepared for surrogate and direct confrontations. The game is on, ideologically, economically, and with respect to military strength.

Second, Biden and Democrats must wake up, stop placating China, stop pretending Iran and North Korea – allied with China and Russia – are benign, keep sanctions tight on all parties, appease none.

Third, Biden and Democrats must understand “peace through strength” – a policy articulated by Reagan, followed by Bush 41 and Trump – is not a bumper sticker, not words but a strategy that prevents war.

Fourth, Biden and Democrats must understand – once and for all – that security begins at home, with reduced inflation, energy independence, border integrity, the rule of law, safe streets, respect for police, the corporate sector, public opinion, and the Supreme Court, not to mention state and individual rights.  Cohesion at home is a measure of geopolitical strength, or “a house divided falls.”

Last, while Putin’s speech seems irrational, histrionic, and accusatory, it is typical for a nation that, during Soviet and post-Soviet times, has been insecure and is losing a war. The best defense is a good offense, and Putin is working to preempt the loss of support at home. That said, US leaders must understand this new China-Russia nexus as real, persistent, and dangerous.


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John
3 months ago

We have $40 billion reasons to believe Russia is winning and winning big and that the media has been misreporting and misleading. Russia is more of a competitor than an enemy from a national interest standpoint. Much like Germany was our largest trading partner and strongest competitor prior to WW1. So America’s corporations persuaded the government to enter the war on the side of Britain and France to weaken the competition. Russia competes so they must be framed as an enemy. Ukraine launders the money that ends up in the bank accounts of our political leader’s famlies and friends. The American oligarchs and plutocrats line their pockets with taxpayer money.

casscowgirl
3 months ago

Sometimes looking at many sources for information gives a more accurate picture. You have to go further back to the coup d’etat that the CIA carried out in Ukraine in 2014, when they overthrew the elected government that was more Soviet aligned, to the one the CIA installed. Remember the leaked Victoria Nuland phone calls? Sen. Rubio’s questions to her in the hearings? Right. Remember the pictures of Victoria Nuland handing out donuts to the “protestors” that in hindsight now look remarkably like the antifa of the last couple of years America has suffered from and they used much the same tactics. Antifa did not start in America. The Russians are suffering? Maybe, but their currency isn’t in decline, they have food, fertilizer and gas. And us? Oh no, we’re boycotting Russia in support of a country that sends massive amounts of monetary donations to democrat politicians. So American politicians are sending large amount of taxpayer dollars to the Ukraine at the urging of American taxpayers “support Ukraine”! Who are then sending it back to democrat politicians. Money laundering. It’s also good business for Lloyd Austin’s Raytheon as we are sending them weapons which of course will have to be replaced at taxpayer expense. Then you have the investments by Pelosi’s son, Romney’s son, John Kerry’s son and of course, Hunter Biden in Ukraine. Those investments much be protected.
NATO exists to keep Russia in check. I’m old enough to remember how tense it was was Russia had missals in Cuba and Ukraine is a heck of a lot closer to Russia than that. Russia was promised when the Berlin wall came down NATO would no move one inch further east. Well, that’s happened more than once, and Kamala was publicly in Ukraine urging them to join NATO. What could go wrong? This is something Putin was clear on years ago, but unlike obama, when Putin drew a red line he meant it.
Then there are the CIA bio-weapons labs, 46 of them in Ukraine, minus of course the ones Putin has by now destroyed. After watching how the CDC, the NIH and the WHO handled Covid-19, how much faith would YOU have knowing there are 46 CIA bio-weapons labs next door to your country? Hunter Biden’s group helped fund them.
Ukraine started shelling Donbas region DAYS before Russia “invaded”. These were areas that VOTED to stay part of Russia, they are ethnically Russian. They are forbidden to speak Russian in school or have Russian culture, but hey. It really isn’t that puzzling.
What is puzzling is the CIA support and American taxpayer dollars going to the AZOV battalion who are real life nazis. Look at the banners. They brag about it, this isn’t a secret. Except maybe to cnn or msnbc.
So what’s in Putin’s mind? More than President Puddin’head that we have. I think there is nothing to be gained by not looking at a situation honestly, and for that you need accurate information. There are a lot of videos coming out from independent journalists over there. There are videos of Ukrainian citizens telling it’s been the Russians that have helped them. Telling it is the Ukrainian military that bombed them, they saw it. It’s the Ukrainian citizens everywhere that are suffering from it and it all started with our CIA in 2014. But if you want videos, you’ll have to try Rumble or Odyssey. YouTube might have a few. But you know how they are.

Rosalee Cavanaugh
3 months ago
Reply to  casscowgirl

The USA needs a bogyman and it has been Russia because we are for democracy and they are communist. This Ukraine war, Hilary using Russia to smear Trump, oil crisis blamed on Russia etc. in this decade is telling us a different story. The USA is not the cowboy in the white house anymore. It is the slippery snake dens of criminals. Supreme Court Justices under attack is from the Russians or from our Congress & Presidents approval? Is our gas storage really from Russia or from protecting Biden/Pelosi family’s interest in the oil companies in the Ukraine? Soros is a German, not a Russian.
I used to love reading Mr. Charles article until the US decided to back Ukraine.

Art
3 months ago

SO HISTRIONIC,IRRATIONAL,AND ACCUSATORY ARE TRAITS OF PUTIN? REMIND YOU OF ANYONE???? FILL IN THE BLANK__________. BOTH ARE DANGEROUS IN THEIR OWN WAY. AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED WE KNEW IT AND BLEW IT!!! THE REVENUE STREAM TO THE FIRST FAMILY MAY BE IN JEOPARDY. PUTIN IS ON THE OFFENSIVE. JOEY IS IN HIS CLAM SHELL.

Jeb
3 months ago

Maybe, just maybe, he is reading the minds of the joeblow regime and doing a solid job of it…just a thought.

David
3 months ago

Putin says he is doing the work of God because he believes he is God.
It’s simple “Actions Speak Louder than words”. If our administration thinks for one moment that if he think he is going to lose in Ukraine, (or anywhere else for that matter} he won’t pull out all the stops, including the Nuclear Option, they are sadly mistaken.
The recommendations in this article are spot on. The man (Not God) Putin is evil through and through, his “Actions speak louder than words”

Steve M Weidert
3 months ago

That would be a short read

CoNMTX
3 months ago

I’m quite sure that the Democrats & NATO don’t lack in understanding. I’m never sure of what Biden understands, if anything. However, it doesn’t matter what they understand. The point is to destroy America and build back Globalist as part of the one-world government. They are not being stupid or naive. What is happening is exactly as planned by the demo/Marxists. They are controlled by Satan and therefore, can do nothing but evil.

PaulE
3 months ago

RBC,

If nothing else, Putin has highlighted how badly most western intelligence agencies completely miscalulated the strength and capabilities of Russia’s conventional military forces. What was thought to be a finely tuned, well-trained, first class conventional military force has instead shown itself to be highly disorganized, poorly trained and lacking in strategic thinking at the leadership level. Sure they can eventually, through sheer raw numbers, overwhelming brute force and more long range weapons, shell and bomb a much smaller and less equiped Ukraine army into submission. However, the Russian conventional military was supposed to be able to steamroll across most western Europe with incredible ease per the intelligence agencies of the West. Instead Putin finds himself slogging through what he thought would be a 3 day cake walk to easy victory after months of high troop and equipment loses. So yet again, our vaunted intelligence agencies have shown to be less than accurate in their assessments for which we sink billions of dollars a year to fund.

As to the rest of your article, what you are describing is what a competent Republican President and Congress would do to address both Russia and China. Actually such a President and Congress would have never made the mistakes that led up to emboldening Putin in the first place, but that is a topic for another day. Expecting either the Biden administration or the Democrat controlled Congress to heed any of your advice is, at best, wishful thinking and completely counter to the typical Democrat mindset. We are unfortunately in for at least another 2.5 years of dangerous foreign policy mistakes until hopefully a more competent Republican President in the mold of either Reagan or Trump becomes POTUS. Until then, the best we can hope for is the Biden administration doesn’t just hand over the United States to China on a silver platter in the name of “transitioning to green energy” in order to combat so-called climate change.

Art
3 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

PAULE — KUDOS TO YOU— COMPETENCY MATTERS.

Luke
3 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

This bears repeating: “Until then, the best we can hope for is the Biden administration doesn’t just hand over the United States to China on a silver platter in the name of “transitioning to green energy” in order to combat so-called climate change.”

This is exactly what’s happening to America as we speak. Those pushing the climate change lobby are absolutely insane…right down to every man and every woman. These people have no concept of reality. While Americans pay more for everything to reduce America’s carbon footprint, CCP laughs. Why? Because, they know very well that climate change is stupid and won’t spend a dime on it. Their long game is to allow this insanity to bankrupt countries so they’ll have an easier time of conquering them. While news media and idiot politicians manipulate the American taxpayer, CCP watches and waits.

terg
3 months ago

Enough of these articles. AMAC is supposed to be doing something about our social security. I’m sick of these war mongering articles. I’m with Ron Paul.

Rbc
3 months ago
Reply to  terg

Please note that AMAC tries constantly to write and speak and advocate for social security solvency, reform, COLAs, and other benefits critical to seniors at this time. We even have legislation we have drafted and support, and have must-call-in resources for all seniors. We are also about to publish a major new book on Social Security. That said, constitutional , law and order, economic and national security concerns affect us all, affect dollar, budget, and – in effect – a broader definition if our “social security,” which is why we also weigh in on these, are a crucial juncture in American history. That said, good thought and comment! Thank you! RBC

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