Are Vlad’s Nukes a Real Threat?

President Vladimir Putin, can I call you Vlad, has decided to up the nuclear ante. Yes, yes, I know, a week before Russian “elections.” If there was any justice we would be interfering with the Russian elections by sending Hillary over to support whatever candidate opposed Vlad. But I digress.

Wow! Vlad’s graphics showing a red line avoiding air defense bubbles had me on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately for the spellbound the ability to do that is old hat and has been fundamental doctrine for a while. So, how to make this special? Wait, wait we’ll add an inexhaustible nuclear engine, yea that’s it, that’s what we need, an inexhaustible nuclear cruise missile.
Did Vlad’s new missile anticipate being tracked from space? Movement to avoid one or more air defense bubbles could identify the inexhaustible missile based on relative movement. I’m fairly certain we can do that. Avoidance of bubbles would in fact create a tracer on the missile. Identify the missile and it can be taken out; red line graphics notwithstanding.

Take heart, if we suffer a mushroom cloud it won’t be delivered directly by Russia. Russia would much rather have surrogates do the deed. Russia has significant and identifiable relationships with North Korea, Iran and Syria, all bad actors from our point of view. Russia also holds the Sword of Damocles over European energy supplies. Russia can deliver technology to bad actors if they have not done so already and they can shut the lights off in Europe.

What Reagan recognized and what we should realize today is that economically Russia doesn’t stand a chance in a serious military competition were it to come to that. Our good friends in Canada have a more significant economy than Russia. In point of fact Indonesia has a larger economy than Russia based on GDP rankings.

Even in the bad old days of the cold war there were only two things to truly worry us about regarding the Russians/Soviets. One was nukes and the other was political interference. As it turns out there was no 5 year plan that overwhelmed the energy of Capitalism; got that comrade. I believe it was John McCain that referred to Russia as a “filling station posing as a country.”

The Russians/Soviets have been at the interference game for at least 60 years, in some cases succeeding in having a voice in American Politics, the radicalized movements of the 60’s and 70’s is proof enough; this is nothing new for the Russians and nothing new for us. But what success the Russians have had, they’ve been able to distract, disinform and cast doubts on American elections and who the disinformation was a benefit to. Talk about a nuke of a different kind. Vlad’s disinformation efforts are one thing, collusion from our Democratic colleagues turned what should have been a matter of general agreement to a partisan hack job that goes on to this day absent any dispersal of actual evidence.
Russia should, however, be offered a bit of respect considering what they have accomplished on the world stage in light of the resources they have to work with. Russia is #13 on the international GDP hit parade. Vlad also has some problems of his own. Alcoholism is rampant in Russia. Russian life expectancy ranks 153rd in the world and getting worse, the gap between the rich and poor is massive, the Russian birth rate is normal but the death rate is staggering. Muslim extremism is well entrenched on Russia’s southern borders and the Russian economy is stagnant and, in majority, contingent on energy production.

Vlad has created a criminal ruling class with Vlad as the baldest man on the block and unapologetic about making the point. The professional profilers will likely come to the conclusion that Vlad is not going to fire off a nuke.

He may be pathological but he’s not suicidal. He is also smarter than the average bear.

Take a deep breath and get a good night’s sleep.