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Russia must be close to all in.

Sunday, October 9, 2016 12:40
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“On Monday Russia cancelled its weapon-grade plutonium disposal agreement with the US.” Jeffrey Lewis describes in Foreign Policy why this is such a big deal:

And we’re talking about a lot of plutonium here. … One hundred and twenty-eight metric tons is enough for 32,000 nuclear weapons. Want to get your arms race on? … what are we other than doomed.”

…Yet the ship of state is locked on course, with bipartisan support. Nothing will be allowed to stop Barack Obama’s third term via Hillary Clinton, therefore it is steady as she goes. Nobody really believes that accusations of election law violations, the revelation that two bankers boxes full of printed emails promised the FBI were missing or anything else will derail her inevitable shuffle to the White House. Not after newly disclosed emails show how Hillary was coached to avoid trouble with the FBI by the White House itself. Not after it was announced that “House Speaker Paul Ryan will not campaign with Donald Trump Saturday as he had previously planned.

Whatever Putin is playing at, Russia must be close to all in. There cannot be much of a margin left. With an shrinking economy smaller than Italy or South Korea’s the Kremlin is taking outsize chance by challenging the West across such a broad front. The payoff must logically be worth the risk and either the Russian knows what he’s doing or he does not. Putin appears to be relying almost entirely on his ability to out-think Hillary, Kerry, Obama and perhaps Trump though he may have something hidden up his sleeve: perhaps a deal with China; maybe some powerful blackmail card.

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