Putin’s Russia is hardly the Soviet Union, it’s much less mighty and lacks any expansionist ideology. But it’s safe to say this week now coming to a close marks the end of America’s unipolar moment, of unchallenged hegemony that began in 1991 or so with the fall of the Soviet empire. The multipolar world that everyone keeps heralding is finally here. This will be seen as a positive development by some, less so by others; as always, it’s too soon to tell. What can be said, however, is that this new multipolar world will surprise in ways that few can yet imagine.
The last week has seen dramatic shifts in the U.S. position on Syria, the Middle East region and perhaps the world. A couple weeks back I predicted imminent TLAM strikes on the Assad regime’s chemical weapons infrastructure “barring some strange turn of events.”
And what a strange turn of events we’ve witnessed. Having realized that the American people have little interest in another war of choice in the Middle East, President Obama referred the matter to Congress and, when that began to go wobbly – predictably, given the mess that is the U.S. Congress, and not improved by the apparently total lack of prep work done by the White House on The Hill regarding Syria – the Administration in effect outsourced the matter to Vladimir Putin.
Jumping on an ill-timed statement by Secretary of State John Kerry, on Monday Moscow saw its moment and leapt, both hands extended. Now, five…
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