I'm very busy for the next while and am not sure I'll have time to post much, but in the wake of Dave's recent post, I want to put a question out there that I've been pondering for some time. Quickly:
The USSR is thought to have collapsed in part because, often credited to Reagan, the US was able to outspend it on defence - the Soviet economy could not sustain matching US spending. Russian bomber flights, active SSBN activity, and Cold War rhetoric force the US to spend and commit more forces to the defence of NA/CONUS. The US is militarily hyper-extended, stuck in indefinite wars on the other side of the globe. The bulk of US military capacity is stuck in feeding Iraq and Afghanistan. The US is economically very weak with a reliance on int'l trade for growth, falling $, incomprehensible deficit, a penchant for outrageously expensive military toys (F-22), and blinkered leadership... Bush policy has left the United States in a very weak strategic position. Putin knows judo which means he looks for ways to use his opponents weight and strength against them.
Could Russia be doing to the US what the US did to it force its collapse?