Episode 183: “Have US and EU Blunders Led to Putin’s War?” with J. Michael Waller
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In this episode I’m talking again with Dr. J. Michael Waller, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy,
Mike’s Secret Empire: The KGB in Russia Today predicted the rise of the KGB, and inevitably, a Vladimir Putin. He was also Annenberg Professor of International Communication at the Institute of World Politics, and instructor in SYOPS operation at the Kennedy Special Warfare Center School at Fort Bragg.
In this wide ranging and of necessity, speculative conversation we ask whether, after the Cold War ended, the United States could have brought Russia into alignment with the West. There are many what if’s.
Here’s some of what we speculate about.
Is the war in Ukraine a product of Putin’s aggression or US/EU fecklessness, or both?Why did President Bush 41’s Administration fear the collapse of the Soviet Union? and even urged countries, such as Ukraine, to temper their hopes for a popularly elected government?After the USSR collapsed, the U.S. had a real opportunity to shape post-Soviet Russia. Why did we leave it to an unholy alliance of criminal cartels, oligarchs and KGB officers?Was Vladimir Putin’s rise inevitable?Has he become unstable, or a master chess-player? Or something else?How good is US spy craft in understanding Putin’s mindset?Who is Claus von Stauffenberg and what did he do? Hint: he’s why Putin has a blast barrier under his 50′ conference table.Has weak US national security leadership e.g. our catastrophic Afghanistan withdrawal, been provocative?Did Putin decide that with America’s national security leaders obsessed with climate change and “white rage”, not war fighting, there’s been no better time to invade Ukraine?How did our main central European NATO ally – Germany – become completely dependent on Putin’s good graces in order for its economy to continue?
Mike Waller brings a lifetime of national security intelligence research and tradecraft to our conversation. His answers are fascinating.