- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think that President Obama is fundamentally correct in saying the obvious, that Putin’s Russia is no longer a superpower. He stood outside Putin‘s apartment house yesterday and yelled up, “Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength but out of weakness.”
That said, weak players can still punch strong players in the nose, if they are more willing to take the pain than the big guy is. For more on this, see LBJ, 1964-1968.