SAME AGAIN. The USA's new National Military Strategy finds threats everywhere: "the most unpredictable I have seen in 40 years of service". Russia, Iran, North Korea and China are specifically named as, in order, undermining, destabilising, threatening and adding tension. Some questions it neither asks nor answers: since, say 2002, is jihadism a bigger threat or a smaller threat? Iraq more stable or less stable? Afghanistan ditto? Russia more friendly or less friendly? China ditto? What makes them think that another dozen years of the same thing will get different results?
PUTIN'S RESPONSE. In what I agree was probably not an accident, Putin uses the expression "our geopolitical opponents" rather than his more usual "partners" at a recent meeting of the Security Council. "We cannot hope that some of our geopolitical opponents will change their hostile course anytime in the foreseeable future." This is as close as I have seen him come to publicly stating Russia is under attack. He remains confident: "It is clear today that attempts to split and divide our society, play on our problems, and seek out our vulnerable spots and weak links have not produced the results hoped for by those who imposed these restrictive measures on our country and continue to support them." He is correct to be confident, in my opinion.
N"G"Os. The Russian Federation Council has listed foreign organisations operating in Russia it considered to be undesirable and asked the Prosecutor General to rule on them. The idea presumably being to get a ruling that allows them to be expelled. They are the usual array of so-called non-government organisations which are part and parcel of Suzanne Nossel's "smart power". That is to say, agents of US foreign policy usually funded by the US State Department (eg, NDI, Freedom House, NED). These are the incubators of "colour revolutions".