May 20, 2009:
Russia has learned from its experience in the Cold War (thus the market economy and voting), but cannot get away from its Cold War thinking. Russia's newly published defense strategy through 2020 is based on avoiding another arms race with the West, by also preventing neighboring nations from joining NATO. While the document does not come right out and mention the United States as a rival, Russia is preoccupied with American military superiority. This is seen in its strong opposition to the American anti-missile system being built in Poland and the Czech Republic. This system is to prevent Iran from intimidating Europe with nuclear tipped ballistic missiles. Russia believes the anti-missile system is there to prevent Russia from intimidating Europe with nuclear tipped ballistic missiles. Many European nations agree with this view as well. Russia seems, officially at least, oblivious of how much neighboring nations fear Russia. Russians take it as a given that Russia must dominate and manipulate its neighbors. The neighbors are joining NATO to get away from this, and Russia does not like it. Russia won't admit what is actually going on, and invents other, rather vague, reasons for avoiding this neutralizing of their historical domination of their neighbors.