Is Russia Weak?

Russia has put down uprisings and insurgencies within its own borders and in the post-Soviet space as far away as Tajikistan, and it can influence US security strategy worldwide. So why do so many Westerners persist in calling Russia "weak"?

MOSCOW Western leaders and observers persistently repeat, like a mantra, that Russia is “weak.” This judgment is based on a flawed comparison between Russia and the Soviet Union –though one that is also popular in Russia itself.

Measured by Soviet standards, Russia has weakened. But, as former United States National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft noted, Russia still “has enormous capacities to influence the US security strategy in any country.”

A country with such influence over a military superpower cannot be considered weak. In fact, the issue is not Russia’s strength per se , but whether Russia intelligently concentrates and applies it.

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