There is No Reason to Embrace the Russian Bear

Oh, this is a bunch of nothing:

President Barack Obama was intent on getting the upper hand as he greeted Russia's Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit on Thursday, according to body language experts who watched the frosty exchange. 

From a jacket-buttoning pause to a hard-pumping handshake, Obama displayed tell-tale signs of dominance after he alit from a limo in front of St. Petersburg's Konstantin Palace, where Putin waited to meet him, communication experts said. 

There was no outright hostility, but the chill between the two world leaders — at loggerheads over NSA leaker Edward Snowden and a strike against Syria — was evident in clenched-jaw smiles and lack of eye-contact and touching, the experts said.

Russia, as a player on the world's stage, becomes more and more irrelevant by the day. In terms of GDP, Russia is only slightly ahead of Italy and is well behind Brazil, Germany, China, and the United States to name just a few. Moments like this are supposed to suggest a return to the Cold War. Russia would very much like to return to those days but, the fact remains, it is a dying country full of alcoholics, brutality, and misery.

The ability to project power is what matters. China is desperately chasing a blue water navy and influence wherever it can. Without the ability to do so relegates a nation/state to a very limited ability to demonstrate why it matters. Russia simply doesn't matter anymore. It can be counted on to perform the duties of a troll on the world's stage, one that is increasingly easy to ignore.

The Russian bear is a shadow of itself. In five years, it will be lucky to find itself in the top 20 in terms of GDP and it will still be largely irrelevant.

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