|Jaguar Attacking A Horseman - Eugène Delacroix|
Russia is a complex country, that (according to Stratfor in Russia After Putin: Inherent Leadership Struggles) needs a very strong leader to maintain its stability, otherwise it incurs the risk of crumbling; for historically only when it "has had an autocratic leader who set up a system where competing factions are balanced against each other has Russia enjoyed prosperity and stability." For the moment, that autocratic leader is Vladimir Putin.
Autocrats are usually megalomaniacs and imperialists - the psycho-pathological condition and the political policy are not really a problem, Machiavellianly speaking; however, psychotic disorders (such as delusions and paranoia) can definitely be.
Russia is obsessed with the idea that the US (the symbol of western power) refuses to treat other countries equally and that it seeks absolute hegemony only for itself - which today is not entirely true; but unfortunately delusion impedes Russia from admitting it. Deep down, Russia would like to be like the US only without the freedom, the democratic values and the liberties the US (i.e. the West) grants its citizens.
And because it can't be like its nemesis, it can't beat it and it refuses to join it; Russia decided the best way to contribute to international politics is to re-create a cold war-like environment, try to re-align the world and sell mayhem to the highest bidder.
America is changing its strategy. For the obsolete politicians and analysts, the US shift in foreign policy is viewed as a sign of weakness, of gradual loss of power, of political incompetence; but for the futurist politician and analyst, the US shift is seen as a repositioning tactic. This strategy eyes the long-term gains, not the short-term ones.
Russia fetched its strategy from the archives. For the obsolete politicians & analysts, the Russian revivalism is regarded as a sign of re-birth, of gradual repossession of power, of political savvy; but for the futurist politician & analyst, the Russian revivalism may be seen as the last gasp of a dying bird. The Russian strategy eyes the short-term gains, not the long-term ones.
Russia sells us the image that it follows the principle of inviolability of national sovereignty; that it gives utter priority to diplomacy in conflict resolution while rejecting the disproportionate use of force; that it seeks a universality of norms of international conduct while rejecting double standards and that it repudiates “humanitarian interventions; but these serve only to sugar-coat Russia's real intentions: those of conquering the world.
In order to depose the US, Russia needs friends. For that effect, it will reach out to countries that feel neglected by the West and, like Iago, it will play the melody of intrigue until those countries share its feelings towards the US. But what those nations fail to see is that Russia/Iago will need to use their grievances against them when convenient; because let's face it:
A. The principle of inviolability of national sovereignty equals to: I will prevent these democracy-obsessed westerners from meddling in your affairs; so that in the future you will have my back when they try to meddle in mine.
B. Priority to diplomacy in conflict resolution equals to: I will not allow NATO nor a US-led military coalition to attack your country; so that in the future when my people try to depose my regime and ask the US for help, you won't allow it either. I prefer diplomacy but until we get a resolution, I'd like to offer you the unique opportunity to acquire some weapons from me.
C. Rejection of disproportionate use of force equals to: if the country attacking my friends uses US, British, French or Israeli weaponry, it is disproportionately using force; if it uses Russian weapons, it is defending itself against terrorists, neo-colonialism, imperialism and occupation.
D. Universality of norms of international conduct stands for: cover my butt.
E. Rejection of double-standards stands for: Russian hypocrisy & contradiction (because their principles and national interests demand double-standards).
F. Repudiation of "humanitarian intervention" signifies: I will hamper any humanitarian intervention (which is another name for military intervention to generate regime change) in your country; so that when my times comes you will prevent the US from trying to change my autocracy and usher Russians into democracy and freedom.
It seems quite straightforward, in the short-term. However, what will happen, in the long-term, after the American repositioning, the Chinese pragmatism and their friends' change of heart? The Russian obsolete strategy is bound to fail - thus marking the end of the Neo-Cold War.