[...] There is a balance to be struck between the West's obvious interest in getting Russian cooperation in the war on Jihadist terror and preventing Russian meddling in its near-abroad. There's a trade-off here. And allowing Russia its traditional sphere of influence may be much less of a headache than trying to police its every move and losing cooperation on such vital matters as securing loose nukes.
What worries me is that McCain's eagerness for more conflict in the world - pushing Russia and China into a corner - is not in the best interests of the United States. It may be moral; it may be exciting; it may provide the great national purpose McCain thinks we all need to feel. But it ignores the hard trade-offs involved, and perpetuates the whole with-us-or-against us bluster of the last eight years. We need more of that? More enemies? Less diplomacy? More conflict?
For the last seven years, Republicans and their neo-con lackeys (masters?) have trumped up the threat of Islamic jihad and/or the Axis of Evil to be the "threat of the 21st century." Cheney and his military-industrial buddies have mired us down in conventional ground wars that never needed to happen at the expense of the less testicular (and less-profitable) work of diplomacy and cooperation to secure the United States from the only REAL threat out there—
"Evil" countries like North Korea and Iran want a nuclear weapon as a deterrent. Not to use on us, or even Israel. And since we went into Iraq, they are understandably working double-time to get one. Having a nuke is the ace in the hole that would ensure the next President like Bush (um, McCain?) will keep the hell out of their country. If Iran suddenly announced a successful nuclear weapon, do you think they would actually launch it? Of course not.
For that matter, if Saddam actually had WMD, do you think Bush would have invaded? I don't. The threat was the pretext for war.
The real danger to the U.S. isn't the march of the Red Army or small-time thugs in Iraq—it's the nuclear weapons and material floating around in many of the former Soviet republics getting into the wrong hands...you know, like the hands of the guy responsible for 9/11 who's still at large.
So for eight fucking years the Administration has all but ignored the nukes that already exist in favor of bluster about nuclear fantasies of a few bad governments. They've done next to nothing about the supply, and even less about the guy with the demand—Osama Bin Laden.
And McCain is even worse. He's a military guy. Steeled in a Cold War mentality. A military guy who's waited his whole life to get to the position that upstart, but connected, punk from Texas stole from him eight years ago. He's not interested in being President during a time of peace and prosperity—that shit is for pussies—he longs to be a War President. And nothing would suit him better than a resurgent binary struggle against an enemy like Russia.
Russia. The country we need to cooperate most closely with to control proliferation.