Does Russia pose any real threat to the world or is it like “Dennis The Menace” just an annoyance?

Prescott Valley Correspondent-Russia always poses some kind of threat to the world, whether real or imagined, simply because of its espionage capabilities as well as its land mass, nuclear power arsenal, and geographical location in conjunction with the Middle East, Europe and other countries that have separated from the old Soviet Union.

There is a foreboding and mysterious nature with Russia and its influence and control over a number of issues, particularly with countries that it needs for resources and wants to dominate militarily, but to be continually afraid and overly anxious concerning Russia is dangerous in and of itself. It creates a distraction from other problems that are significantly more pressing.

When governments and citizens become fixated on something that they perceive as a threat, resources are channeled towards that notion while other real hazards go unnoticed with little or no concern. Resources that should be going towards real ongoing problems are channeled towards a perceived threat, such as the House of Representatives investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election.

The politicization of so-called Russian influence in the election and other matters has created misunderstandings as to what extent Russia jeopardizes American interests, which leads to misplaced fear, distraction from more serious threats, limited strategic maneuverability throughout the world and possible future conflict scenarios.

With complete focus on this Russian interference since the supposed hacking of the Democratic National Convention during the summer of 2016, investigations have been continuous concerning Russia’s interference in American politics, particularly with anything related to the Trump campaign. Hillary Clinton’s beefed-up rhetoric concerning that association only served to fuel her campaign and make the issue even more of a distraction.

The political left has run with this Trump-Russian suspicion and has assigned all blame on Trump and his alleged associations with Russia, which to the distress of the left has produced no current evidence, but the left will continue to pursue the cause and has now focused on Trump’s son-in-law and an alleged back channel of communications with the Russians.

The Russians will always be more than just an annoyance as they do present threats, but the threats have been greatly exaggerated because of politicizing and the back and forth bantering by the left. The Russians need to be on a short leash but not in a chokehold. Their influence in the rest of the world is concerning, particularly with their espionage capabilities and their maneuvering in other countries, especially when it comes to obtaining natural resources, reserves and other assets along with control over others in regions that they once occupied or would like to occupy.

The heightened focus on Russia has not been the result of clear-headed analysis. When political campaigns and conspiracy theories have become the determiners as to whether there are national security threats, there needs to be a clearer focus on true causes of threats, not what the left and disgruntled followers of the left have come to believe are the only threats to America and other places in the world.

Allowing constant vigilance and focus on Russia for possible hacking and interference is not going to help government agencies in detecting and identifying other threats. This kind of bias leads to other serious national security concerns being swept aside and neglected for the wrong reasons, and at the jeopardy of the citizens involved. If these kinds of investigations continue to be allowed on endless terms, Russia and other areas of the world will become a whole lot more than just annoyances.

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Russia is most certainly a real threat since they possess the second largest nuclear arsenal in the world behind the US. That alone means they have the ability, if not the desire, to inflict major destruction upon any country in the world. Also, when the Russians underwent regime change in 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, reports surfaced of rogue agents and Russian insiders selling nukes on the black market or selling or trading them to more radical nations like North Korea and Iran, or to terrorist organizations. Some of those nukes may be in other hands, or they may have been hidden by the Russian government to disguise the true strength of their arsenal.

However, threatening the world is different than following through on threats. The US is equally capable of destroying a large chunk of humanity, but our politicians and diplomats use our nuclear capabilities as leverage in negotiations with other countries or as a tangible reminder that those with the most power make the rules and must be accommodated.

The resurgence of Russia under Vladimir Putin seems to be more of a confidence-building exercise for the Russian people along with an announcement to the world that Russia desires once again to be one of the world’s superpowers. Flexing Russia’s muscles by reclaiming Crimea and meddling in Ukraine’s disputes is Putin’s way of telling the US that Russia wants to be taken seriously on the world political stage.

Much like North Korea’s saber rattling, Russia’s perceived threats and suspected meddling in the US elections and the Trump campaign is more to get our attention, sort of like Dennis the Menace annoying grouchy old Mr. Wilson. Except in Russia’s case, Dennis is a serious menace who we must deal with as an equal on the world political stage.

Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent-I’m about to get religious here. After all, I am a Christian who tries to maintain neutrality with respects to the world’s political affairs. Frankly, mankind will never ruin this world beyond repair. Regardless of the nuclear taunts and gimmickry distributed via the media, it’s all wild talk, tasteless entertainment if you will.

Like any world empire or leader, Russia is just a pawn, a mere puppet in the grasp of a ventriloquist. The same applies to the United States. They are sheer dummies used to promote an ulterior agenda.

From a distant, Russia seems powerful; no wonder the country’s leader ecstatically wears a frown. Does the man ever smile? It’s all a façade.

Russia, irrespective of how powerfully portrayed, will never be allowed to ruin or pose a threat to the world. In the meantime, the president of America is making every attempt to appease the mighty Russia but according to Trump’s secretary, Russia is America’s number one foe, or should I say threat?

Based on research gathered back in 2016, Putin has on occasions made clear decisions to ‘scare’ surrounding countries. A typical case in point, he transported “nuclear-capable missiles close to Poland and Lithuania.” I am sure those countries might have trembled, but are they still around? Yes!

I find that countries like Russia might stockpile military weapons of destruction, but they are useless. They might as well fire on themselves. As it is, these countries will never ruin the world, they don’t possess the power. Like I said, pawns!

Gastonia, NC Correspondent– Let’s see…a country with vast oil reserves, a poorly controlled nuclear arsenal, a large air force, massive amounts of conventional weaponry, a thriving and powerful criminal culture and a power hungry, ruthless megalomaniac running it? Yep, I’d say Russia is a threat. (Although I’ll give you half a point if you thought I was talking about the U.S.)

The Russian bear has by no means been declawed. With Vladimir Putin at the reins, the old Soviet empire is in the process of trying to reconstitute itself, but Putin is far more wily and patient than his predecessors. He’s using the old Soviet method of giving aid and arms to the enemies of the United States, but he’s throwing in some photo ops, carefully crafted speeches and public relations campaigns to make it look as if Mother Russia is coming to the aid of these poor souls who are being ground down under the iron boot of Westernism.

Look at Syria, where they’ve cast President Bashar al-Assad, one of the worst butchers of his own people in modern history, as a great man and statesman who’s just doing the best he can in the face of persecution by the west. We’re described as bullies and ne’er-do-wells who are trying to interfere in the lawful massacre of tens of thousands of civilians, and certain corners of the world are all too ready to believe the story.

Beyond the active menace put forth by Russia is the one created by the disorder that followed immediately after the Soviet Union collapsed. There are still nuclear warheads unaccounted for, and untold amounts of conventional weaponry simply disappeared in the satellite states. Those particular Easter eggs are going to start to stink sometime soon, and I fear the mayhem that will come.

Saying Russia is harmless, or just an annoyance, is a route to disaster. It remains the biggest threat to our way of life.

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