Like a villian in a horror movie who cannot change his evil ways, Comrade Putin of the Russian Federation is selling arms to the West's enemies and rearming Russia at a rapid pace. A nice editorial from Investor's Business Daily lays it out here:
Take, for instance, defense expenditures. Russia will spend $32.4 billion this year, a post-Soviet high and 23% more than last year. It's a four-fold jump from 2001.
During 2007, Russia will build 17 new ICBMs when in previous years it has built no more than 10. As well, Moscow will purchase 31 new ships.
Why all the attention to the military? Is Russia threatened by anyone? Every nation has the right and the duty to protect itself, but there is no Nazi column ready to roll across the border, no Luftwaffe just waiting to unleash hell on the Soviets.
There is no Napoleon in France dreaming of conquest, no European alliance itching to fight another Crimean War.
Neither is there a threat to Russia from global Islamofascism, though there is no denying that it has its own "Muslim problem" in Chechnya.
While the U.S. and what remains of the civilized world are busy trying to figure out how to defend themselves from rogues, Russia is arming them with advanced military hardware.
The Council on Foreign Relations calls Russia the world leader in dealing arms to the Third World. Overall, Moscow sells weapons to 70 countries, two of which are Iran and Venezuela, oil-rich nations that have chosen to make the U.S. an enemy.
Under Putin, the warm promise of a new Russia in the early days of the Soviet crackup has turned stone cold. The West needs to turn up the heat.