Guess who Putin's speech was aimed at

Russian President Vladimir Putin's ...

Posted: Mar 2, 2018 7:16 AM
Updated: Mar 2, 2018 7:16 AM

Russian President Vladimir Putin's grandstanding speech on his country's "invincible" missiles was intended for one person and one person alone -- President Donald Trump. Speaking of a new low-flying missile with "practically unlimited range" and "which can bypass lines of interception," he stated this was "a new reality."

Using words (and visuals) similar to Kim Jong Un's and invoking Cold War-era threats, Putin's "my missiles are bigger than yours" rhetoric was no accident -- Putin wanted Trump to hear him loud and clear.

As a former Soviet secret service agent, Putin knows how to manipulate people. By poking at Trump's insecurities, Putin is hoping to distract the President -- making it less likely Trump will take action to hold Russia accountable for its ongoing attacks on the United States.

Putin doesn't need any votes or more missiles -- he's already winning

Putin wasn't using his platform to convince any Russians to vote for him. His "election" in 17 days is a farce. By crowding out opposition and censoring media coverage, he has rigged the system to all but guarantee his electoral victory.

Putin also doesn't need to get any more missiles. He's already able to attack anywhere in the world, including the United States, with his information warfare tools and ongoing dominance in the digital theater. And his current nuclear arsenal is sufficient to launch myriad destructive attacks -- with estimates of his nuclear warheads reaching about 7,000.

Putin is trying to distract Trump

Putin purposefully used this kind of inflammatory language to try to get Trump to respond; insult Trump's military capabilities or manhood, and he might just reply on Twitter. Remember the "short and fat" and "dotard" Twitter-fest between Kim and Trump? It's unclear what name Trump could call Putin if he finally decides to stand up to him, but it is clear that Trump doesn't respond well to anyone insulting his military capabilities.

Meanwhile, Putin and Kim appear to be trading talking points. Both Putin and Kim have blamed the United States for provoking them into developing more nuclear weapons when they're violating international law and treaties. And Putin threatened Florida, the home of Trump's weekend White House, in his visuals just like Kim previously threatened Guam.

The White House reaction

The key point here is how Trump responds. Sarah Sanders, in Thursday's White House press briefing, stated, "President Putin has confirmed what the United States government has known all along, which Russia has denied. Russia has been developing destabilizing weapons systems for over a decade, in direct violation of its treaty obligations. President Trump understands the threats facing America and our allies in this century and is determined to protect our homeland and preserve peace through strength."

Neither Sanders -- nor as of yet Trump -- directly addressed the other way Putin has tried to destabilize the United States: election meddling. She also did not offer any clear solutions or plans for dealing with the threat Putin posed in his speech.

If and when Trump responds, it shouldn't be on Twitter. Instead, he should begin by implementing additional sanctions against Russia for its proven actions against American democracy. Or, maybe, he could impose the sanctions that the Senate passed in a 98-2 vote, which target foreign countries or companies that do business with Russian entities.

According to Putin, the "invincible missile" that he mentioned renders air defenses useless with its (purported) unlimited range at hypersonic speed. His claims are likely hyperbolic, but nonetheless they should not be taken lightly. Why? An arms race -- be it literal or verbal -- could pose a serious threat to US national security. (Remember the Cold War?)

US intelligence operatives and analysts have likely been tracking Russia's weapons program closely, so we may hear a rebuttal from the White House, should any intelligence be declassified. And this might happen if for no other reason than to expose the lies behind Putin's rhetoric. But this may also be a pretext for Trump to push harder for his request for $75 billion more in defense spending.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 614946

Reported Deaths: 9807
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion849231342
Lake45784693
Allen33103560
Hamilton29752316
St. Joseph27572383
Elkhart24496346
Vanderburgh19679255
Tippecanoe18150144
Johnson15234296
Porter14970172
Hendricks14550253
Madison11071223
Clark10852145
Vigo10819185
Monroe9496115
Delaware9193136
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Howard8325148
Kosciusko811485
Warrick683399
Hancock6783106
Bartholomew6659100
Floyd6522113
Wayne6194164
Grant6050118
Dubois559081
Boone557968
Morgan551996
Henry512365
Marshall507884
Dearborn488745
Cass487864
Noble476159
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Lawrence395180
Clinton375845
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Starke177044
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Carroll160616
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Perry156129
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Brown88835
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Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4967
Unassigned0375

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 872918

Reported Deaths: 10856
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102616707
Cuyahoga868931154
Hamilton65148455
Montgomery43662420
Summit35411766
Lucas31794634
Butler31451232
Stark26247445
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Lorain19378229
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Lake16350161
Clermont16235113
Delaware1463881
Licking13453142
Fairfield1301782
Trumbull12980317
Greene12226144
Medina11798169
Clark11094266
Wood10507158
Allen10031128
Portage9514111
Richland9275134
Miami927273
Marion7512113
Tuscarawas7455186
Columbiana7433124
Pickaway735250
Muskingum714042
Wayne7140172
Erie6253130
Ross5589100
Hancock556292
Scioto545365
Geauga518955
Darke474395
Lawrence464658
Union459130
Ashtabula457973
Sandusky440462
Huron435541
Mercer435590
Seneca435366
Auglaize425166
Belmont423948
Jefferson423969
Shelby422923
Washington396340
Athens38619
Putnam379276
Madison359930
Knox358423
Ashland349638
Fulton341744
Defiance336188
Crawford327274
Preble323637
Brown318821
Logan314835
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Clinton293944
Highland282219
Williams282267
Jackson266145
Guernsey259326
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Holmes227274
Henry222954
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Gallia200126
Wyandot198151
Pike180918
Adams179815
Hocking174024
Carroll158216
Paulding145521
Noble121040
Meigs110324
Monroe103433
Harrison89821
Morgan84531
Vinton71714
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