NEWSWATCH: “The scary truth about what Putin really wants (and Obama’s willful ignorance)” – Fox News/Judith Miller

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

What is Vladimir Putin up to? Evidence of Russian ambition seems to mount by the day. Seizing its neighbor’s territory. Russian bomber overflights of NATO member states. Sophisticated cyberattacks aimed at influencing America’s presidential election. Missiles fired at civilian aircraft. Devastating air strikes on hospitals and relief convoys in Aleppo as the ink dries on a U.S.-Russian cease-fire agreement for Syria. American accusations of bad faith and the suspension of diplomatic talks. … the U.S. intelligence community is apparently divided over whether … Putin’s provocations are ‘tactical,’ that is, the result of geo-political opportunities that he has cleverly seized, or ‘strategic,’ part of a coherent plan to undermine America and, as one American presidential nominee might put it, make Russia great again. * * * Veteran Democratic pollster (and Fox News contributor) Douglas E. Schoen, with Evan Roth Smith, his colleague and co-author  … In this new book, “Putin’s Master Plan…” … argue forcefully … that Putin’s global goal is to undermine the West and liberal democracy and that he has a clearly defined strategy …. The United States and its allies, Schoen asserts, play into Putin’s hands by failing to resist Russia’s aggression. Washington, in particular, has failed to exert the ‘clearheaded, decisive Western leadership’ essential to halting such conduct, especially in Europe. ‘In the face of Putin’s naked aggression in Europe, the West has shown a level of incompetence that approaches impotence,’ they write …. * * * … If the next American president continues President Obama’s complacency, Putin will have already won.

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