Vladimir Putin

From Robert Wright’s Nonzero Newsletter:

Burns’s 2008 warning came in two forms—a memo circulated widely within the Bush administration and a more pungently written email he sent to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (an email she shared with Secretary of Defense Bob Gates and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley). The email said that if, at an upcoming NATO summit, Ukraine was encouraged to pursue NATO membership, that would “create fertile soil for Russian meddling in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.”Note that Burns wasn’t confidently predicting that Russia would intervene in Ukraine if the Bush administration encouraged Ukraine’s membership bid; creating “fertile soil” for wheat doesn’t, by itself, guarantee that you’ll get wheat. But it does make you more likely to get wheat. Burns was just saying that if the US embraced Ukraine’s future membership in NATO, the chances of Putin’s meddling in Ukraine would rise.

Source: Sizing Putin Up – Nonzero Newsletter