Everything we're seeing now was telegraphed three years ago.
Before Crimea, before Donbas, and before a wave of antiestablishment populism plunged the West into crisis, the Kremlin revealed its intentions.
Before Russia was cheering on Brexit, Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen, Norbert Hofer, and Donald Trump, plans were being laid for the Putinization of the world.
In December 2013, the Kremlin-backed Center for Strategic Communications published a report titled: Putin: World Conservatism's New Leader.
The report noted that there was a sizable constituency in the West that favors traditional family values over feminism and gay rights and that prefers nation-based states rather than multicultural melting pots.
It noted that, in difficult economic times, a traditionalist antiestablishment wave was coming and that Vladimir Putin was in a unique position to exploit this.
And although it didn't state this explicitly, the report was a blueprint for undermining European unity and eroding transatlantic solidarity.
It was a plan to divide and weaken the West and to free Russia from the rules-based international order.
So three years later, in December 2016, here we are.
Putin didn't create the malaise sweeping the West. But he saw it coming and was prepared to exploit it.
And we shouldn't be surprised. We should have seen this coming.
Because this was all telegraphed in advance.
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