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Putin Plays Waiting Game as NATO Presses Self-Destruct Button

Commenting on Turkey's move to shoot down a Russian bomber over Syria last week, conservative commentator Silvio Canto, Jr. warned that divisions within NATO over the incident may end up catastrophically weakening the alliance.

In his piece, published in the arch-conservative online magazine American Thinker, Canto noted that "the Turkey-Russia feud raises a few questions about the future of NATO," with cracks in the alliance over how to respond to Ankara's aggression factually giving Russia an "opportunity to prick the NATO balloon."

Suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin "has been trying to downsize NATO for some time," the broadcaster noted that the Turkish attack, together with other issues, including the war against Daesh (ISIL), has given the Russian leader an opening: Putin, according to Canto, doesn't have to "blow up NATO…He simply watches NATO blow up itself [by being forced] to work together."

"In the end," the journalist argues, "NATO won't work together, because of weak US leadership and the reality that most countries have no real military resources to bring to the game."

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With NATO's power projection capabilities concentrated in the hands of a few countries, Canto likens the alliance to "a baseball team where only a couple of guys can play…the rest can't do much more than watch from the dugout."

Ultimately, the journalist notes that only time will tell how the Russia-NATO crisis which Turkey instigated will play out. However, what is clear, according to Canto, is that "Putin is a master tactician, and he assumes that Obama is weak and the West is weaker. He is betting that he will win because the other side doesn't want to fight. And he is right!"

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