WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — "I read the 2007 speech when [Putin] first delivered it and pretty much agreed with everything he had to say. Now the US/NATO confrontation against Russia has become even worse and more dangerous," University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle said.
In his 2007 speech at the Munich Security Conference, Putin accused the United States of provoking a new nuclear arms race, expanding NATO in Europe and making the Middle East more unstable. Putin also said that Washington ignored the United Nations and relied on the unilateral use of force.
All these problems had become much worse since then, Boyle pointed out.
"With the deployment of NATO troops right up to the border of Russia for the first time, we are on the verge of a reverse Cuban missile crisis. And with both countries bombing in Syria, anything could go wrong there too," he warned.
Current growing tensions across the Middle East and throughout Eastern Europe generated by destabilizing US policies had already created conditions alarmingly similar to those in 1914 and 1939, Boyle observed, at the outbreak of the two world wars.
The Obama administration, like that of President George W. Bush, appeared determined to assert close US control over the countries sitting on the main hydrocarbon resources of the world in the Middle East and Central Asia, Boyle also noted.
"The Bush and Obama administrations have already targeted the remaining hydrocarbon reserves of Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia for further conquest or domination, together with the strategic choke-points at sea and on land required for their transportation," he stated.
"The factual circumstances surrounding the outbreaks of both the First World War and the Second World War currently hover like twin Swords of Damocles over the heads of all humanity," he concluded.
US historian and political commentator Patrick Smyth agreed that Putin’s 2007 speech had been confirmed by many developments of the past nine years.
"Putin… is undeniably superior as a statesman next to almost all his contemporaries. He chooses his ground well. The Munich conference was an excellent venue at which to challenge the Americans and NATO as to the European deployments and the Middle East crisis," he said.
Smyth praised Putin’s grasp of history — "which is the last thing American leaders want to cultivate in their citizenry" — and his ability to express fundamental international issues clearly and directly, as he did in his Munich speech.
Francis Boyle is a professor of international law and veteran author, historian and human rights advocate. He has sat on the board of Amnesty International and criticized it for having its policies influenced by the US government. Boyle’s books include "The Criminality of Nuclear deterrence" (2013), "Destroying Libya and World Order" (2013) and "World Politics and International Law" (2012).
Patrick Smyth is a US historian and analyst. He writes on foreign affairs for salon.com and his books include "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century" (2013) and "Somebody Else’s Century: East and West in a Post-Western World" (2010).