In other words, they have painted the Russian military as being ten feet tall or aspiring to get there.
"The Russian military is not yet ten feet tall. But it is five foot ten inches and growing," defense analyst Dan Goure warned in a recent opinion piece, calling the trend "impressive." He also mentioned that senior US military officers are concerned with "the challenges posed by the improved capabilities of a rapidly modernizing Russian military."
NATO's former supreme allied commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove, used the same metaphor earlier this month in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
In fact, the notion that Russia supposedly presents a threat to the US and its allies has become a constant refrain of US and NATO officials despite Moscow's repeated comments that the country does not pose a threat to anyone and in the absence of any compelling evidence to support this view.
Yet many, even in the Pentagon itself, remain unconvinced.
"The $600 billion-a-year military spend by Washington is roughly tenfold what Russia spends. And yet, inverting reality, Russia is presented as the threat," analyst Finian Cunningham observed. In his opinion, Washington has always been on a witch-hunt because the defense budget is the basis of the US economy and it would collapse should it be drastically reduced.
Former USAID project officer Josh Cohen also pointed to America's current defense spending.
The budget indeed seems to be at the heart of the Pentagon's strategy that has largely focused on demonizing Russia.
"This is the 'Chicken-Little, sky-is-falling' set in the Army," an unnamed senior Pentagon officer told Politico recently. "These guys want us to believe the Russians are 10 feet tall. There's a simpler explanation: The Army is looking for a purpose, and a bigger chunk of the budget."