Cornell is one of those universities where the school website advertises the expert opinions of its professors to comment on newsy situations. Not surprisingly, Barry Strauss has a page that advertises:
Barry Strauss, professor of history at Cornell University notes that how Russian tactics in Crimea echo centuries-old Roman tactics, and point to Russian President Putin’s understanding of history.
“Events in Crimea remind us that the region has an ancient history. Finding a friendly minority across the border to roll out the welcome mat, using military ‘volunteers’ in unmarked uniforms, and threatening your neighbors with force were old tricks when the Romans used them. Now the Russians are employing them in Crimea. Putin is nothing if not a historian.”
… so I had that in my email and was poking around Cornell’s site to see if there was something with a bit more detail. Then I came across this:
Barry Strauss, an expert on international relations, author of 11 books on military history and professor of History at Cornell University, highlights the deep historic roots for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Ukraine.
“Putin may be brutal and dictatorial but he is pursuing what he sees as his nation’s interest, that is, to re-establish Russian power in the area of the former Soviet Union, if not beyond.
“He is following the traditional, expansionist Russian policy of Peter the Great. From the peaceful perspective of today’s United States or Western Europe that seems totally out of place, if not mad. Yet it remains to be seen if Putin will pay much of a price for his actions. Until and unless he meets more resistance than he has so far, he is unlikely to stop.”
… I’m curious which spin modern journalists will prefer. Most know the Romans, but Peter the Great, well, he was great …