— David Stockman
on the Russian threat to the U.S.
You know that’s a joke. If the Russians were going to land on the shores of New Jersey, they would need vast power-projection capability – aircraft carriers and the capacity to land troops. None of that is even remotely possible. The Russians have got one 50-year-old, smoke-belching aircraft carrier on duty in the Eastern Mediterranean. It probably couldn’t get out of the Strait of Gibraltar if it had to. So, how could Russia threaten the security or the safety of anybody in the U.S.? It couldn’t, unless you believe that Vladimir Putin – the ultimate chess player, the Cool Hand Luke of the global scene today – is foolish enough to risk nuclear retaliation by attacking us and have Russia turned into a parking lot. We have enough nuclear deterrent on our Trident submarines alone. And we’ve had it ever since 1980. Not to mention that the entire Russian economy is not even as big as that of New York City – $1.6 for the New York metro area and just $1.3 trillion for Russia. Russia is mainly a huge hydrocarbon field with a few nickel mines, 100 million acres of wheat, and an aging workforce that has a great fondness for vodka and other distractions.”