Yeah, it is kinda self-evident. And here is what I want to stress. Seems not directly related but it is. Recall this I posted a month ago. Patrick Armstrong provided a link (at Colonel Lang's discussion board) to this review of Mearsheimer's latest work and I am quite happy that I do not need to write my own review now--I generally agree with this review. And here is couple of crucial points of this review:
It would be a mistake, however, to imagine that the realists believe in peace harmony and everyone being nice to each other. In the pursuit of US national interests Mearsheimer and the rest of the realist fraternity would be just as ruthless as the neo-cons, but minus the ideological baggage carried by the latter. Thus, if the realists believed they could fight and win a war against Russia, with minimal costs they probably would do so. However, they are savvy enough to appreciate Russia’s military capability and conclude that a war against Russia is decidedly not in America’s national interests.
I concur--American "realism" is merely a softer less bellicose verbally version of American exceptionalism and here where the review makes the most crucial observation:
Secondly there is a tendency throughout the book to take the US estimation of itself at face value.
Here is a huge problem which makes American "realists" merely another version of neocons whose common ground is American exceptionalism. I wrote about it two years ago. It was around that time that Mearsheimer was on record (if interested, you can find it) stating same old beaten to death cliches that Russia's economy was ten times smaller than that of the US and that Russian Army was a rather mediocre force. It IS a problem, and a huge one, that even what would be considered a relatively "sane" element in US foreign policy still believes grossly inflated American economic and military capabilities. They are simply not there anymore. This is not to mention my ad nauseam campaigning around the fact that overwhelming majority of these so called American exceptionalists know little about Russia and, well, about war. I will omit here the whole issue of the so called political "science" being basically a pseudo-academic fraud and the record this "science" provides an overwhelming empirical evidence of it being just that--a fraud.
So, the United States WILL exit both INF Treaty, and, eventually, START. All based on the assumption that the US will be able to return many stored warheads to her ICBMs and that it will be a competitor within INF limited (for now) weapon systems. It also could be a political ploy (I agree here with Putin) in the last attempts by the US to both regain full control of Europe (have you checked Visegrad Group recently? What they are up too?) and trying to present oneself as a sole superpower, which is not the case anymore--and for a long time. Putin is nonchalant about this whole thing and, as rumors have it, what was disclosed on March 1st in his speech to Federal Assembly was not the whole deal. I would expect so. Plus, the air of desperation with US "ultimatums" to Russia is tangible, and we may expect more provocations from Ukraine, in Syria and what have you--all of it with the blessing of large and influential parts of American oligarchy which basically put Trump (with very little resistance on his part) into his place of a figure head whose Administration is a panopticon of insane neocons trying to implement a completely ridiculous idea of American global domination while having no resources nor weapons to do so. But they don't know about it, as doesn't John Mearsheimer--but you would expect this from a political "scientist". So, read the book but periodically check the reality around yourself.