Cardinal Richelieu, pioneer of Realpolitik, selected some sketchy bedfellows for the sake of maintaining the balance of power in Europe. Metternich continued the balancing act, even going so far as to strike an alliance of convenience with the Ottoman Empire.
Quite recently, America announced it was moving heavy weapons into multiple countries on the very border with Russia. (Think: Russian missiles in Canada and Mexico.) By way of riposte, Russia is upping the number of nuke-equipped subs.
Such gamesmanship is approaching brinkmanship. At some point you realize, you are no longer playing with Monopoly-money.
Suppose, at the worst account, that the Russians are the New Ottomans. Does this make sense?
The military mostly think tactically. Statesmen, strategically. (Politicians, viscerally.) While historians (and philosophers) … call it the Long View, or “supra-strategically”. And here, the dominant determinants, are the Clash of Civilizations, and the demographic time-bomb.
In that meta-battle, the Russians and ourselves are on the same side.
(Of this, there is more awareness in Europe than here. Keyword: Euro-Sibérie.)