Russian military “more or less” back in working order doesn’t sound much like an existential threat, nor like one in any shape to “erode the principled international order.” That has not deterred our military leadership from scaremongering rhetoric, as typified by Philip Breedlove, who stepped down as NATO’s commander in May. Breedlove spent much of his three-year tenure issuing volleys of alarmist pronouncements. On various occasions throughout the Ukrainian conflict, he reported that 40,000 Russian troops were on that nation’s border, poised to invade; that regular Russian army units were operating inside Ukraine; that international observers were reporting columns of Russian troops and heavy weapons entering Ukraine. These claims proved to be exaggerated or completely false. Yet Breedlove continued to hit the panic button. “What is clear,” he told Washington reporters in February 2015, “is that right now, it is not getting better. It is getting worse every day.”I am not one ever to minimize the loathsome nature of the Soviet Union but reading this article I find it difficult not to separate the ridiculous demonization of Russia of today from even that practiced against the Soviets in Cold War times. Still, I thought then that the price of any insurance policy to protect against the expansion of the Soviet Union was worth paying and a vigorous military-industrial complex was fine by me.
Now Russia has zero expansionist plans (or dreams) and any "examples" thereof that the hystericals like to cite can reasonably be understood to be responses to NATO or U.S. provocations or actions undertaken at the invitation of the nation supposedly falling victim to Russia machinations. (Hint: Syria.)
 This "principled international order" includes the unconstitutional and aggressive war waged by the U.S. against the soveign state of Syria apparently, though clearly Mr. Cockburn doesn't quote that phrase for anything other than purposes of making an ironic point.
 "The New Red Scare. Reviving the art of threat inflation." By Andrew Cockburn, Harper's Magazine, December 2016.