PARIS — An apparent suicide bombing on a metro train killed at least 14 people and wounded dozens of others this week in St. Petersburg, Russia. The attack took place during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to St. Petersburg, his hometown.
Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump have expressed interest in cooperating to eradicate radical Islamic terrorism. Such cooperation with Russia would be a shift from the Obama administration’s strategy of sponsoring “Syrian rebels” and maintaining close ties with terrorism-sponsoring allies in the Persian Gulf.
But here’s the problem for the establishment: If Russia and the U.S. cooperate to eliminate terrorism and other security threats, the prospect of peace would be a jolt to the military-industrial complex, making it more difficult to scare up taxpayer cash.
Developed nations are now well into an era of belt-tightening, and many voters specifically elected Trump because of his proven experience as a businessman with an eye for the bottom line. Trump promised to reel in the freewheeling spending of tax dollars. But to keep the government cash flowing into the deep pockets of the military-industrial complex, there always has to be a threat. It’s not hard to see the motivation to portray Trump as some sort of Manchurian candidate.
When the terrorism threat temporarily subsided in the wake of the 2007 George W. Bush-ordered troop surge in Iraq, and prior to the Obama-facilitated rise of the Islamic State, we started being told about — and being sold on — the cybersecurity threat. Of course, this threat could only be vanquished by burying it under a pile of taxpayer money. And hey, why not revive the Cold War while we’re at it? After all, the Russian bad…