Bill Clinton let slip some years ago that the American Secret Service had once found Boris Yeltsin – during an official visit to Washington in 1995 – wandering drunk in his underpants down Pennsylvania Avenue looking for a pizza.
Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and Turkey’s post-coup crackdown call into question the strategic direction of two of NATO’s major military powers.
As for Donald Trump’s argument during the presidential campaign that America’s richer allies should pay adequately for their protection – it was a fair point in principle but a fatal thing to say in public.
It made clear that America’s commitment to NATO would not be unconditional under President Trump; and if America’s commitment is not unconditional – then fairly obviously it will not extend to nuclear war.
The cat is out of the bag.
Seen from Moscow the West has not been in such inviting disarray since the Suez crisis of 1956.
Whatever constraints Putin may now feel upon his land-grabbing instincts – they must be entirely domestic in nature.
NATO is no longer one of them.