Years ago, I ran across a factoid that hammered home this point that Communism isn’t the problem. It was from an analyst/historian who specialized in China. He said (and I paraphrase):
Mao Zedong considered himselfÂ and the Communist Party to beÂ the modern-day emperor of China.Â
I will need to re-track down this fact some day to get the exact wording, instead of paraphrasing. But, the point still stands.
The point is that China was a problem not because they were Communist, but because they were Imperialists.
That same point applies to Russia. If the Communists had never won the Russian Revolution, we would have still had the Cold War. In fact, we might even have lost that war, because Imperial Russian would have been more efficient about it.
That thought should give us pause. Putin is just the latest heir to the Russian Empire, and he seeks to recapture bygone glory – at our expense.
The defeat of Communism was not the defeat of the Russian Empire, and that empire has a taste for conquest.