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What happened Sunday in the international waters of the Black Sea was just one more chapter in President Vladimir Putin's recurring, calculated show of strength.Then, a few days later, after President Donald Trump first threatened to cancel their meeting at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Putin dialed down the rhetoric.What really mattered, Putin's foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov said, was the summit with Trump in Argentina.Trump laudably scuttled the planned Buenos Aires session with Putin.At bottom, Putin suffers from status anxiety.It's as if everyone was embracing the "madman theory" at once: Putin threatened war in the Black Sea; Trump canceled a U.S.-Russian arms-control treaty and then nixed the Argentina summit meeting; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was buying U.S. fighter jets and a Russian air-defense system, simultaneously, NATO be damned; Saudi Arabia's crown prince claimed he had nothing to do with a murder organized by his bodyguard and chief media adviser, and flew to Argentina as if nothing had happened.
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