The beauty of the global war against terrorism for many of its part-time participants is exactly in the opportunities to reward themselves along the way with many long-coveted prizes. Nobody is more aware of that than Russia's President Vladimir Putin who in fact had started his own counter-terrorist crusade two years prior to 9/11 and now keeps flashing the 'I-have-warned-you' Cheshirean smile. He is into much more than just 'bandwagoning'. While proclaiming the desire to ally Russia with the West, he wastes no chance to advance its strategic interests in the Caspian area and - unlike in his European offensive - much prefers power instruments to diplomacy.
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