New millennium Kremlinology

Back in the days of the Cold War, scholars and armchair strategists alike engaged in a "science" of sorts called Kremlinology — studying the words and actions of Soviet leaders to divine what their next moves might be.  It was arcane, to be sure, looking at group photos of Communist Party Central Committee leaders to see who was standing where, and from that determining who was on the rise and who was on the outs.

The art of Kremlinology has become just as relevant now as it was in Soviet times — and Russian President Vladimir Putin has given new-millennium Kremlinologists plenty to chew on in the past ten days.

We've already covered his fiery speech condeming a "unipolar" world with the United States at its center, followed by his trip to Saudi Arabia and other U.S.-friendly regimes in the Middle East.  Then came a meeting with the foreign ministers of China and India, prompting alarmist headlines in Rupert Murdoch's Times of London about "a partnership to challenge the U.S.-dominated world order that has prevailed since the end of the Cold War."  Once he returned to Moscow, Putin did a cabinet shuffle. creating new posts for some of his most trusted aides.

Strategic Investment's Dan Amoss says it's pretty clear where all this is going:

Putin is reshuffling his cabinet in true "chessboard" fashion. It's yet
another move in preparation to pull a "Chavez" and end term limits in
Russia…President becomes Tsar or Premier or Komrade…

But what's his grand strategy?  Dan will have much more later today in his weekly update for subscribers.  For instant access, click here.