As details began to emerge in late 2020 of Russia’s massive cyber-attack on the United States, there was plenty of anger and alarm but little in the way of genuine shock. Instead, an air of inevitability accompanied news of the attack. This somewhat resigned response illustrates just how accustomed the Western world has become to the reality of a hostile Russia.
It was not always this way. Just over eight years ago in October 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama felt comfortable enough about Russia to mock his presidential rival Mitt Romney for calling the country America’s number one geopolitical foe. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years,” Mr. Obama quipped at the time.