My first piece up with POLITICO Magazine looks through Moscow’s growing ties to hard-right Texas separatists:
Indeed, Putin’s hints at Texan statehood point to a theory passed through certain Russian academic circles over the past few years, preceding the post-Crimea questioning of sovereignty and statehood. Cheered primarily by Igor Panarin, a former KGB agent and head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s diplomatic academy, the theory posits that a fractured United States, akin to the Soviet Union’s demise, would disintegrate entirely, with nearby nations hoovering the assorted states. (Russia, conveniently, would receive Alaska back into its fold.) The state leading the fractious charge? Texas.
And it’s this theory that, a century after Zimmermann’s Great War proposal, has begun seeping into Russian rhetoric, official and otherwise. As such, when the feds break up a meeting of Texas separatists, as they did in East Texas in February, you can count on Russian voices sounding the call to arms. Maybe Mexico won’t reclaim its lost lands, its Aztlan. Maybe Russia won’t reclaim its Alaska. But if we’re to believe Pravda, the venerated Kremlin mouthpiece, this raid can have only one logical conclusion: “These events can serve as a signal to start the collapse of the United States.”