Iran's feeling froggy. Russia is flexing its military muscles again. It seems as though Putin and Pals are taking advantage of economic sluggishness in the West, as well as relative disunity, combined with windfall profits from good 'ole black gold.
Evidently, they believe that their failure to dominate the world in the past was due to insufficient military might or funding. Now they've got some money, built and bought some new toys and are chomping at the bit to make a new play for top dog.
The end result may take a while to play out, but it will be the same. A "smack-down" of epic proportions. Neither Russia nor Iran has the economic capacity to keep pace with the West in the long run. They are one-trick ponies. Oil will only take them so far for so long. Free markets and free people are not negotiable. We'll spend every last dime preserving them, and when we run out, guess what? We'll make more.
The difference is in what we're playing for. Russia and Iran seek the greater glory of....Russia and Iran. Freedom loving individuals seek to be left alone to do their thing to the greatest extent possible. The latter is a much greater individual motivator.
Where China goes from here is an open question. At least they seem to realize the future lies in economic policy and strategy, not in military show-boating. Like lawyers, a strong military is something you have to have because everyone else has one. It is not the means to achieving prosperity. They are a means of protection, not of production.