‘I have an idea, Vlad. How about I get two of our carriers to fire some cruise missiles at the Syrian army? (They need the practice anyway.) That’ll make me look like a man of action who is prepared to stand up for the suffering peasants over there. Then you can come back full of steam and steely eyes and threaten to increase Syria’s anti-missile defences. That’ll make you seem like you’re being loyal (ha ha ha) to your ally. That’s good, but here’s the best bit. The world will start getting worried that this might be escalating into the start of WWIII, and then we’ll both look like the most important people in the whole goddam universe, won’t we?’
‘Da. Khoroshaya ideya. OK.’
Might I be somewhere close, do you think?