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The Sochi experiment [Commentary]

The Sochi experiment [Commentary]

During the past seven years, Russia has spent over $50 billion to produce what President Vladimir Putin promises will be the best winter Olympics ever. It has been estimated that as much as half or more of this money has been stolen or wasted. Also overshadowing the games, which kick off Friday in Sochi with the opening ceremony, have been various credible threats of terrorist attacks. For these and other reasons, Sochi may turn out to be a national humiliation for Russia and a political disaster for Mr. Putin himself.

By far the most serious potential problem is security. Russia's homegrown Islamist terrorists have vowed to strike at the Olympics. Terrorist...