Vladimir Putin has done many things in recent years to incur the wrath of the American politicians. Russia invaded and annexed Crimea. Russia attempted to influence the recent U.S. presidential election. Russia is supporting the murderous regime of Bashar al Assad of Syria in alliance with Iran, to name a few.
U.S. presidents have always attempted to have cordial relations with the Soviet Union and Russia with little success. During World War II it was often difficult to ascertain Stalin’s endgame. He fought the Nazis with the allies, and but then forcefully engulfed Eastern Europe. Russia and the U.S. then fought a long and costly Cold War that ultimately resulted in the demise of the Soviet Union.
Putin is an old school communist who dreams of reestablishing Russian dominance in the world. He is deceitful, secretive and unwilling to live in peaceful coexistence with the U.S. He is jealous of American exceptionalism and totally corrupt domestically. Why then is Trump so anxious to deal with this man? Is Trump too naïve to understand the realities of reasoning with a person hell-bent on world domination?
Given that Russia has as many and maybe more nukes than the U.S. along with a standing army in the millions, it makes sense to at least try to have friendly relations.
However Putin has not grown to understand that imperialism is an antiquated policy in the 21st Century. In this day and age militarily strong countries should not invade neighbors. Imperialism among other issues was what drew America into WWII and could have a similar impact today.
Also disturbing is that Russia always takes the opposite side of the U.S. in virtually every diplomatic showdown. It’s logical to expect that two of the world’s leaders would find areas of mutual agreement. Even the fight against ISIS and terrorism has not been enough to bring the antagonists closer as Russia thinks Assad is good for the Middle East.
In a bipartisan way (believe it or not,) Congress has decided to intervene in foreign policy as it pertains to Russia in defiance of the president. This is a good thing because Putin would never accept an olive branch from America. No matter what accommodations are made by the U.S., Russia will continue to act like our mortal enemy.
Of all the inane objectives of Donald Trump, his vision of peace with Russia is the most farfetched. It’s not possible with Putin as Russia’s leader. Trump’s appeasement of Putin is almost laughable. It is probably one of the greatest miss directions of the administration. The U.S. should not be appeasing Russia, it should be punishing the country every time it misbehaves. Economic sanctions are the way to force Russia to act more civilly.
Frankly neither the U.S. nor Russia is going to escalate direct military action. The threat level is rising and currently is most obvious in Syria where the U.S. and Russia have military assets. The U.S. and Russia will continue to flex their muscles, and it will be disconcerting. But large-scale military action is not a viable option for either country even in the face of more aggression by Russia similar to Crimea.
The better strategy is to effectively bankrupt Russia once again as Reagan did 40 years ago. Economically Russia is being pinched by low oil prices and huge outlays for military purposes. Domestic conditions are deteriorating, and the U.S. should do everything possible to expedite the process.
Russian leadership has been overly bellicose for over a century. It’s in their DNA to act this way. The U.S., with effective sanctions, could gently nudge Russia in a more productive direction.
Congress is spot on about increasing sanctions even in direct confrontation with the president. It’s good to see that Republicans and Democrats can work together in stressful times.