As we beat our chests in celebration of our own moral superiority over other nations and peoples, consider what Trump is trying to do here, and who is really behaving as a statesmen, and who is acting like an infantile and self-righteous prig. If Trump’s talking to Putin can help end the bloodshed in Ukraine or Syria, it would appear to be at least as ethical an act as pulpiteering about our moral superiority on the Sunday talk shows.
There is no evidence that the Putin government intends to start an aggressive war against Europe, and no alliance member, including the Baltic States and Poland, has boosted military outlays as if it believed conflict was imminent. Rather, the Europeans have concentrated on demanding that America do more.
No other nation today poses a greater danger to American national security than China, a state engaged in an unprecedented campaign of information warfare using both massive cyberattacks and influence operations aimed at diminishing what Beijing regards as its most important strategic enemy – the United States of America.
Waving away allegations about his ties to Russia by calling them "unverified" isn't adequate. Before taking office, Trump owes it to the public to clear the air. He can do this by laying out real consequences for Russian hacking and meddling, promising real aid to Ukraine, distancing himself from Manafort and shooting straighter on his taxes and his business entanglements.
For the Far-Left, the “the Russians hacked the election” fake news story is a twofer. They now have control, through the federal government, of all the state and local election facilities that by their own admission were not hacked, and the Far-Left also benefits because President-elect Trump is being undermined.
The worst mistake President Trump could make would be to let the Russophobes grab the wheel and steer us into another Cold War that could be as costly as the first, and might not end as peacefully. Reagan’s outstretched hand to Gorbachev worked. Trump has nothing to lose by extending his to Vladimir Putin, and much perhaps to win.
NATO should be turned over to the Europeans, allowing them to handle their defense as they desire. This would not mean cutting relations. But it does mean Washington should stop subsidizing its wealthier cousins when the latter don’t feel like paying for their own defense.
Any attempts by the Democrats to demonize Tillerson are bound to look stupid, especially since they normally fault Republican nominees for bellicosity. Are they going to argue that Tillerson is disqualified for diplomacy by his record of getting along with foreign leaders?
Tillerson can emerge from his confirmation hearings with his reputation enhanced and with senators confident in Trump's choice. But they will not do so unless he is cogent and convincing in dealing with the question of Russia, and in allaying concerns that America's relations with that rogue state have suddenly taken a sharp and disquieting turn.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has accommodated the Islamic State, allowing passage of men and materiel into Syria and facilitated the sale of oil seized by the violent jihadists. Turkey increasingly thwarts U.S. policy in the Middle East.
The degree to which the Democrats have changed their tune on Vladimir Putin almost on a proverbial dime is either black comic or nauseating or both, depending on how you want to look at it. Whatever it is, it is a extremely obvious example of how party politics is conducted in our era (possibly always).
Candidate Donald Trump got NATO right. When it includes states like Montenegro it no longer serves America’s defense. He should speak on behalf of the American people who are expected to pay for everyone else.
A group of conservative leaders is urging both houses of Congress to “establish and fund permanent standing committees to conduct hearings and investigations, take testimony, and issue reports on all foreign-funded influence operations inside the United States, and on organizations and movements and fraudulent tax-exempt foundations devoted to the overthrow of the Constitution of the United States.”
Putin is a nationalist who looks out for Russia first. He also heads a nation twice the size of ours with an arsenal equal to our own, and no peace in Eurasia can be made without him. We have to deal with him. How does it help to call him names?
Former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s greatest fear appears to be that Donald Trump might be elected and end Washington’s unique global role: “What is at stake here is the American role as the global superpower.” Meaning America should continue to foot the bill in lives and treasure to protect countries that can and should protect themselves.
The U.S. is expected to protect virtually every prosperous, populous, industrialized nation. But that’s just a start. Washington also must coddle, pamper, praise, uplift, pacify, encourage, and otherwise placate the same countries because they now believe it to be America’s duty to handle their defense. Alas, U.S. leaders have been only too willing to enable this counterproductive behavior. Except for Donald Trump.
“Many NATO nations are not making payments, are not making what they’re supposed to make,” Trump has complained.” He “would prefer not to walk,” but if the Euro-wimps don’t “fulfill their obligations to us,” perhaps Washington shouldn’t defend them.
Democrats live in a glass house on the Putin/Russia issue, as their own nominee, Hillary Clinton, has taken Putin-connected money and perhaps unwittingly, through action and omission, helped advance his military ambitions.
When NATO was created Western Europe was a wreck. Today the GDP and population of united Europe is greater than those of America and a multiple of those of Russia. Donald Trump wants the Europeans to pay more, but the only way to get them to make a more meaningful military contribution is to turn responsibility for their defense over to them. Washington should stop taking care of them.
No one seriously expects the Dutch, Italians, or Spanish to provide permanent garrisons for Poland. The Germans, who publicly oppose the idea, won’t be coming. Only Britain and France are realistic candidates, and both only reluctantly halted further cuts in their military budget. Which leaves only you-know-who.