Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Plan Would Give Putin Exactly What He Wants

Trump is selling himself to American voters as one of the world’s best negotiators who knows how to begin by asking more than he’ll settle for. We now move Trump to the stage of grand global policy and it appears as if he is conceding before the negotiation even begins to a better negotiator who understands how to frighten even a “strong man” like Trump purports to be. As it now stands, Trump is proposing to give Putin his most sacred dream of U.S. disengagement from NATO and Ukraine without getting anything in return. Quite a negotiating feat.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ten Reasons Why Putin Wins Big In Syria While The U.S. Gets Nothing

Putin’s payoff from his Syrian “peace keeping” could be enormous; namely, a breakup of NATO and the European Union and a sell out by the West of Ukraine on the grounds that it is not fulfilling the conditions of the Minsk 2 agreement (as if Russia is). If this happens, Putin has achieved his main goal–the end of Ukraine as a unitary state to demonstrate the risks of attempting to break free from Russia’s “sphere of influence.” The ultimate disgrace is that the West welcomed Putin as a partner in Syria on the basis of his promise to fight ISIS. Instead, Putin bombed the opponents of Assad, inflicting massive civilian casualties on them and contributing to the migration flow into Europe. ISIS did not seem to appear on his target list. For those who know Putin, this was no surprise.

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Russia’s Economic Crisis Threatens Putin’s 2016 Mid-Term Election Schemes

The September 18 Russian parliamentary (Duma) election and the November 8 U.S. elections reinforce the wisdom of Churchill’s famous quip: “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.” Whether the establishment likes it or not, the U.S. primary campaigns have laid bare tectonic voter dissatisfaction with the status quo. Presumably, the U.S. political system will respond one way or another, perhaps with the election of an outsider. The Russian Duma elections will take place amidst a deep economic crisis according to election rules specifically designed to blunt and conceal voter disaffection. The Putin regime incurs risks with this strategy: It creates an opportunity for a political force that actually addresses the deep concerns of the people. It is virtually impossible for the cautious Putin to plan for every eventuality.

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