Peace is good. Peace is the goal. There seem to be a good number of people, people who long argued for “peace,” at least during the Bush years, who don’t seem inclined toward peace now however.
Russia is an important country for many reasons, but from the US perspective primarily because it retains a significant intercontinental nuclear arsenal. We MUST deal with them. It’s not an option.
We must also recognize that Russia’s and our interests are not necessarily always in conflict. Where we have common interests it simply makes sense to do business.
We must however always remember that Putin is the head of a vast crony empire. Russia has its interests. We have ours. But there really is no reason to resurrect a cold war. We were fighting socialism/communism during the Cold War. The Soviet Union was an expansionist power that sought to undermine the free world. Now, though deeply crony, Russia’s interests have been curtailed. It is a regional power which must be respected. But it is no superpower. And just because Germany and Russia have long standing regional rivalries that predate the 20th Century is no reason we have to see Russia as an existential threat. Because for us it’s not.
Russia is a petro state with lots of nukes. Putin is a KGB alum who is not to be trusted. But that doesn’t mean we should push for a newly polarized geopolitical world. We have enough to deal with in China. Russia should be seen for what it is, a mid-sized semi-developing economy, with lots of economic potential, with regional concerns particularly on its southern flank that has no particular love for the US. Russia is a state that can be dealt with rationally.
But the neoconservatives are not inclined to think in terms that are realistic (as in diplomatic REALISM) or even all too often even in simple rational terms. And that is unfortunate.
Russia is not to be trusted. But we shouldn’t be stupid about threats that don’t exist and indulge in narratives that further certain domestic political agendas. Yes, Putin didn’t like Hillary. Yes, it looks like the Russians would have loved to have impacted the 2016 election if they could have. (The same could probably be said for the Chinese, the Israelis, the Saudis, and most especially the European Union which was overtly pro-Hillary.) Yes, it looks like the Russians tried under Obama’s watch. (As I’ll bet other countries did also.) But now is a time to be adults about things. For the sake of peace.
There is no reason why we can’t be cordial with Russia. We’ll see if Trump has the skill to deal with Putin effectively. The Washington establishment certainly seems to have failed. Maybe, maybe, Trump can do better.
Oh, and by the way, former Obama CIA director, communist voter for president in 1976, and CNN pundit, John Brennan is up in arms calling the president’s peace overtures “treasonous. The old crew is still clinging.
(From The Sun)
Trump declared: “We made the first steps towards a brighter future, grounded on cooperation and peace. Refusing to engage will not accomplish anything.
“The disagreements between our two countries are well-known and president Putin and I discussed them at length today.
“Even during the tensions of the Cold War, when the world looked much different than it does today, Russia and the US were able to maintain a strong dialogue.
“Our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed. As of about four hours ago. This was a very constructive day, a very constructive few hours we spent together. I’m sure we’ll be meeting again in the future, often.”