Monday, July 24, 2017

Tweet Softly and Carry a Big Stick

If I thought Trump was going easy on Russia at America's expense, I'd be furious. But let's not go full-on Democratic Red Scare over Russia at the expense of other threats.

America is not exactly going easy on Russia under Trump notwithstanding the surprising anti-Russian rhetoric coming out of the Democratic Party that accuses Trump of going easy on the Russians.

Sure, in isolation I might be worried about this:

President Donald Trump's persistent overtures toward Russia are placing him increasingly at odds with his national security and foreign policy advisers, who have long urged a more cautious approach to dealing with the foreign adversary.

One, I find it tough to take from Democrats, of all people.

Two, our actions don't match the soft words. We are continuing to build up forces in eastern NATO; Trump continues to push NATO--whose basic purpose is to contain Russia--to spend more on defense; we have sold advanced air defense missiles to Poland and Romania; Trump, in Poland, explicitly endorsed NATO's common defense provision; and America is back on track to halt and reverse our military decline.

Do you really think the Russians are comforted by the Tweets when the actions are concrete?

I'm hoping it might push Russia to some sense. They are relatively weak overall and strong only when confronting the vacuum of NATO power in the east. And the Russians are no doubt cheering Democrats here:

The Russians are delighted that they have convinced some that they control Donald Trump. Not only does this breed instability in the United States, but it gives a sense of overwhelming, if covert, Russian power.

I don't always agree with Stratfor (I think Syria serves to extend Russia's buffer zone to the eastern Mediterranean Sea; and I don't see why the West has to go along with Russia's perceived need for buffers to the west), but they are a valuable source of analysis.

Perhaps when we help fill that void, Russia will stop threatening NATO because there might be consequences.

And then the soft words might have an effect on getting America and Russia to cooperate in ways that benefit America.

Remember, I've long been in favor of resisting Russian aggression. But let's not forget--the way Russia is forgetting--that the major growing threat is China in Asia. We should not overreact to Russia's threats at the expense of Asian defenses.

And there is the American role in the Islamic Civil War to minimize the collateral damage until the jihadis can be defeated, suppressed, and discredited.