Trump and Tillerson Could Save Our Bacon

If Trump is anything like the deal-maker he claims to be, and if Tillerson can translate the expertise and connections he gained as CEO of a gigantic international corporation into diplomatic skills, we could be spared from a nasty confrontation with a nuclear-armed Russia.

Putin is not a nice man. His incursions into Crimea and Ukraine are inexcusable. But he does have a rationale for his claim of aggressive threats from NATO, and this has served hun well in diverting attention away from the drastic declines in liberty and prosperity in Russia. As this article indicates, the West promised not to expand NATO into Eastern Europe but did so anyway, even threatening to include Ukraine and Georgia, which are geographically Russia’s underbelly. How would we like it if the Soviet Union had proposed including Cuba in the Warsaw Pact?

Trump and Tillerson should make a deal with Putin. It must give Putin incentives to pull out of Ukraine and perhaps Crimea, although the latter was historically Russian and Tatar. It must give him something to brag about to his people.  This in contrast to Obama, who declared Russia to be merely a regional player.  Who could blame all Russians for taking this as an insult? He should have praised Russia as a major international player, capable of great contributions to world peace, while taking quiet steps to keep them from making trouble.

The Baltic states are indefensible. Neutralization has worked well for Finland and it ought to work well for the Baltics and Ukraine. Putin could be given a green light to take over Belarus, a socialist basket case that is ethnically very similar to Russia. He could even be invited to join NATO.  This may not be so crazy given that Russia and the West share Christian roots and a common threat from Islamo-fascists.

Some would bring up Chamberlain’s capitulation to Hitler. Skillful negotiations should be able to avoid that trap. The stakes are high, and right now Trump and Tillerson are our best hope of avoiding a possible catastrophe.

4 thoughts on “Trump and Tillerson Could Save Our Bacon

  1. I am confused. Putin is not a nice man because he has invaded Ukraine and has presided over a decline in Russian liberty and prosperity, correct?

    If Russia is justifiably alarmed, as you stated, at the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe, wouldnt he do whatever he could to stop its advance? wouldn’t that explain the annexation of Crimea and whatever alleged assistance he has rendered to the Rebels in eastern Ukraine? If he is justified in some sort of response, what would be proportionate?Considering that the Ukrainian coup was supported by the US and NATO, would Putin be justified in at least an equal response?

    If Putin was illegitimate in annexing Crimea, which is Russian and actually voted to rejoin Ruddia, why should a potential annexation of Belarus be considered legitimate when neither its people nor government have expressed interest in being annexed? On what basis can NATO both oppose invading a sovereign state and support annexing a sovereign state, except by its own fiat? Why would it be beneficial for a country you claim to have degraded the liberty and prosperity of its own citizens to incorporate and presumably ruin more territory?

    If Putin has degraded the prosperity of Russia, how do you explain the increases in standard of living under the majority of his rule – save for the last two years? How can you justify your claim that he is responsible for degrading quality of life when the major economic reasons for the decline are an unpredictable fall in oil prices and Western sanctions?

    Why would Russia want to join NATO when the sole purpose of its existence is to contain and degrade Russian power?

    Some fundamental questions: why does NATO still exist? Why is Ukraine relevant? Why have we decided defending the Baltic states are part of our core national interests?

    • “Some fundamental questions: why does NATO still exist? Why is Ukraine relevant? Why have we decided defending the Baltic states are part of our core national interests?”

      Generally applicable answer: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — HL Mencken

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