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U.S. vs. Russia – Frenemies?

January 3, 2017

Fact:  Russia spies on us…and everyone else as well.

Fact:  Russia is no one’s friend.

Fact:  Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn’t strayed far from his KGB background, and he won’t do so in the future.

He is also a keen student of Russian history, and he’s aware that trying to outspend the United States on armaments had a lot to do with the fall of the old USSR.

From our side of the coin, after eight years of the left’s constant striving to downsize and downgrade our military capabilities, we might have a tough time fighting China and its puppet state, notably North Korea, if at the same time we had to fight Russia and its surrogates.

There is a reason why our planes keep falling apart or flying into each other in the air, and our small boat naval officers can’t navigate well enough to keep from being captured.

That said, we still have enough conventional heavy artillery, including nukes, to knock the bejeezus out of either of the other two world powers at any given time.

Of the two, the one that seems to be more likely at the moment to eventually need a military response sooner rather than later is China, or rather it’s proxy, North Korea.

So what about Russia?

The narrative that the Kremlin “hacked the election” is already wearing thin, even among some in the liberal press, as noted in the Rolling Stone article.

The Russians have hacked a lot of stuff, but the actual election i.e. the voting process, wasn’t hacked. Not because Russia didn’t want to, but because it isn’t interconnected over the internet.

If the Russian government hacked anything election-related, it was the personal email of a Democratic operative or two and the headquarters of the DNC.  Apparently, all they released were some unflattering truths about the Democrats.

If there was an election centered Russian espionage operation, it is unacceptable, if for no other reason than it shows up how naïve we are about cyber warfare and cyber security.

All that considered, is it wise for PEOTUS Trump to flatly state he doesn’t believe any of our intelligence agencies?

Although it’s not smart to take anything the incoming President has to say for public consumption  too literally, it wouldn’t seem to be a great idea to simply ignore whatever hard intel is available. Understandable perhaps, but not a good operational strategy.

That position may reflect more about the general public perception of the decreased internal integrity of our security agencies as they have operated under President Obama, than it does the long-ago WMD controversy.

There are few people who believe the top administrative echelons of DHS, Justice, the FBI and even the CIA  haven’t been operated as political arms of the executive branch over the past eight years.

Is that a reason to cozy up to Putin now and if so, how far should that go?

There is a tendency for some to note that President Reagan eventually had a working relationship of sorts with Mikhail Gorbachev, a sort of Russian connection, if you will.

That’s a false comparison. First, Russia’s Putin is no Gorbachev, and he has no desire to preside over the break-up of whatever remains of the old USSR the way Gorbachev did. Indeed, his motives are quite the opposite.

No, this is more like the deal-with-the-devil scenario of WWII.  There was no love lost between FDR and Josef Stalin, but at the time, the two countries needed each other.

The difference between then and now is that Roosevelt was a seasoned wartime President, and PEOTUS Trump is not.

As too many bear handlers and wildlife experts have learned to their detriment, bears have long claws and big teeth and they don’t domesticate very well over the long haul. Russian bears will always remain bears at heart.

So yes, this initial Twitter-bro relationship has it’s pitfalls, and some of them are the size of the Grand Canyon.

That said, sometimes you have to be smart enough to pick your fights. Maybe now is the time to keep our weapons loaded, but the safeties engaged.

From → op-ed

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