President Trump’s First International Crises Revisited:

Apparently my intelligence sources aren’t up to snuff and Ukraine won’t be Putin’s target on January 20, 2017. And Donald Trump has confirmed that!

Instead the latest scenario suggests that Putin would rather expand Russian control of former soviet states and place the final nail in NATO’s coffin at the same time:

Putin is intent on restoring Russia as a great power, and sees NATO and the European Union—which have ventured into Russia’s traditional sphere of influence in admitting countries such as Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—as adversaries, according to Shirreff (Richard Shirreff former NATO deputy supreme allied commander Europe): “I think he would love nothing more than to see NATO destroyed. What better way of destroying NATO than to snatch the Baltic states, threaten NATO with nuclear weapons? NATO backs off, NATO collapses as an alliance. I don’t think that’s too far-fetched.”

If Trump were the American president, Putin might not even have to make such threats in order for the alliance to capitulate and collapse.

Shirreff’s new novel, 2017: War With Russia, imagines a situation in which, roughly this time next year, Russia consolidates its control over eastern Ukraine and stages a Ukraine-style military incursion into neighboring Latvia, thereby destabilizing the entire Baltic region, raising the specter of nuclear war, and threatening the 70-year-old NATO alliance itself.

It’s a scenario that came to mind when Donald Trump suggested to The New York Times last week that he might not provide military assistance to the Baltic countries—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—if they were invaded by Russia, even though they are part of NATO and the alliance’s treaty declares that an attack on one member is an attack on all members. The Republican presidential candidate indicated that his support would hinge on whether those under attack had fulfilled their financial obligations to the alliance, including a pledge by each country to spend at least 2 percent of its GDP on defense by 2024. Presently, only five of 28 NATO members—among them the U.S., the U.K., and Estonia—are hitting that target.

I thought of Shirreff’s scenario again on Wednesday, when Trump expressed a degree of tolerance for Russian land grabs by suggesting in a press conference that he might, as president, recognize Crimea as Russian territory.

So what’s left as an autonomous Ukraine is safe for the near term but the Balkans are the current target. And it sounds like candidate Donald Trump is fine with that…really.

And with his apparent knowledge of Putin, Russia, foreign policy, and just knowing more than the generals, he has assured us nothing more will happen in Ukraine:
no ukraine

So no worries!


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