12 Ways Trump is a Nightmare for Putin

I am frustrated to still hear the silliness about how President Donald Trump is soft on Russia.  It continues to be a mainstream talking point, repeated by congresspeople pushing impeachment and pundits like Max "I would rather vote for Stalin than Trump" Boot.  Our friends the Germans even made this disgusting parade float of a Russian bear sodomizing Trump.

Their argument is insane.  Not tethered to reality.  A supreme attempt to gaslight normal people.

Below is a list of all the ways that Trump's policies are anathema to Moscow.  They are coordinated and deliberate, to help America and undermine Russia.  Trump may not be saying as many mean things about Putin as the media say about Trump, but he has taken the concrete actions of a dead serious man.

As a point of contrast, please keep in mind that ex-president Barack Obama's pro-Russian policies included granting Russia permanent normal trade relations, ushering the Russians into the WTO, and a "reset button."  It would be easy to go on at length about how Obama helped Russia.

Without further ado, the list:

1. Trump is unleashing the American energy industry: more fracking, more offshore drilling, and approval for the Keystone Pipeline.  This is important because 52% of the Russian government budget comes from sales of oil and gas.  Increased American supplies of fossil fuels will push global prices down, costing Putin many billions of dollars on a recurring basis.

2. Trump took the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement (PCA).

Putin was a strong backer of the PCA.  He said, "[C]limate change has become one of the gravest challenges that humanity is facing" and called for a legally binding treaty.  He has a few motivations for this.  First, each time the U.S. submits to international treaties and organizations, Russia gains control over America.  Second, as part of the PCA, Obama wanted to donate $3 billion to a Green Climate Fund.  These international funds are ripe for plunder by Russia.  Finally, the PCA would hurt American coal and help Russian gas.

3. Trump is permitting American companies to export liquefied natural gas.  The first shipment arrived in Poland in June of 2017.  A Polish diplomat described it as a "milestone."  This will help Poland avoid "energy bullying" from Russia.  In addition to weakening Russia's position politically, it will, once again, hurt Russia economically.  (Angela Merkel and Germany prefer Russian gas.)

Note how many policies Trump has coordinated that hurt Russia economically in a significant way.  Trump is, as Theodore Roosevelt would say, "speaking softly and carrying a big stick."

4. Trump approved a deal to sell Poland an anti-missile defense system.  Russia will become weaker politically because it will have less leverage to blackmail Poland.  Russia's comparative military strength is being diminished.  It will have a harder time attacking Poland – a threat the Polish people live with daily and take seriously.

5. Trump has approved the sale of $47 billion's worth of defensive arms to Ukraine.  This was a move that "lawmakers of both parties have been urging for years."  Russians will die because of this.  Insofar as Putin cares about dead Russians, or fails to hide the casualties he caused to his people, this will hurt him.

6. The American military recently killed up to 300 Russian troops in Syria.

7. Trump has shifted America's foreign policy to become dramatically more hawkish toward a number of countries who act as proxies for Russia.  The clearest example is North Korea.  Russia has an extensive history of providing North Korea with weapons, including nuclear weapons.  (Please view this interview with world-class expert Peter Pry for details.)  Russia even threatens to go to war with America to defend North Korea.  Notwithstanding Russian intimidation, Trump has pushed a policy of steadily increasing pressure on North Korea via sanctions.  Trump even explicitly called out Russia for its help for North Korea.  (That's a fact America's mainstream media have been hiding for decades).

Iran is another country that works with the backing of Russia.  Trump has begun rolling back the dangerous and misnamed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.  When Iranians began revolting against the ayatollah, Trump offered them the full moral support of America.  Trump has also taken steps to strengthen America's alliance with enemies of Iran.

Yet another example is Venezuela.  Russia is a good friend to Venezuela.  The Russians supplied Hugo Chávez and have since been supplying Nicolas Maduro with military weapons as well as billions of dollars.  In response, Trump is upping sanctions.  He has even threatened an American military intervention

In sum, Trump is containing and hurting the many arms of a devious Russian foreign policy.

8. Trump closed three Russian diplomatic compounds.

9. Trump placed sanctions on Russians.

10. Trump is pushing for a stronger military.  This includes auditing the Pentagon to remove waste and corruption, as well as significantly increased spending.  Russian governance and foreign policy are still based on hard power.  American military might is a key to respond to and deter any actions Russia may take that threaten American national security.

11. Trump has repeatedly pushed for modernization of America's nuclear forces.  With a utopian view of the world, many previous presidents had allowed America's nuclear deterrent to become "dangerously obsolete."  Russia, on the other hand, has been hard at work.  The Russian defense minister recently stated that Russia will "continue a massive program of nuclear rearmament."  A modernized American nuclear arsenal is essential to deter Russia and protect Americans.

12. Finally, and most important of all, Trump is doing his best to restore the confidence of Americans in America.  This is the basis for any success we may have.

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