Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How Long Will the Trump-Putin Bromance Continue?

Libertarians who are hanging their hat on the idea that the Trump-Putin bromance is justification enough for supporting Donald Trump's presidency are likely to be sadly disappointed in the long run.

Putin is playing this, as he should from a Russian perspective, as the hot chick willing to whisper soft nothings into Trump's ear while the getting is good. It's possible Putin may even be able to get Trump to lift sanctions against Russia.

But a look at the geostrategic map suggests that this bromance will eventually end up like Trump's first two marriages--on the rocks.

In the short-term, there is good reason for an alliance. Putin and Trump are both anti-ISIS. But they are so for different reasons. Trump wants to wipeout ISIS based on his warped view that it is a threat to the United States. Putin wants to wipeout ISIS to protect his important ally Bashar Assad in Syria.

It is not clear what Trump's take is on Assad but there is another player in the ISIS battle, Iran, another anti-ISIS, strategic Russian ally.

There is little question based on the advisers around Trump that once ISIS is "defeated," that is, gone into hiding, Trump will turn his sights on Iran. This is certainly not something that Iran will be pleased with nor Russia. What happens to the bromance then?

Strategically, it makes sense for Russia and Iran to cheer on U.S. direct involvement in the fight against ISIS, but only to the point that ISIS is significantly weakened but not defeated. It keeps the U.S occupied and less focused on Russian allies.

The U.S. getting bogged down fighting ISIS is in the best interest of both Iran and Russia.

Indeed, it makes sense for Russia, through Iran, to prop up a very weakened ISIS at some point rather than seeing it completely wiped out. That actually is the best thing for greater global peace in this mad world.

If the U.S. through overwhelming force, which Trump could very well unleash, does wipe visible elements of ISIS off the map, that's when things would get interesting between Trump and Putin.

Iran and Syria are well within Russia's understandable geographic sphere of influence, and with key warm water ports  to boot.

Putin is not going to just turn these areas of influence over to his new (LOL) bro, Trump.

And so, we may be just be a year or so away from that great matchup, the greatest street hustler that ever lived, Donald J. Trump, versus a very impressive strathegic thinker, Vladimir Putin.



  1. No, the Clean Break strategy has always been first Iraq, then Syria, then Iran, then Lebanon. Cheney wanted to attack Iran but the Israelis stopped him. They needed Syria defeated first, so there would be no retaliation from neighboring Syria. If the plan gets interrupted, they will try ginning something up with Syria again rather than switching to Iran.

  2. So in "the long run" trump may clash with putin? So the prospect of a calm between US and russia is not worth anything in the present?