The Donald and Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin have been inextricably intertwined for the duration of Trump’s presidency. Trump’s business ventures in Russia along with allegations of Russian tampering with the elections in 2016 make for great conspiracy fodder. Recently it was discovered Putin had offered bounties to Taliban fighters for killing US troops in Afghanistan. The Mueller investigation’s loose ends have almost been tied, but now Trump wants to pull US troops from Germany (Wall Street Journal).
The timing is really not good for the Trump campaign. The right wing rhetoric on the weakness of the democrats response to Russian incursions into the Crimea and Donbass (2014) will look like double talk. He wouldn’t be able to criticize the Neo Con response to Russian actions in South Osetia during the Russo-Georgian War (2008) either. It’s true Germany is supportive of the Russian gas pipeline into Europe, but there are few other energy options. The Russian military is still a threat to Western Europe despite the “end of the Cold War.” The Russian press is enjoying the Trump proposal. The pull back could be seen as weakness and encourage more Russian aggression, unless the troops are redeployed to Ukraine; highly unlikely.
Putin isn’t a difficult man to understand (The New Republic). He answers to his own gods. He’s a dictator who’s efforts are designed to increase Russian military and economic power. He has been quite successful to these ends. He uses strong arm diplomacy, assassination and intimidation to get what he wants. The question is, why haven’t American presidents and policy been utilized to reign him in? George Bush Jr, Obama nor Trump have been effective or seemingly even tried. Maybe they, knowingly or not, answer to the same gods.