The Russia Analyst doesn't have much to add to this farcical story about the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomatic personnel (whether official cover spies or not) from the U.S., or the expected persona non grata'ing of 35 Americans from the Russian Federation this weekend. Other than sending our U.S. passport to the Embassy via FedEx, we've had no interactions with anyone at 2650 Wisconsin Avenue, NW in the over a decade we've been visiting Russia.
Nonetheless, we do want to say the following: we think President Donald J. Trump's low key response, agreeing to see any actual classified evidence in a briefing next week while calling on the U.S. to move on from (re-litigating and trying to cast doubt on the legitimacy of) the election, is the right one. With barely three weeks left to engage in what others agree with us is a preemptive soft coup against Trump's promised foreign policy before he takes office, we expect Russian retaliation to be limited to tit for tat expulsions and complaining. Going beyond that, into actively sanctioning Langley employees and naming CIA agents involved in either the overthrow of the legitimate Ukrainian government in February 2014, or more nefarious operations involving those American-made TOW missiles that 'accidentally' wound up in ISIS hands may only deepen the chill of Cold War 2.0. Which is precisely what Obama's handlers apparently wanted from these eleventh hour executive orders...Read More