A week has passed since the Trump-Putin summit, and a RogueMoney reader asked me for my thoughts on the outcome. Rather than give the stock answer of ‘it’s too soon to say’, I thought I’d do what analysts do and emphasize the knowns, then contrast those with the greater part that remain ‘known unknowns’ in the ongoing negotiations to defuse Cold War II (or more accurately, to revive the USA’s geoeconomic fortunes because Kissingerian realists in Washington realized by 2016 fighting Russia, China and Iran all at once while dominating the EU, Japan and the Koreas was no longer feasible). The problem with this traditional analytical framework including labels like ‘realism’ vs. neo-conservativism, is that Trump defies easy characterization.
On the one hand, Trump appears to sincerely want to improve U.S.-Russia relations because he has taken more heat for this than any other aspect of his platform, culminating in this week’s insane allegations that he has committed ‘treason’ by questioning the ‘intelligence community’ finding that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections in support of his candidacy. On the other hand, on Sunday night Trump escalated his anti-Iran rhetoric, hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) delivered a speech in southern California calling for a 1980s Reaganesque policy of rollback against the Islamic Republic.
Screen shot from: Russia’s Vesti News/First Channel