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posted on 08 February 2017

President Trump vs. President Putin

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In my last post (President Trump vs. President Xi), I highlighted the challenges from China's Xi to President Trump. In this post, I will highlight the challenges from Russia's Vladimir Putin to President Trump.

1. Russia and Putin

Like China, Russia was a total disaster under communism. Unlike China which peacefully transformed itself into a new form of government called "state capitalism", Russia blindly embraced democracy after the disintegration of the USSR in 1991, resulting in yet another total disaster. For more, read: Mikhail Gorbachev vs. Deng Xiaoping.

Adding insult to injury, despite the ending of the Cold War in 1991, the West, especially via NATO, has since been aggressively expanding into many former Soviet republics, as highlighted by the image below.

Entering Putin as a turn-around specialist …

Throughout his first run as the Russian leader (PM 1999-2000 and President 2000-2008), Putin largely looked inward, like any turn-around specialist does, getting the house in order first, as Russia was too weak to respond to Western aggressions abroad.

During his second run as the Russian leader (PM 2009-2012 and President 2013-present), Putin was finally able to fight back against Western aggressions, such as in the case of Ukraine. More on this later ...

In short, I believe Putin has already proven to be the greatest Russian leader in recent history (How to understand Putin’s jaw-droppingly high approval-ratings). Two informative readings:

  1. America: What is Russia, Anyway?
  2. Top 10 American Misconceptions about Russia.

2. Trump and America

The success of Donald Trump's Presidential campaign is a result of the impending failure of America's political system: Americans are so disgusted with the political establishment that they are willing to try something, anything, different, even with a very flawed person like Donald Trump!

Entering Trump as a turn-around specialist …

Given two consecutive disastrous American Presidents in George W. Bush and Barack Obama (Correctly Assessing President Obama), President Trump can, and must, easily out-perform both of them. But will he be as good for America as Putin has been for Russia?

3. President Trump vs. President Putin

Like President Putin, President Trump faces two huge challenges upon taking office:

  1. At home: America has been in a steep decline over the past decade, at least.
  2. Abroad: China just overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest economy! Although it is in terms of PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) for now, it will be in terms of GDP by 2025, if not sooner.

Like Putin, President Trump, as a turn-around specialist, should look inward, getting the house in order first, before responding much abroad.

Better yet for President Trump, as compared with President Putin, unlike NATO’s expansion eastwards, which targeted at Russia and was hostile to Russia, China’s economic expansion is peaceful and global (i.e. not targeted at America).

Will President Trump meet his challenges like President Putin did with his? I hope so!

Like Russia, America is replete with natural resources. So nobody should ever under-estimate America's, or Russia's, ability to recover after stumbling.

Superficially, Trump's America does not look as bad as Putin's Russia. However, you may not be sure of that, given the importance of the political system.

Specifically, it was a mistake for Russia to blindly embrace democracy after the Cold War ended in 1991. This mistake becomes very obvious when compared with China's success. Fortunately for Russia, President Putin was wise enough to realize the mistake, and has since inserted some sanity into Russian democracy.

In contrast, American democracy is still running amok (American Democracy). Will President Trump take on political reforms as I have suggested (Donald Trump 2.0)? I hope so!

4. Russia vs. America

Here are two hot spots where America may meet with Russia soon, if not already:

  1. The Mideast.
  2. Ukraine.

Let's discuss each ...

4.1 The Mideast

The most urgent problem in the Mideast is ISIS. America created it in the first place, without any real strategy to defeat it. For more, watch the long video in the end.

In Syria, Russia has the only real strategy to defeat ISIS: supporting President Assad by defeating all his enemies! In contrast, America was just too obsessed with regime change, which would have made Syria yet another Iraq! For more, watch the short video below. As you will see, President Putin is sharp and credible!

In Iraq, everything America has done has strengthened the Iraqi government, which is pro-Iran by definition! In other words, not only did we do Iran a huge favor by toppling the Saddam regime, we are perpetuating the huge favor by fighting ISIS in Iraq for Iran!

Think of that: we are fighting in Iraq for the benefit of Iran!

President Trump will come up with a new strategy (Trump Orders New Military Strategy to Defeat ISIS), hopefully. For more, read: The Middle East without America?

4.2 Ukraine

The chaos in Ukraine was mostly orchestrated by the West! For more, read: Crimea, Ukraine, Russia, and the U.S.

Still unconvinced? Watch the video below.

Fortunately for America, Trump seemed to have realized the problem. Three examples:

  1. Candidate Trump: NATO is obsolete and expensive.
  2. President-elect Trump: Instead of vilifying President Putin, like America’s political-media complex has been doing for the past decade at least, Trump praised him (Trump praises “very smart” Putin on Twitter).
  3. President Trump: Trump defends Putin: ‘You think our country’s so innocent?'

Better yet, NATO seems to have pulled back a bit recently (NATO shelves plan to meet with Ukraine), thanks to President Trump, presumably. But will President Trump come up with a real solution for NATO and Ukraine? I hope so. Meanwhile, read this: Outburst of violence in Ukraine may be Trump's first test with Putin.

4.3 The Mideast and Ukraine

America needs Russian assistance on a wide range of international issues, especially ISIS and Iran. But if President Trump thinks he could trade Ukraine for the Mideast, or vice versa, with Russia, he would be dead wrong!

Here is the latest news from the UN: UN Ambassador Haley hit Russia hard on Ukraine. Below is an excerpt.

The US ambassador to the United Nations offered a strong condemnation of Russia in her first appearance at the UN Security Council on Thursday, calling on Moscow to de-escalate violence in eastern Ukraine and saying that US sanctions against Moscow would remain in place until it withdraws from Crimea.

What a terrible start for Ambassador Haley!

Bottom line: Russia will never withdraw from Crimea! For more, read: JFK Met with Nikita Khrushchev in Heaven!

Does that mean the US sanctions on Russia will remain forever? If yes, we will never be able to count on Russia for anything!

4.4 Trump's foreign policy

What a terrible start on foreign policy for the Trump administration!

While this "tough-love" for Russia is going on at the UN, another Trump team has been tasked, within 30 days, to come up with a new strategy to defeat ISIS.

What a joke - they are contradictory! It shows the lack of a basic understanding of Russia and the world, possibly leading to a totally incoherent and most likely disastrous foreign policy!

5. "Don't mess with nuclear-armed Russia!"

The Cold War ended in 1991, with the disintegration of the USSR. Since then, America has been hailed as the only superpower in the world.

Militarily, however, Russia has never been weak since 1991, when the Cold War ended. As a matter of fact, militarily, Russia is stronger today than the former USSR! Two informative readings:

  1. Vladimir Putin: Don't mess with nuclear-armed Russia.
  2. Russia Now Has More Deployed Nuclear Warheads than the U.S.

In other words, America has not been the only military superpower since 1991 - not even for a single day!

While Russia was recovering for the 20 years from 1991 to 2011, America was over-reaching, resulting in a huge mess not only for America, but also for the world. For more, read: Is America the New Rome and Greece?

Now, Russia has largely recovered. America must deal with it anew. Can President Trump do it?

6. Closing

President Putin is a proven world leader, while President Trump has a long way to go to prove himself as a good American President as well as a true world leader, beyond what's automatically given to an American President.

Not only do I wish President Trump well, I have also spelled out the path to greatness for him (Donald Trump 2.0). But will he listen? We will have a very good indication after his first 100 days in office.

Now, please sit back and watch the long video below.

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