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Thread: Russia/USA Tensions

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    Russia/USA Tensions

    I would maintain that Moscow under Putin has been an aggressive, hostile force for awhile (from the Caucasus to Ukraine/Crimea to Syria to menacing the old SSRs).

    Given the allegation that Russia has been doing some political hacking of US sites, Trump's statement of admiration of Putin, and Clinton's prickly past with Putin, seems like this could racket up.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/14/us...utin.html?_r=0

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/12/politi...war/index.html
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    It's an interesting position, because a lot of the world feels about the US the way we currently do about Russia. Trump's "we should be friends with Russia" argument would ring a little more true if he wasn't getting played so hard by Putin. It's abundantly clear the Russians see an inherent benefit to the Trump-led US and that's not a particularly hard thing to figure out either.

    My concern about both candidates, but particularly Trump, is that I think both don't take the right line on foreign policy. However, where Clinton is too hawkish for my liking, Trump is just too stupid. He is uninformed, he claims things that aren't true (such as the state of nuclear weapons in the west versus their state in Russia) and didn't know Putin had already invaded several areas of the Ukraine. He is literally (!) taking the Kremlin stance on major international incidents and now Russian hackers are very much involved in working against Clinton. I don't know what happened to any Republican willing to defend that. Putin is a dictator and, maybe even scarier than the USSR, he lacks a clear ideology aside from his own interest.
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    Yeah, ever since Theodore Roosevelt and "speak softly, and carry a big stick" the USA has earned animosity around the world. Definitely some friends in NATO and in the Western Hemisphere, but have also cultivated some adversaries.

    I guess it depends on where you are geographically located as to whether you are more worried about the US, Russia, or China. China is definitely exerting its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

    A nightmare scenario for the US is if Russia and China become allies because the US pushes back to hard against both the Russians and Chinese. Given the increasing stresses due to the ever increasing number of people on the planet, the quest for 'First World' shiny technologies and consumer goods, and a greater separation between the 'haves' and 'have nots' (both within countries & between countries). And humans are putting increasing stresses on ecosystems due to resource harvesting (forests, minerals, etc), the global extinction crisis, and climate change.....

    Tough time to be a political leader in the US (or any other country)

    If anyone wants me to source any of this post, I will, but I don't want to bog it down with a bunch of links.
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    from http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/12/politi...war/index.html

    'Putin has consolidated his hold on parliament and looks set to be re-elected within the next 18 months.

    He has a prickly track record with Clinton, who he accused of instigating December 2011 demonstrations against him while she was secretary of state. For her part, Clinton joked in 2008 that then-President George W. Bush couldn't have gotten a sense of Putin's soul, as he had claimed, because the Russian president is a former KGB agent and that means "by definition he doesn't have a soul."'

    Different context, but sums up what I feel about Putin, he doesn't have a soul.
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    Rightfully so.

    Russia, through the invasion/occupation of Ukraine - along with years of suspected political tampering leading up to it - forced not only the US but the UK to break the Budapest Agreement and to seem weak on the world stage.

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    It's going to get ugly for sure. I don't think either candidate is well equipped to deal
    With international affairs, particularly Putin. Clinton may have been Secretary of State but I just don't see her being able to stand up to Putin in a way that won't fuel the fire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fletch View Post
    I would maintain that Moscow under Putin has been an aggressive, hostile force for awhile (from the Caucasus to Ukraine/Crimea to Syria to menacing the old SSRs).

    Given the allegation that Russia has been doing some political hacking of US sites, Trump's statement of admiration of Putin, and Clinton's prickly past with Putin, seems like this could racket up.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/14/us...utin.html?_r=0

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/12/politi...war/index.html


    Clinton's past with Putin is too cozy for my liking
    She signed off on a deal that sold the largest uranium mine in North America to Russia.
    Meanwhile Bill is getting paid by Kremlin connected officials for speaking engagements. Maybe circumstantial, but terrible judgement all around

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us...pany.html?_r=0

    At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

    Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors.
    I don't know how this is not the prime topic of discussion at this point in the cycle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Respecttheblue View Post
    Clinton's past with Putin is too cozy for my liking
    She signed off on a deal that sold the largest uranium mine in North America to Russia.
    Meanwhile Bill is getting paid by Kremlin connected officials for speaking engagements. Maybe circumstantial, but terrible judgement all around

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us...pany.html?_r=0



    I don't know how this is not the prime topic of discussion at this point in the cycle.
    Ultimately, this will go a long way towards showing whether Trump was just a prop to destabilize the Republican party further than the Tea Party has or if he was a serious candidate. Given the political climate and Clinton's Putin based attacks on Trump, if he doesn't play this card at all, the fix is in imo. His team is too good at digging and slinging mud to not do it. Now, strategically given his deficit in polls, I can see him waiting till the third debate to really hammer something like this, which speaks so directly to his overall attack on Clinton. That may be the right move. But if he doesn't play this card effectively, something's awfully fishy.

    As to this particular deal, the other side of it is that there is this to consider (from the linked article):

    In a statement, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, said no one “has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation.” He emphasized that multiple United States agencies, as well as the Canadian government, had signed off on the deal and that, in general, such matters were handled at a level below the secretary. “To suggest the State Department, under then-Secretary Clinton, exerted undue influence in the U.S. government’s review of the sale of Uranium One is utterly baseless,” he added.
    Maybe, and as you said, it may be circumstantial, but it smells bad.

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    Regarding Hilary Clinton and the Russian/Canadian mining connection... there's a reason why Putin hosts the Olympics and the World Cup. So all the leaders can socialize and hobnob. How can you go to war or have an armed response against someone you fraternize with?

    So I think the elite leaders of many countries mingle socially... and what do rich people like to do? Make more money. So it's not surprising to me that the Clintons are painted with the same corrupt brush as the Bushes (Saudi oil) or I'm sure Obama or any other former president.

    This is the outsider argument that Perot, Trump, the Green Party, Libertarians, etc run on... if you spend enough time as a career politician, you no longer serve your constituents, you only serve yourself. Hard for me not to turn this into a political commentary (there are other threads for that) but I've seen enough evidence that I believe Trump is more interested in serving himself, his own interests, and exacting punishment on real and perceived enemies to believe he is interested in helping Joe Six Pack.

    I suspect that HIlary will be a one term president, because the Republicans will right the ship and find a legitimate candidate to beat her in four years.

    But the more chaotic the USA appears, the bolder countries like Russia and China can be in pursuing their regional ambitions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fletch View Post
    Regarding Hilary Clinton and the Russian/Canadian mining connection... there's a reason why Putin hosts the Olympics and the World Cup. So all the leaders can socialize and hobnob. How can you go to war or have an armed response against someone you fraternize with?

    So I think the elite leaders of many countries mingle socially... and what do rich people like to do? Make more money. So it's not surprising to me that the Clintons are painted with the same corrupt brush as the Bushes (Saudi oil) or I'm sure Obama or any other former president.

    This is the outsider argument that Perot, Trump, the Green Party, Libertarians, etc run on... if you spend enough time as a career politician, you no longer serve your constituents, you only serve yourself. Hard for me not to turn this into a political commentary (there are other threads for that) but I've seen enough evidence that I believe Trump is more interested in serving himself, his own interests, and exacting punishment on real and perceived enemies to believe he is interested in helping Joe Six Pack.

    I suspect that HIlary will be a one term president, because the Republicans will right the ship and find a legitimate candidate to beat her in four years.

    But the more chaotic the USA appears, the bolder countries like Russia and China can be in pursuing their regional ambitions.

    I think that's exactly right, but not only chaotic, relatively weak as well. Iran completely swindled the current administration for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunny View Post
    I think that's exactly right, but not only chaotic, relatively weak as well. Iran completely swindled the current administration for example.
    I think that other countries see that after Iraq and Afghanistan, the American public doesn't have the stomach for any conflict that might last longer than months. The American public doesn't like to see American troops in harms way (without a 'just' cause) so 'smart' missiles, drones, bombing, etc has always been easier to sell to the American public (and we use euphemisms like 'collateral damage' instead of saying civilians and kids were killed, maimed, and wounded).

    So Iran can agree to lots of things.... and bet that America lacks the will to enforce any transgressions militarily. Not a great bargaining position for the US.
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    http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/15/opinio...tis/index.html

    Title: Why Putin fears a Clinton presidency, below are quotes from the article

    While the Trump campaign is trying to get voters to focus on Clinton stumbling and coughing, Putin sees her as a real threat to his objectives.

    For Putin, stopping Clinton is not only an important strategic goal. It is also personal.

    Back in 2011, Putin faced the biggest protests the country had seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union. He had served two terms as president, the maximum allowed, and in 2008 had become prime minister, in a maneuver that allowed him to effectively hold power while his ally, Dmitry Medvedev, was president. Then he announced -- to much anger, but little surprise -- that he would seek a third term as president. Three months later, the opposition erupted in fury when his party won a landslide victory in legislative elections amid allegations of fraud.
    Despite the frigid Moscow temperatures, thousands massed in the streets calling for fair elections and for an end to Putin's seemingly endless rule. Signs and chants declared, "Putin is a thief!" Putin's hold on power faced a genuine threat. Then-Secretary of State Clinton openly sided with the protesters. "The Russian people, like people everywhere," she said, "...deserve free, fair, transparent elections."

    Putin was fuming. He blamed the protests on Clinton, accusing her of sending "a signal" to the opposition.

    Putin's personal animosity toward Clinton coincides with his larger strategic goals. In recent years, he has launched an increasingly muscular foreign (and domestic) policy. He is challenging the US, NATO and the European Union at every turn. Despite a shrinking economy -- not much bigger than Mexico's -- Russia has used its military power to make it a major player on the global stage.
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    Article makes some comparisons to Trump and Putin... although the focus is on Trump, there are some good tidbits on how Putin has operated on the world stage.
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/20/opinio...ion/index.html
    "We're all f*cked. It helps to remember that." - George Carlin

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    "Hatred can keep you warm when you run out of liquor" - Ray Ratto, Dan Patrick show 1/20/2017

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    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-us...-idUSKBN1342FJ

    For all their mutual praise, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump are likely to disagree on many things.

    But Trump's election win could hand Moscow an elusive prize - the lifting or easing of Western sanctions.

    Rolling back those sanctions, imposed by the United States and the European Union to punish Moscow for its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, could spur investment in Russia's flat-lining economy.

    That might make it even easier for Putin, who is trying to plug holes in the state budget inflicted by low oil prices and sanctions, to win a fourth presidential term in 2018 by allowing him to show he has returned the economy to growth.

    "Clearly the chances of sanctions being lifted on Russia have risen substantially," Charles Robertson, Renaissance Capital's global chief economist, said. "That would improve the investment climate for Russia."

    ...

    Trump's attempts to ease restrictions on doing business with Russia could also be constrained by Congress, which has shown it has little patience for the Kremlin's military adventures.

    Executives with Western firms say the biggest obstacle to deals with Russia is not the sanctions themselves but the prospect that more could be imposed and the zeal with which existing sanctions are enforced.

    If a Trump White House were to send a signal to businesses that it was taking a more lax approach, investments could start flowing again with sanctions still in place.

    A softer U.S. stance could also weaken European sanctions resolve.

    The bloc's measures have already started to look wobbly, with some member states finding ways to circumvent them, others saying it is time to discuss moving on, and some business groups in countries such as Germany lobbying against them.

    Until now, Washington has helped stiffen European resolve. When Russia placed a Eurobond in May this year, many European banks decided not to take part because they did not want to fall foul of U.S. financial regulators.

    "America was the leader there and amazingly has been able to hold Europe together (on sanctions)," political analyst Masha Lipman told Reuters. "With Donald Trump in the White House I think there may be changes, something that might be beneficial for Russia."

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    The whole Kasparov website is good.
    http://www.kasparov.com/donald-trump...uly-21st-2016/
    "We're all f*cked. It helps to remember that." - George Carlin

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    "Hatred can keep you warm when you run out of liquor" - Ray Ratto, Dan Patrick show 1/20/2017

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    Relations with Russia will be great, the Trump campaign has been talking to Moscow for a while now.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/10/russi...-campaign.html


    The Russian government was in touch with members of President-elect Donald Trump's political team during the U.S. election campaign and knows most of his entourage, one of Russia's most senior diplomats told the Interfax news agency on Thursday.
    "There were contacts," Interfax cited Ryabkov as saying. "We are doing this and have been doing this during the election campaign."

    Such contacts would continue, he added, saying the Russian government knew and had been in touch with many of Trump's closest allies. He did not name names.

    "Obviously, we know most of the people from his (Trump's) entourage. Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions," he said.

    "I cannot say that all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mentosman42 View Post
    Relations with Russia will be great, the Trump campaign has been talking to Moscow for a while now.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/10/russi...-campaign.html
    The annexation agreement between the USA and Russia between President Putin and Colonial Governor Trump will be especially exciting

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    Sarah Palin can help with administering the Alaskan territory after the Putin-Trump memorandum of understanding.... followed by shots of vodka and a trip to a strip club by the joint US-Russian delegation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mentosman42 View Post
    Relations with Russia will be great, the Trump campaign has been talking to Moscow for a while now.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/10/russi...-campaign.html
    They also reached out to the Clinton campaign as well. I'm sure many governments do this during the Presidential election cycle.

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    There's a difference between reaching out and active dialog.

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