Russian President Putin. TASS
Stephen Benedict Dyson and Matthew J. Parent, War On The Rocks: In his Own Words: Vladimir Putin's Foreign Policy Analyzed
According to Greg Miller of The Washington Post, Donald Trump and his advisers differ on how to approach Vladimir Putin. While Trump tweets that “[e]verything will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia,” and looks forward to “lasting peace,” his advisors air scathing assessments of Russian policies.
Indeed, Putin has confounded and confused U.S. presidents and their advisors, intelligence analysts, and academics since his unlikely rise to power. He has been portrayed variously as a master chess player, a reckless egoist, a business-like statesman, and a street thug.
Here at War on the Rocks, Joshua Rovner and Michael Kofman have disagreed on the wisdom and clarity of Putin’s grand design, and indeed whether any such thing can be said to exist. “Putin is a bad strategist,” Rovner writes. “He does not understand the relationship between military violence and political objectives,” and his “ham-fisted” seizure of Crimea, amongst other blunders, has “almost ruined” the chances of Russia’s return to great power status. Kofman disagrees, arguing that Putin is playing a weak hand — as the leader of a “regional power in structural decline” — with some skill. It’s too soon to judge the ultimate success of his challenge to the rules-based international system, but Putin has made progress on this score, and seems secure at home. The Russian leader understands strategy perfectly well, in Kofman’s view. The real problem is that America doesn’t understand Putin.
Read more ....
WNU Editor: For Kremlin watchers .... this is a must read post.