25,997. 6/25/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/JAPAN/RUSSIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The next Trump-Putin meeting in Osaka, Japan is only days away, but the White House is maintaining radio silence about what it hopes to achieve there. Meanwhile, three senior voices with experience of dealing with Russia, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford, the NSC’s in-house Russia expert Fiona Hill, and, reportedly, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, are all on their way out. These developments are not linked, but they tell us a lot about how Russia policy actually works in the Trump administration. The conventional wisdom has long held that Trump’s bizarre brand of Russian policy (which he invariably describes as ‘getting along with Russia’) doesn’t matter all that much because the rest of the U.S. government is taking a tougher line on the Kremlin’s misbehavior. When it comes to sanctions, military cooperation with Ukraine, or cyber operations against Russian critical infrastructure, this argument goes, largely sensible day-to-day decisions are being made.”

Andrew Weiss, “Trump’s Confused Russia Policy Is a Boon for Putin,” Politico, June 25, 2019 

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