Putin is a walking paradox, and as such he makes any dealings with Russia very hard to either gauge or trust. On one hand, he is the Russian Orthodox Christian who worships the same God as many in the U.S, someone who really wants to defeat ISIS as much as any American, and someone who does have a right to not have American missiles on his “hate America” doormat.
At the same time, he has been more than mildly suspected of poisoning a man to death, he enjoys having his submarines roam into U.S. waters, and he sends fighter jets to taunt American warships, the latter two of which could easily spark a confrontation that could lead to all-out war.
Putin’s KGB ties are well known, as are his aspirations to salvage at least part of the glory and even a few of the ideas from when Russia was communist and more aggressive. To what degree Putin wants to rebuild the Soviet Union as some suggest is not known, but unfortunately, what is known is rather grim.
It is being reported that Russia has increased their combat readiness not just in preparation for defense from an attack that Putin (with a truly manic and obsessive certainty) feels is coming from NATO/America, but also its offensive weapons.
The Russian president who the left claims is a friend of Trump’s (which now makes them all look quite foolish) has ordered what is called a “snap check” on Russian armed forces. This order was announced by Russian Foreign Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu who noted that the order is both to test their forces readiness to go to battle AND to fight; a nuance that has world-shattering implications and must NOT be overlooked.
He then went on to say that “In accordance with the decision by the Armed Forces Supreme Commander, a snap check of the Aerospace Forces began to evaluate [sic] readiness of the control agencies and troops to carry out combat training tasks.”
The only somewhat good news to be found in this is that Shoigu also said, “Special attention should be paid to combat alert, deployment of air defense systems for a time of war and air groupings’ readiness to repel the aggression” because it implies that Putin means if he is attacked. However, that implication could only be the half of it since it could mean that if NATO forces remain on his border and active, that may count as aggression in waiting, in which case he may attack first.
There are two ways to read what Russia is doing and thinking here. It could be that Donald Trump is an unknown. We know what he has promised, we know that he claims to want to make America great again, and we know that he has only ever threatened to attack ISIS. Still, Trump has said also that he would never declare or even hint at an attack before it happens, so Russia may be worried that Trump will attack Russia from the nations where U.S. weapons sit on the ready. If this is the case, once Putin is at least sure that Trump is not a threat, some of this could die down depending on how the two leaders get along.
The other option is that Putin is going to attack while America is distracted with a rough transition of power, leftist protests against Trump that Putin has helped fund, and vagina hats. If Putin is simply not taking any more of NATO not moving away as he has requested and as was promised to Russia by Ronald Reagan decades ago, then the world could easily see a nuclear war in a matter of moments. It is not known how Trump will handle Russian taunting if it arises like it did for Obama, a case which thankfully has not arisen, and hopefully shall not.
The world is watching and starting to again contemplate teaching children to cower under school desks as both the U.S.A and Russia build up their military. The scariest part is that both sides do have to rebuild for the very real war on terror that is here thanks to the likes of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and even Russia as well from their failed war in Afghanistan.
Thanks to radical Islam, it is impossible for either Russia or the United States to accurately gauge which troop movements or weapons shipments are to fight terror or to fight one another. In this respect, if Trump was to defeat ISIS and really get our troops out of that part of the Middle East as he has promised, if he can get Putin to trust the U.S. long enough to do it, then the world may see peace yet.
Trusting the U.S. may be quite hard for Putin due to things like him having to expel the George Soros-funded NGO’s from Russia who aimed to overthrow Putin from his duly elected post as well as the fact that America has a nasty reputation of toppling leaders who allow the U.S. to park in their yard. None of this, including the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the United States, was any of Donald Trump’s doing. Whether or not this has been reasoned through on the Russian side as they build up to fight is unknown.
What that question points to is that it would be much better if Putin and Trump would talk before any more troops are moved anywhere. During the Cold War, it was not unusual for the U.S. to tell the Soviet Union where actions were taking place so that the Soviets were not wondering if the attack was for them. Still, at the worst of the Cold War such things were not always trusted and nuclear exchanges almost happened on more than few occasions.
Even then, for the two nations to honor such a trust and to fight ISIS together, things need to thaw a lot between both sides. This, more than any wall or climate change page is going to be the most important thing that Trump was hired to do. Once ISIS is properly destroyed, Trump likely will remove the troops from Russian areas and many others for reasons that are far removed from Putin and more to do with need.
God willing, we make it that long.