Last week President-elect Donald Trump made headlines by tweeting “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”
The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
Many news networks scrambled to analyze the intentions of our future President, going as far to accuse him of preparing for World War 3. While I highly doubt that is the case, the tweet is a clear challenge to the current Nuclear powers-at-be, i.e. Russia, who is the only current country to have more nuclear weapons than the USA.
Fast forward a week, and now President Obama is taking measures to confront the Russian opponent, presenting sanctions in an effort to punish the country for its illegal involvement (according to US intelligence agencies) in the American Presidential election. And now, President-elect’s response to said measure after last week’s post of strength against the Russian defense system, is…caution?
According to Fox News, Trump released a statement saying ““It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation.” Had you told me that to end the 2016 calendar year, President Obama would be making bold political attacks on Russia and Donald Trump would be the voice of caution, I would have laughed in your face and told you to go watch video of Donald Trump speeches of the last year and a half. And yet here we are, Trump acting as the studious cautious President, and Obama looking the overly aggressive militant.
And that is the most confusing part of this situation, and Donald Trump.
Russian President Putin has been poking at the Obama administration for years, and have done an excellent job on their part in getting under the skin of the government system. Whether it is denying a Ukraine invasion or coming out as the good guys in the Syrian war, Russia has gotten the better of America again and again. Now Obama, at his wits end, is following Republican cries of Russian sanctions and leading the charge to improve America’s global standing. Yet the chief critique of Obama’s international follies isn’t backing him or his sanctions and even asking that the President moves on from a proven cyber attack. It seems Donald Trump wants to “Make America Great Again” on his terms and no one else.
The problem with this is that no one seems to know what those terms are, including Trump himself. If Trump reverses the sanctions he risks the potential of angering his own Republican supporters Day 1. Surprisingly Trump supporters back his cautious approach only a week after backing his nuclear testament (such is politics), but supporters aren’t the ones brokering deals, and will turn on you quickly if results falter. This is bad.
But this should be good. Russian sanctions should be exactly what Donald Trump wants. He thinks the Obama administration is weak, and now (albeit late) the government is showing strength through surprising unity. In addition, Donald Trump can count another jobs win to his column with Sprint promising to create or bring back 5,000 jobs to America. According to The Street “Internet provider OneWeb on Dec. 19, the startup said it would add 3,000 U.S. job” as well. Obviously there will be strings attached to the Sprint deal as the company looks to gain favor for its merger offer to T-Mobile. Furthermore, Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, who also serves as Sprint’s chairman, is looking to further invest $50 billion in the USA with no one really knowing what Son’s ultimate goal is to date.
In the end, this is the good, bad, and troubling aspect of Donald Trump. And perhaps this will be the strategy of a President-elect that no one really knows what he will do. But ultimately, you can only dodge and deflect for so longer before a side must be chosen. For Russia’s constant involvement in American dealings, something must be done. If not Trump could run the route of losing his support and made to look weak…and that is the last thing President-elect Trump wants.
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