Trump’s bizarre allegiances to Russia and Russian president Vladimir Putin have been a source of constant concern for U.S. intelligence services and the military. Despite Trump’s protestations to the contrary, these concerns are not political – at root, the concern is that Russia may, due to its influence over Trump, be able to assert greater power in Europe and beyond, upsetting the world order so carefully crafted in the post Cold War era.
Now, Russia appears to be flexing its might, and testing Trump’s resolve to choose American interests over Russian interests. The New York Times and others are reporting that Russia has secretly deployed a missile system in violation of a long standing arms treaty. The new deployment presents an escalated danger to NATO allies of the United States – one that could destabilize Europe’s balance of power
Reports the Times: “Administration officials said the Russians now have two battalions of the prohibited cruise missile. One is…located at Russia’s missile test site at Kapustin Yar in the country’s southeast…The other was shifted in December from that test site to an operational base elsewhere in the country, according to a senior official who did not provide further details and requested anonymity to discuss recent intelligence reports about the missile.”
Donald Trump considers himself a master negotiator and a “tough guy.” Vladimir Putin has just issued him a direct challenge. Will Donald Trump stand up for American interests and the interests of America’s NATO allies? Or will Trump continue his flirtations with Russia? If the latter, we must again ask: what does Russia have on Donald Trump?