Putin’s Evil Game; Trump’s First Test — Vitus Ozoke

By Ikenga Chronicles December 30, 2016

Putin’s Evil Game; Trump’s First Test — Vitus Ozoke

This whole US-Russia spat is getting more and more interesting. Obama expels 35 Russian diplomats in addition to other known and unknown punitive measures against Moscow for meddling in US elections. Contrary to expectations, Putin holds off on retaliatory expulsion of American diplomats, choosing instead not to complicate things for President-elect Trump.

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I have always known Putin to be an evil genius who is obsessively inclined to self-interest. Putin doesn’t do anything to help anybody but himself. Yes, he has announced that he will not retaliate against Obama’s actions because he doesn’t want to complicate things for Trump. Nonsense. Putin knows he can’t hurt Obama. The man is already out of the door and out of diplomatic harm’s way. Putin’s real game here is to box Trump into a corner in the early months of his presidency.

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Here’s the real dilemma that this supposed Putin goodwill gesture towards Trump will pose for the latter. Trump will have to face this diplomatic faceoff as soon as he is inaugurated on January 20. What does he do? Does he rescind Obama’s executive order and recall the expelled Russian diplomats? That will be suicidal even for Trump. You cannot bring back Russian criminals to the United States. If he attempts it, Washington will be permanently fractured. If he lets the expulsion stand, then Putin’s retaliatory expulsion of American diplomats will happen under a Trump presidency. So much for the Putin-Trump bromance.

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If I were a Trump adviser, I would put a call to Moscow and beg Putin to expel American diplomats before Obama leaves office. Holding off until Trump is inaugurated in order not to complicate his transition does great harm to him.

But, welcome to the world, big mouth. It’s your world now. Let’s see how you grope your way through it. Let’s see how you insult your way through it. And it’s just Russia for now. China already hates you, and waits to give you the baptism of fire.

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