JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Can’t Split Russia From China – Yet; As Beijing gets stronger, there may be hope for a Kissingerian maneuver” – Bloomberg/Hal Brands

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“… In the long term, China represents the larger threat to U.S. interests, as a result of its vast economic and military potential. Yet in the near term … Putin has proved himself to be the more dangerous and disruptive actor. The Russian leader has launched three major military interventions over the last decade – in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria – and carried out audacious attacks on Western political systems. Putin probably thinks that this offensive is progressing fairly well right now, given Russia’s military success in Ukraine and Syria, his low-cost/high-payoff intervention in U.S. electoral politics … and the deep internal crises afflicting the European Union and NATO.  It would thus take a truckload of concessions for the U.S. to persuade Putin to stop pushing against an enfeebled West and strike up a new hostility with his erstwhile Chinese partner in the east. This would not be the ‘Ukraine for Syria’ swap …. It would probably require a far broader range of accommodations, including, but not limited to, dismantling the deterrent to Russian aggression that NATO has begun to construct in Eastern Europe and the Baltic. …”

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