Russia is not our equal

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald J. Trump was fond of telling us — perhaps he still is, for that matter — that it “would be nice if we got along with Russia.”

His strategy for making nice with Russia meant sucking up to its strongman, Vladimir Putin. It meant giving Russia a pass when it interfered in our election and denying our own intelligence analysis that said the Russians did interfere. It meant never challenging Russia over reports that it paid Taliban terrorists a bounty for killing Americans on the battlefields of Afghanistan.

Trump’s strategy didn’t work. Putin didn’t take the American president seriously. He played Trump like a fiddle.

President Joe Biden has taken over. He isn’t going to play nice with what is a third-rate military power and a fourth- or maybe fifth-rate economic power.

There can be no mistaking that Russia wanted Trump elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020. It hacked into our electoral system and sought to undermine the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. Why? Because it would get a better deal — from their standpoint — with Donald Trump.

President Biden has made it clear that he intends to hold Russia accountable for the mischief it is making around the world.

Biden is only 102 days into the presidency. He wasn’t granted the courtesy extended usually to new presidents from those they succeed. Donald Trump did not allow his national security team to consult openly and freely with the new POTUS’s team.

I only can presume that President Biden will deal with Russia from his lofty perch as commander in chief of the world’s greatest military and as head of state of the world’s most vibrant economy.

Yes, I get that Russia still has all those nuclear weapons left over from its Soviet Union era. I also know that the doctrine of mutual assured destruction if they chose to use them has kept the rival nations from going, um … “MAD.”

Making nice with Russia? It’s a non-starter. Period.

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