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US Podcast: The Danger of Trump’s Love Affair With Putin

US Podcast: The Danger of Trump’s Love Affair With Putin
January 01
12:18 2017

Independent Russian journalist Andrei Soldatov and I joined BBC Radio 5 Live on Sunday morning to discuss the prospects for relations between US and Russia — and the effect on the rest of the world — of President-elect Donald Trump’s admiration and desire for alliance with the “very smart” Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Listen to discussion

Both of us agreed on the challenges of evaluating the “unpredictable” Trump — and for Soldatov, the author of The Red Web, the unpredictable Putin — and of the risks of the President-elect’s approach.

I went farther in my concerns, apologizing that I could not bring better tidings on New Year’s Day:

The idea of Trump allying with Putin against his own intelligence services, against the American military — this is Trump doing something unprecedented, almost going out there on his own.

We are in unpredictable times because President Trump will be unpredictable. I think immediately we will find an argument almost immediately within the American Administration where many in the military, the intelligence services, and the State Department are going to try to stand up to him. And I think it is going to lead to uncertainty and perhaps even chaos in US foreign policy at a very, very difficult time for the world.

To the question, “Does Trump have a big geopolitical strategic game?”:

As academics and historians, we look for these great geopolitical theories and sometimes we don’t get to the obvious: Donald Trump is a narcissist who loves Donald Trump.

And because he has been courted by Russia, by the Soviet Union since the 1980s and because — quite frankly — he or some around him are probably implicated in the Russian interference in the US elections, that narcissim and that investment means that he is on a course which is about him personally, rather than any coherent foreign policy.

Answering, “Should we in the UK be concerned?”:

During the Cold War and after, the idea was that no matter how difficult were with the Soviet Union and then Russia, you had a measure of stability through political and military strength in US relations with Europe and NATO.

Trump is throwing all that to the wind.

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About Author

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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4 Comments

  1. Amir in Tel Aviv
    Amir in Tel Aviv January 01, 15:43

    One of them has no evidence or proof, yet decides to expel diplomats. In response to this offensive yet childish act, the other one invites embassy staff to join the new year celebrations with his countrymen.
    Who is the dumb and who is the smart?

    Reply to this comment
  2. ronnybekkersRonny
    ronnybekkersRonny January 02, 14:05

    Well, we now know who the dumb one is………

    Reply to this comment
  3. ​Saliatus
    ​Saliatus January 04, 03:33

    The British press is starting to join up the dots between Dugin and Bannon https://t.co/g7DIoUJnso
    https://twitter.com/jonathancoe/status/810777272315682816 12/19/2016

    Reply to this comment

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