Trading Ukraine for Venezuela Would Be a Good Deal

President Trump is a transactional leader. So, too, is Vladimir Putin. Let’s do the mother-of-all geopolitical deals and get on with more pressing matters of state already. Neither Ukraine nor Venezuela are worth risking a wider war with Russia. And, despite what “experts” in the United States claim, Russia is a declining power with delusions of grandeur. American policy toward Russia has left Putin with little hope. Thus, as he is increasingly boxed in by the West and a rising China to his east, the likelihood of Putin lashing out militarily against the West is higher now than it has ever been.

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Realism, Not Idealism Wins the Day

Leon Hadar writes in the Business Times: “Mr Trump is now pursuing a similar Realpolitik strategy in dealing with North Korea (or as British commentator Freddy Gray put it, a “Real(-estate) politik”, that could change the balance of power in North-east Asia and hopefully make the lives of all Korean better. Or it may not. But as long as he embraces the “Trust, but verify” dictum, it is worth a try.”

Trump’s Jerusalem Gambit Recalls Harry Truman

“When the United States recognized the Jewish state of Israel, it sent shockwaves throughout the international system. Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is as historic as Harry Truman’s move in 1948. In fact, the announcement last week is probably the most consequential foreign policy decision of the young Trump Administration.”

Strange Bedfellows–the Big, Bad Russian Bear Backs America’s Jerusalem Play?

“Russia is not our friend (and we need to always be on guard when dealing with them, and interact with them from a position of strength). However, Russia is not our enemy…unless we make them our enemy. The Russians have indicated with this recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel that they are looking for a more amicable, stable solution to the cauldron of chaos that is the Mideast. Now is the time for President Trump to buck the idiotic orthodoxy of the Washington establishment and go to Moscow to make the deal of the century.”

Standing Up to the Bully in Asia

“When China looks around the world, they see every state as potential fuel for their meteoric rise. When America looks to the world, they see partners seeking to cooperate in an American-dominated international system. Given the disparity in outlooks—and the rise of China’s power—Americans would do well to abandon the naïve sentiments of the idealists and notions about an inevitable “end of history” that culminates with the global embrace of liberal democracy. Instead, we should return to an understanding of realistic American strategic concepts such as “peace through strength.”