Ukraine: Published in Gazeta on 15 November 2016 By Andrei Piontkovsky. Original language: Ukrainian // It is difficult to judge Trump’s foreign policy. The president-elect is inexperienced and uninterested in foreign policy to say the least. He had many other concerns such as business, women, etc. That’s the reason for his porridge instead of brains, but all his previous statements, for example, to prepare for the annexation of Crimea, made Ukraine and Europe concerned.
The most alarming motive was that he questioned NATO. And one of his advisors even said that Trump is not ready for nuclear war to Estonia, which was a direct invitation for the green men of Putin* to come to this country, as stated by Andrei Piontkovsky in [his blog in] Obozrevatel.
During the presidential campaign, Trump was surrounded by Russian agents. Three days ago, Paul Manafort (an American lobbyist and political consultant who has worked with the Party of Regions) and Trump himself repeated the Kremlin meme that has been pushed into the consciousness of Western politicians. The idea was successfully imposed upon Trump that the biggest danger is the “Islamic State.” Putin fights it and that’s why we must put aside all petty differences and unite to fight against ISIS. See, I have painted a quite ugly and gloomy picture, that Trump consciously and unconsciously is Putin’s agent, and tramples Ukraine. But that’s only one side of the picture.
The other side is that even though Trump won the election, the majority of both houses of Congress has been traditionally occupied by Republicans. The same Republicans who passed the law to support Ukraine, and who criticized Obama and asked him to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine. Trump will not be able to manage the country without them. It is unlikely that he will go against the Republicans in matters of foreign policy, which is not a major interest of his.
Trump is more interested in how he will tear up Obama’s legacy. This is Obamacare, immigration, job losses, and so on. In this case he is in perfect harmony with the Republicans and I think he will not go against the Republicans for wonderful pro-Putin measures. Moreover, the chosen vice president Michael Pence, as we have seen during his discussions with the Democratic candidate, takes an opposite position from Trump.
A lot depends on his personal appointments, such as the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, and the national security advisers. If Newt Gingrich (former speaker of the House of Representatives) is appointed, this is going to be very bad, but the top Republicans in Congress stand against him. The most likely figure is Bob Corker (Tennessee senator), the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Senate, which would be very good. Not to mention the candidacy of John Bolton (former U.S. permanent representative to the U.N.). However, his candidacy flashed once and left the screen. And he was a nightmare for Russian diplomacy during the Bush administration.
But in matters of foreign and security policy in Europe and opposition to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, Trump will follow the path of the majority of the Republican Congress and his vice president.
*Editor’s note: The “green men of Putin” refers to masked soldiers in unmarked green uniforms who carried out pro-Russian military operations in Ukraine in 2014.