Friday, March 4, 2022

Trump Kept Putin From Invading Ukraine

From The Federalist:
A recent Harvard-Harris poll found that 62 percent of Americans believe that Russia would not have invaded Ukraine if Donald Trump were still in the Oval Office. As former senior intelligence officials under President Trump, we agree with that view.

Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 when George W. Bush was president. Russia took Crimea in 2014 when Barack Obama was president. Russia has now invaded Ukraine with Joe Biden as president. However, when Donald Trump was president, Russia did not seize territory from any of its neighbors.

During his four years in office, Trump not only successfully deterred Russia from acting against Ukraine, he effectively deterred a lot of bad behavior across the planet. He focused on ending America’s foreign wars rather than launching new ones. At the same time, he brokered the Abraham Accords to expand peace in the Middle East.

The exercise of American power to deter adversaries is a complicated business. It involves a mix of military, economic, political, and diplomatic strategies and actions that together communicate the costs of threatening U.S. national interests.

Ultimately, the art of statecraft boils down to whether a president projects American strength that deters adversaries, or projects American weakness that emboldens our adversaries.

So how did Trump succeed in containing Putin while the Russian autocrat has run wild with others in the White House? Why was he so successful at spreading peace elsewhere? We believe the long answer begins with these ten ways that Donald Trump projected American strength and kept the bad guys in check:

Rebuilt the American Military
Crusaded for American Energy Dominance
Set the Tone by Launching Surgical Missile Strikes in Syria in Early 2017
Developed Strong Relationships with Middle Eastern Nations Based on Mutual Interests
Was Ruthless with the Taliban While Winding Down the Afghanistan War
Crushed the ISIS Caliphate
Demonstrated a Consistent Willingness to Take out the Bad Guys
Stood Up to China
Strategically Used Unpredictability as an Asset in Foreign Affairs
Advanced Tough Russia Policies and Provided Lethal Aid to Ukraine while Maintaining an Open Dialogue

John Ratcliffe served as the 6th U.S. Director of National Intelligence. Cliff Sims served as U.S. Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Strategy and Communications.

Maybe Trump was a great military genius. Maybe he was lucky. Maybe the Biden administration is incredible stupid and irresponsible. Probably some combination.

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