- Tuesday, August 29, 2017


I wrote an article three years ago that basically stated that Ukraine was not our fight, no matter how much we want to support people who are fighting for freedom from Russia. Anyone who advocates to spend American blood and treasure on the breadbasket of Europe simply has no idea of history and the consequences it can have. Russia will never allow Ukraine to be completely out from under its influence. Moscow simply doesn’t believe it can survive with Ukraine as a part of NATO.

American men and women dying on Ukrainian soil is a folly of biblical dimensions.

So with that said, what is President Trump doing in Ukraine?

The administration has appointed an envoy to deal with the Ukrainian crisis. Kurt Volker, an old hand around Washington national security circles, has been traversing Europe and meeting with interested parties in the conflict in Donbass. This week, he issued what one could call an ultimatum to Russia — make a decision to withdraw from East Ukraine, or else.

The exact quote was, “The relationship between Russia and the U.S. is important, and it’s going to be crippled by this problem in Ukraine.” He also intimated that “Russia was going to have to make some fundamental decisions” about its role in Donbass.

Mr. Trump‘s secretary of defense, Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, recently traveled to Kiev, watched NATO troops march in a Ukrainian Independence Day parade and said, “Have no doubt, the United States stands with Ukraine … and we will not accept Russia‘s annexation of Crimea.” He also hinted that the Trump administration was looking to provide lethal defensive weapons to Ukrainian troops fighting pro-Russian separatists in the east. When asked about Russia‘s reaction to such a provocation, he said, “Defensive weapons are not provocative unless you’re an aggressor.”

While Mad Dog’s assessment of the situation in the east may be correct, that still does not justify starting a war between America and Russia over Ukraine.

All of these developments would leave the average observer to believe the United States is well on its way to a fight with Moscow. To this end, I would say that the death of the Trump foreign policy he laid out during the campaign, especially in dealing with Russia, is greatly exaggerated.

This week, The Washington Post, of all places, admitted with a front-page article: Black-clad antifa members attack peaceful right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley. It destroyed in one fell swoop the media narrative that Mr. Trump was a racist and that his comments and news conference after the Charlottesville killing were examples of our president’s support of white supremacist groups.

Mr. Trump was right once again.

Once again, the media, the Republican Establishment, the Marxist Left all underestimated Donald Trump. Once again.

How many times has this been? I can’t even count how many times the #NeverTrumpers cried that the sky was falling or the bleating media crowed that the Trump presidency was over.

I think the world is underestimating Donald Trump again when it comes to his policy in Russia.

Mr. Trump is nothing but a negotiator. I think he is negotiating now. Yes, the tired cliche that we are seeing the “art of the deal” is apropos. Mr. Trump thinks way ahead. He manages situations in advance and is patient in letting the eventual outcome he knows is coming play out. This is how he operates.

I think we are simply seeing a hard line shown to the Kremlin prior to a deal being cut. Mr. Trump likes to operate from a position of strength. He likes to be able to have cards on the table to deal away if he needs to. It is a completely different strategy from the incompetence and weakness of the Obama administration. Those who remember President Reagan may recognize it. Those who are too young simply have never seen it.

No, I don’t think we will have a war with Russia. However, President Trump will stand up for our security, our interests and our allies. He will not appease. But he will cut a deal, one that is good for America.

This is what I expect will happen in the long run. We are experiencing a reset of the global chessboard, one in America’s favor.

I think Russian President Vladimir Putin knows this.

No American men and women need to die for Ukraine. Think of Russia arming Texas against the United States. That is how Moscow sees it. We can help them, maybe even covertly. However, a war with Russia over its “near abroad” is simply unacceptable.

L. Todd Wood, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, flew special operations helicopters supporting SEAL Team 6, Delta Force and others. After leaving the military, he pursued his other passion, finance, spending 18 years on Wall Street trading emerging market debt, and later, writing. The first of his many thrillers is “Currency.” Todd is a contributor to Fox Business, Newsmax TV, Moscow Times, the New York Post, the National Review, Zero Hedge and others. For more information about L. Todd Wood, visit LToddWood.com.

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