Sure Would Be a Good Time for a Deal with Russia

You know what would make a baseline for a good deal? That one that Blackwater founder Erik Prince was supposed to have passed the outline of to the Russians in the Seychelles recently. Back off support for Iran, help us in Syria, you can largely pick Assad's replacement, keep the naval base, and we'll start work on loosening those sanctions you hate so much.

It'd be easy and sensible for both nations to make such an agreement, except right now any Trump administration official who tried it would be painted as a TRAITOR TRAITOR RUSSIA TRAITOR!

Too bad, because it might save millions of lives. Certainly it might help those poor people in Syria, who as of yesterday I was told we were supposed to care about and take responsibility for.


Noam Chomsky says some unkind things about Democrat theories on Russia and Trump.

Of course, Chomsky's kind of a pinko from the old days -- can we say 'pinko' on the air? -- so maybe it's not too surprising to find him on this side.


E Hines said...

No, that deal was little more than American abject surrender.

It leaves Russia in the Middle East with naval base on the wrong side of the Bosporus/Dardenelles, and it leaves Russia occupying significant fractions of Georgia and Ukraine, and it leaves Russia getting away with threatening Poland and the Baltics with nuclear and/or cyber destruction if they don't kowtow properly.

While we get zip.

Eric Hines

Grim said...

We'll deal with the Georgian debt another time. Right now, I'd like to see us out of the Middle East, and the Russians in it. I think that'd be just about the way to repay them -- see if they can squeeze enough out of it to recoup their costs, both financial and demographic.

You can kill people with kindness, you know. Sometimes.

E Hines said...

Debts get increasingly entrenched and harder to correct the longer they're allowed to settle in.

Russian cost recoupment will occur according to Russian imperatives and Russian definitions of costs, not ours--and they don't think like us, their values and imperatives are not like ours--if we just stand aside and leave them be.

I agree with the move Trump has made, but I would have gone further: I would have neutralized all of Assad's air bases and each of the S-300 emplacements--while explicitly leaving untouched all the rest of Assad's anti-aircraft systems.

Eric Hines

Grim said...

The S-300s are not an easy problem, but they're not the biggest problem. It's not entirely clear if we have any airframe that can operate against the Russians in large parts of Syria.

I don't see a game here worth the candle. There's plenty of way to pay our debts to the Russians by raising their costs. I'd leave them Afghanistan, too -- that'll be fun for them, and it'll mean that we no longer have logistics chains that mean our forces in AFG are effectively hostages to Moscow.