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Monday, December 19, 2016

Foreign-Policy Poker With Donald Trump - The Atlantic

"...Imagine for a moment how all this looks from Vladimir Putin’s side of the table. Russia has a GDP about the same size as Italy’s. It is weaker than any of its political competitors: the U.S., China, or a united Europe. Putin's best strategy is to divide each of those potential competitors from the others—and then to subdivide them against themselves. That strategy has been hugely advanced by the election of Donald Trump. China and the United States have already been set at loggerheads. NATO has been turned against itself, the credibility of its security guarantees already visibly dented. Russia’s prestige is rising: Pro-Russian governments have been elected in the border countries of Estonia and Moldova, a pro-Russian coup was only last month thwarted in the Adriatic country of Montenegro, and pro-Russian anti-EU parties are rising across not only central but also Western Europe.



And the United States—the leader of the democratic world, the coordinating entity of all the treaties that enforce a world order that Putin experiences as constraining—has elected a president who admiringly adopts Putin’s foreign policy as his own and even often seems to share Putin’s scorn for democratic norms at home.



Friends and critics incessantly credit Trump with playing three-dimensional or five-dimensional or eight-dimensional chess. But maybe the proper analogy for Trump’s foreign policy is derived from a different game: poker. There’s a saying that there’s a patsy at every poker table. And at this poker table, Donald Trump is the one who doesn’t know who the patsy is."



Foreign-Policy Poker With Donald Trump - The Atlantic

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