As expected, Trump’s visit to NATO was an unmitigated disaster where he threatened to pull the United States out of NATO. And of course Trump’s week of tirades against our allies was punctuated with a call to peace with the man who interfered in the election that Trump won.
Putin is a competitor in the same way that lions were competitors with gladiators in ancient Rome. There is no congenial competition with Vladimir Putin. His job is to undermine the post-World War II order, and replace it with one more friendly to his brand of kleptocratic authoritarianism.
Kleptocratic authoritarianism is the closest thing you could say that Trump has to a hobby, so it makes perfect sense that he’d fall in love with Russia’s latest strongman. We don’t need to have a wholly bellicose relationship with Russia where war looms over our entire proceedings, but this idea that we can cooperate with an openly antagonistic foe flies in the face of logic to such a staggering degree that an ulterior motive is a better explanation than the logic at hand.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.