90 Miles From Tyranny : Latest Intel Assessment Shows How Trump-Russia Hoax Has Hurt American Interests

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Latest Intel Assessment Shows How Trump-Russia Hoax Has Hurt American Interests

This odd aversion to thinking about the best interests of the nation when pushing a conspiracy theory about treasonous collusion with Russia is dangerous.

Earlier this week, intelligence chiefs briefed U.S. senators on the Select Committee on Intelligence about global threats. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats’ 42-page written report read like a middling Obama-era update, with more space devoted to concern about climate change, Brexit, and social justice issues than Islamist terrorism or border disputes and violations.

Still, it’s worth considering the first and most serious global security threat Coats flagged for senators, which is the strengthened alliance of China and Russia as they seek to expand their global influence.

The “U.S. Officials Cite Alignment of Moscow, Beijing as Threat” blared the Wall Street Journal’s top-of-the-front-page headline:

“Threats to US national security will expand and diversify in the coming year, driven in part by China and Russia as they respectively compete more intensely with the United States and its traditional allies and partners,” the first line of the report said, adding that the two countries were closer than they’d been in more than 60 years and were significantly expanding their cooperation in the energy, military, and technology spheres.

You don’t say. Even the most casual observer can see where such an alliance poses a threat to the United States, particularly as the United States seeks to take on China’s unfair trade practices and growing influence throughout the world. Communist China engages in dumping, forced technology transfer, high tariffs, other barriers, and industrial subsidies that make it difficult for companies from other countries to compete throughout the world. At the same time, China has been spreading its reach globally and building up militarization of the South China Sea.

Since even before his 2016 election, President Donald Trump has made rebalancing with China a major goal, one made more difficult if the United States must take on nuclear Russia as well. This is among the reasons Trump sought an improved relationship with Russia.

It’s also related to why the Obama administration tried to have a “reset” with Russia. The logic underlying that move was sound, even if it was poorly implemented. The strategic reasons for trying to build alliances where you can with Russia were, and still are, defensible, because it’s not in the U.S. interests to have Russia as a vassal of China. Unfortunately the relationship between Obama and Putin, and between the U.S. and Russia, soured, making the...

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