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Foreign Policy Analysis

Russia vows retaliation after US, EU allies expel diplomats


. DAVID: THE U.S. IS BACKING OUR ALLY, BRITAIN, IN A WORLDWIDE EXPULSION OF RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS IN RESPONSE TO THE POISONING OF EX-RUSSIAN SPY ON BRITISH SOIL. HOW DOES ALL THIS JIBE WITH A POPULAR NARRATIVE THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS BEEN FAVORING THE RUSSIANS? HERE NOW IS AND MORE IMPORTANTLY FOR OUR PURPOSES HERE, A FORMER “WALL STREET JOURNAL” BUREAU CHIEF IN MOSCOW. CLAUDIA, HAVE YOU THIS EXPULSION, YOU HAVE A MEETING NEXT WEEK WITH THE BALTIC LEADERS, LITHUANIA, LATVIA, ESTONIA, REGIONS RUSSIA HAD ITS EYE ON. THE ARMS OF UKRAINIANS THE WAY WE DIDN’T HAVE UNDER OBAMA AND THE TOMAHAWK MISSILE STRIKE AGAINST THE RUSSIAN PUPPETS IN SYRIA. IN MY EYES WHAT’S HAPPENED WITH RUSSIA IN THE PAST YEAR HAS BEEN HARDER THAN WHAT HAPPENED IN EIGHT YEARS WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA. AM I WRONG?>>YOU ARE RIGHT. ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. PROBLEM IS PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS TO CORRECT THE EIGHT YEARS OF DEFERENCE AND APPEASEMENT UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA. DAVID: I DON’T THINK HE’S GOING TO DO THAT SIMPLY BY EXPELLING A COUPLE OF DIPLOMATS. I MEAN I KNOW THIS IS THE EUROPEAN WAY OF DOING THINGS. THEY THINK IT WORKS, BUT RUSSIA GOES INTO THE UKRAINE NO MATTER WHAT?>>EXACTLY. NOT GOING TO STOP THE USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS WHEN THEY WANT TO. IT’S NOT GOING TO STOP ANYTHING. DAVID: SO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE? WHAT IS GOING TO BE THE REAL HAMMER. FRANKLY, IF A COUPLE OF HUNDRED TOMAHAWK MISSILES DON’T DO IT, I DON’T KNOW WHAT WILL?>>MORE TOMAHAWK MISSILES. THE ANSWER I WILL SAY IS BRING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT OF NORTH KOREA AND RUSSIA WOULD REALLY THINK TWICE, BECAUSE THE BIG PROBLEM IS REESTABLISHING THE CREDIBILITY OF AMERICAN DETERRENCE. THAT WHAT WAS SQUANDERED DURING THE OBAMA YEARS. AND PRESIDENT PUTIN DOESN’T THINK WE’LL DO ANYTHING THAT WOULD REALLY HURT HIM. AND, YOU KNOW, PREFERABLY WE DON’T FIGHT A WAR, BUT WE HAVE TO CONVINCE HIM THAT WE’RE PREPARED TO DO THAT AGAIN. DAVID: YOU BROUGHT UP NORTH KOREA. THERE IS MORE EVIDENCE THAT THE NORTH KOREAN LEADER KIM JONG-UN MADE A SECRET TRIP TO CHINA. DAY, GREEN TRAIN WITH A DISTINCTIVE YELLOW STRIPE. THAT’S THE SAME KIND OF LOCOMOTIVE THAT HIS FATHER USED TO USE ON HIS OVERSEAS TRIP. SPOTTED IN THE NORTHEASTERN CORNER OF CHINA OVER THE WEEKEND. CAN’T BE CONFIRMED THAT KIM WAS ON BOARD, ALL SIGNS POINT TO IT. WHAT DO YOU THINK, CLAUDIA?>>WE DON’T KNOW IF HE WAS ON BOARD. ONE THING WE CAN BE SURE OF. ONE THING SURPRISED KIM JONG-UN, WHEN PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID YES, I’LL MEET HIM AT A SUMMIT. WHAT HE’S TRYING TO DO, WHETHER HE’S ON THE TRAIN OR NOT BECAUSE NORTH KOREA HASN’T OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED THIS INVITATION. THEY’VE LET SOUTH KOREA CARRY THE WATER. SO KIM JONG-UN IS, I THINK, TRYING TO WALK IT BACK TO THE POINT WHERE HE CAN PLAY THIS TO HIS ADVANTAGE WHERE THEY CAN PLAY IT AGAIN AND WHAT HE MAY BE DOING IS TRYING TO BRING IN CHINA AND TURN IT FROM WHAT I THINK TRUMP HAD IN MIND, A DIRECT, YOU GIVE UP YOUR NUCLEAR WEAPONS OR ELSE, INTO ANOTHER PROTRACTED, HAGGLING THING INVOLVING CHINA AND RUSSIA, SENDING HIS FOREIGN MINISTER TO RUSSIA WHICH WOULD PLAY TO HIS ADVANTAGE AND NOT OURS. DAVID: VERY QUICKLY IS. CHINA FORCING KIM’S HAND BECAUSE OF THE TARIFFS THAT WE HAVE PLEDGED TO PUT AGAINST CHINA? IS THAT WORKING?>>I ACTUALLY DON’T THINK SO, DAVID. I THINK IN THE SHORT-TERM, CHINA MIGHT MAKE A GREAT DISPLAY OF THAT, I DON’T THINK THAT IS GOING TO GET RID OF KIM JONG-UN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM. I THINK CHINA IS GOING TO TRY AND MANAGE US, AND I FEAR THAT THEY MAY — IF WE LET THIS PLAY OUT AS A BARGAIN, THAT’S WHAT WILL HAPPEN. THE BEST THING GOING FOR US RIGHT NOW IS AMBASSADOR JOHN BOLTON IS COMING INTO HEAD THE SECURITY COUNCIL. MIKE POMPEO AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT. I THINK WE WILL HAVE AN ADMINISTRATION THAT IS STAFFED BY PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND NORTH KOREA’S GAMES.

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