Editor’s note: Lt. col., ret., Robert L. Maginnis is a Pentagon think tank official and a Fox News and Business News contributor, as well as an analyst of international geopolitical affairs. Additionally, he is a personal friend. –Terry
We are engaged in a new dual Cold War with Russia and China and I believe President Trump’s engagement strategy at Helsinki was intended to keep that war from becoming hot, which serves no party’s best interests.
My new book, Alliance of Evil, which comes out next month provides a very compelling case that the U.S. is engaged in a new dual Cold War with Russia and China that manifests itself in some traditional and not so traditional ways such as cyber and economics. I won’t go into the details of the new Cold War and the 16 indicators of that war identified in my book until it is released in late August. However, what I saw in Helsinki between Trump and Putin confirms my suspicions about the nature of the new Cold War and why these are in fact very, very dangerous times.
History is instructive here. In June 1961 President Kennedy met with Soviet leader Khrushchev in Vienna, Austria to discuss a variety of important issues, especially nuclear proliferation That meeting was incredibly contentious and lit the fuse that almost exploded into a world war in October 1962, the Cuban missile crisis. Evidently many in the press and especially on the left expected Trump to attack Putin
President Trump perhaps knew better than attack Putin and the possible consequences of such a misstep. Rather, he told reporters in Helsinki on Monday that he hoped to reset relations damaged by Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election and the covert Russian takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea. After all, Trump acknowledged American relations with Russia “has never been worse,” and he blamed poor relations on both previous administrations and Russian actions.
The leaders’ four hours of meetings prior to the press conference, at least in Trump’s mind, altered the “never been worse” poor relations and is a first step toward closer cooperation on counter terrorism and halting the spread of nuclear arms, both critical national security issues. Further, Trump said “The disagreements between our two countries are well known and President Putin and I discussed them at length today. But if we’re going to solve many of the problems facing our world, then we’re going to have to find ways to cooperate in pursuit of shared interests.” That seems a preferred approach as opposed to throwing verbal bombs in an already over-heated geopolitical environment.
There is a far more complex issue behind the veil. I believe Trump’s attempt to reset relations with Moscow could be his way of playing the Russia card against the growing threat of China by building closer relations. You see, although Moscow has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, China is our true long-term threat and I believe Trump is showing signs of understanding the geopolitical necessity to bolster our geopolitical leverage as the new dual Cold War heats up and as Chinese global power grows.
Coinciding with the emergent new dual Cold War are the radical efforts by the deep state to undermine this president and by association threaten America’s future. The left seeks to weaken this president as do some in his own party, the “never Trump” crowd. That was evident in the attacks on the president following the press conference where Trump failed to attack Putin for interfering in our 2016 election and much more.
I address the Trump hatred and the levels of resistance in my 2017 book, The Deeper State The radical globalists and progressives won’t be satisfied until Trump and half the country that supports him are silenced. I also see a seething in what I call the third layer, the unseen realm which many on the left deny but is well-documented in my book and especially among those sensitive to spiritual issues.
I believe had Trump attacked Putin openly at the Helsinki press conference we could see something worse than the outcome of the 1961 Kennedy- Khrushchev summit, the Cuban missile crisis It would have been like playing with matches in a fireworks factory.
Further, Mr. Trump knows the facts about Russian and Chinese cyber espionage, war-making, use of poison agents, support for dictators and so much more. Presidents know these things – they listen to intelligence briefings every day – but when it comes to high-stakes diplomacy leaders like Trump often look beyond the immediate facts to something more strategic, like preserving the peace.
I suspect when historians unpack the behind the scenes records of the Helsinki meeting between Trump and Putin they will soberly understand just how dangerous things have become today and why Trump carefully crafted his message and demeanor in the face of pure evil.
Robert Lee Maginnis
Author of a 2018 book by Defender: Alliance of Evil