Donald Trump

Could Donald Trump Help Spark a New Cold War?

Too late already?

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Donald Trump suggested in an interview on ABC News that he would recognize the Russian claim over Crimea in an exchange that started with Trump insisting Russia was "not going to go in Ukraine" before acknowledging Putin was "there in a certain way" when asked. Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014. The resulting Western sanctions may have helped Russia enter a recession, but didn't spur Russia to leave Crimea.

Questions surround Trump's financial ties to Russia, which, coupled with his consistently inconsistent policy answers, make teasing any kind of coherent foreign policy stance vis a vis Russia, or anything else, difficult. Trump has questioned the wisdom of NATO, taken credit for a new counterterrorism initiative, suggested he'd evaluate member states' contributions before committing to a defense against a hypothetically invading Russia, and also proposed using NATO to "get rid of" ISIS.

Yet the response to Trump has also been dangerous. A controversy over whether the Trump campaign had a say in the Republican party platform not promising lethal aid to Ukraine illustrates this. Chief campaign adviser Paul Manafort, a former advisor to the pro-Russian Ukrainian government overthrown during street demonstrations prior to Russia's intervention in Ukraine, denies campaign involvement even though there's no reason not to.

The Democratic party platform, mercifully, does not promise lethal aid to Ukraine either, but it does take a much harder line on Russia than it did in 2012. The 2012 platform bemoaned Mitt Romney's "Cold War mentality," which ignored "the very real common interest" shared between the U.S. and Russia. Back then, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee famously called Russia America's "number one geopolitical foe."

This year's Republican presidential nominee has kind words for strongmen like Vladimir Putin and isn't particularly saber-rattling on Russia, so the Democratic platform is. This time around, Russia "is engaging in destabilizing actions along its borders, violating Ukraine's sovereignty and attempting to recreate spheres of influence that undermine American interests." While Russian actions in Ukraine are new, its attempts to recreate spheres of influence, including with the use of military force, are not—Russia's meddling with Georgia broke out into a war in 2008. Neither is Putin.

At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, John Kerry, who would become secretary of state during President Obama's second term, said Romney talked "like he's only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV." The line continued even after Ukraine became an issue. "This isn't Rocky IV," Kerry insisted when asked about the mobilization of Russian troops. Now, Democrats place an antagonistic Russia at the center of the scandal surrounding the leak of DNC e-mails embarrassing to the Clinton campaign, even though evidence of Russia's involvement is circumstantial and leaves room for doubt, and it's unclear what Russia's motivations would be to leak, as PolitiFact notes. It's a Rocky IV world when it's politically convenient.

The complaint that the Obama administration's foreign policy is driven by domestic political concerns is not new, although a Republican nominee against whom tacking to the interventionist side of the foreign policy debate seems more natural is. Trump's erratic, off-the-cuff answers shouldn't detract from an important debate on interventionism and antagonistic foreign policy, one Democrats, like Republicans, have often fell on the wrong side of. It's another reason interventionist "skeptic" Gary Johnson would be a substantive addition to the presidential debates.

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  1. Questions surround Trump’s financial ties to Russia,

    You Know Who Else has financial ties to Russia?

    1. That was all just a big misunderstanding. Ed’ll talk about that in December when his job is safe.

    2. Hillary’s foundation?

    3. I fucking hate the “do you know who” meme. Can’t someon come up with something new?

  2. In that pic is Trump attempting the cinnamon challenge or trying to hold in a shart?

      1. It’s a shame to spend all that money on a solid gold toilet and kid leather toilet paper and get no use out of them.

    1. “Do you know who has crushed crazy box?

      This guy.”

      1. Assuming that’s a mobile game I haven’t played.

        1. No, I was captioning the photo using a vulgar expression for making sex with a large amount of woman, as Donald Trump had been known to do.

  3. I’m looking for a libertarian news website. Can any of you help me?

    1. You just missed it by about twelve years.

    2. Luc–I mean, Virginia Postrel?

    3. What are you thinking?
      There are only politically acceptable new websites.
      Those for the republicans.
      Those for the democrats.
      All news sites must, by FCC regulations pander to our obvious betters in power.
      All other political views are not tolerated for the sake of the collective.

    4. Unlike Reason, The Federalist and The Freeman Online are still pretty solid, genuine libertarian outlets.

  4. Did the old new one end sometime in the past half hour when I wasn’t looking?

    Now Reason is reduced to implying that Donald Trump, who’s spent the last month playing kissyface with Putin, is more likely to antagonize Russia than Hillary F. Clinton, who is more likely than any human being* alive* to detonate a nuclear weapon against an enemy.

    1. Knarf, I think Hillary is highly unlikely to antagonize Russia, for a couple of reasons:

      (1) Russian oligarchs and apparatchiks are a significant source of donations to the Clinton Foundation.

      (2) The Russians either have, or can credibly threaten that they have, her emails as SecState, and releasing the juicier ones would more than likely end her political career, even if she is President.

      1. Hillary is aligned with SJWs. They antagonize everyone. Look at Putin vs. gay rights. You think Hillary and her minions would ignore that?

        1. Hillary is aligned with SJWs.

          No, the real SJWs are highly skeptical of Hillary. At best, the SJWs will either look the other way during a Hillary presidency, like they did when Bill Clinton was in office.

          1. They will be aligned enough. They may dislike her, but they fill the current administration, and they aren’t going to leave if Hillary wins. (Hell, they won’t leave if Trump wins.)

        2. I’m sure they will go after the Russians shortly after they finish going after the Muslims for their misogyny.

        3. I feel like this has to be sarcasm. Will the Hillary making tens of millions of dollars off of Saudi Arabia look past Russia’s policies on gays?

      2. I doubt (more) money will matter much if she becomes president, and if she’s actually made president despite selling influence and committing treason, what difference would another email leak make? BHO has been daring the GOP to impeach him for eight years, and Hillary is even less likely to care about the opinion of Congress or the public, and the press is openly corrupt.

        Clinton is the least sane person to have a serious shot at the presidency in my lifetime, and we can’t assume that she’ll respond to incentives like a reasonable person.

    2. “Now Reason is reduced to implying that Donald Trump, who’s spent the last month playing kissyface with Putin, is more likely to antagonize Russia than Hillary F. Clinton, who is more likely than any human being* alive* to detonate a nuclear weapon against an enemy.”

      Pissed off that Reason is bashing Trump??

      Try this ONE WEIRD TRICK to remedying that:

      READING THE FUCKING ARTICLE.

      1. “This year’s Republican presidential nominee has kind words for strongmen like Vladimir Putin and isn’t particularly saber-rattling on Russia, so the Democratic platform is.”

        Gee, it’s almost as if the title of the article was a sarcastic question to springboard off of to criticized the Democrat’s increased hypocrisy and hostility over Russia. Something that’s kinda obvious to people who read more than the title.

        1. So they are parodying themselves. I’m relieved.

      2. Hush, Tulpa.

    3. Pretty amazing, considering that the post-Cold War President most responsible for antagonistic relations between the Russian Federation and the US was Bill Clinton (particularly in the case of Kosovo intervention), and that Trump has said various things that would be considered Russophilic from a Democrat, much less a Republican candidate.

      1. BHO has certainly fought for the top spot and has a few months to go. It says something when the president’s Syria policy makes the dictator of Russia look reasonable by comparison.

        And of all the things Trump has to say, his overtures to Russia are among the most encouraging. I can’t think of too many nations who would be better natural allies against the religion of peace than Putin and co.

        1. Agreed. Since we’re on that topic, it always tickles me that the Islamic part of the steppe still under Russia’s control — Chechnya and the like — has never been anything but a giant headache, while the only thing that comes out of the Buddhist steppe people right next to the Chechnyans are amazing chess players.

          1. European chess-obsessed buddhists, huh. Learn something new with each one of your posts, TIT.

      2. +1 Incident at Pristina airport

        Seriously … UK General Mike Jackson refused to obey Clinton’s favorite general’s order during the Kosovo War with an explanation: “I’m not going to start the Third World War for you.”

        1. I saw your face
          In a crowded place
          And I don’t know what to do
          ‘Cause I’ll never be with you…

    4. Now Reason is reduced to implying that Donald Trump, who’s spent the last month playing kissyface with Putin, is more likely to antagonize Russia than Hillary F. Clinton, who is more likely than any human being* alive* to detonate a nuclear weapon against an enemy.

      Yeah this is some grade a stupid fucking shit. The Reason staff should stop printing this retarded shit and go work the donation door at Goodwill

  5. Ed, for pete’s sake, the man’s a blow hard and an idiot, which is pretty much required to be the POTUS.
    “Trump: Threat or Menace?! You decide!”

  6. Anyone else notice a big uptick in articles/Facebook posts trying to persuade people to vote for Clinton as the lesser of two evils?

    1. A friend of mine (who’s not super-bright) asked me last night if I were voting for Hillary.

      “Nope”

      “You’re voting for Trump?!!”, said she in shock and horror.

      “Nope.”

      *silence*

      “So… who are you voting for?”

      “Not sure if I’m going to vote. But if I do, I’ll vote Gary Johnson”.

      “Who?”

      1. That’s pretty much the same conversation I’ve had with my friends and family, damn near word-for-word.

        1. To be fair, that’s pretty much the conversation you’d have anywhere in the real world.

          1. Possibly even face-to-face with Gary himself.

      2. Anyone who doesn’t know the name of at least three candidates shouldn’t be allowed to vote…

        1. Kodos… Kang… Hitler?

  7. In 4 years Russia has gone from ally to foe?

    Obviously Hillary is a much better SoS than Kerry.

    What we need is a RESET BUTTON.

  8. Haven’t our relations with Russia found themselves at an all-time post-cold war low with the current resident of Pennsylvania Avenue?

    In fact, I’m confused. I thought that Putin and Trump were kind of simpatico guys. Hell, isn’t Kim Jong Un even praising Trump as a visionary leader? I guess I thought that Trump finding friendships with all the odious dictators across the globe was proof of Trump’s awfulness. And weren’t we boycotting Russia anyway, ’cause they were mean to gays and stuff? And Obama has been all cold-war-ey on Russia’s ass lately as well.

    1. Remember when Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for his Nuclear Nonproliferation policies and then brought about “the smallest reduction of the stockpile achieved by any previous post-Cold War administration.”?

      Neither do I.

      1. Since when have results mattered for tfg?

  9. Somebody go tell Hillary to make a new reset button.
    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2…..60×375.jpg

  10. I must be getting old. I can still remember when the US was the Christian Nation and the Soviet Union was the Evil Empire. Now it’s the other way around. I suppose if you live long enough, eventually you’ll see everything.

  11. If the alternative is a hot war I’ll take the cold one.

  12. “against whom tacking to the interventionist side of the foreign policy debate seems more natural is.”

    And the award for most confusing word salad of the year goes to…

    1. Waaay too early for that award.

    2. Posting late to agree. I laughed at that mess of words.

  13. I’m having a hard time keeping the media’s “RUSSO-PANIC” straight….

    … is it, “Trump is in bed w/ Putin to undermine Democracy and repress women”?

    … or is it, “Trump will cause war with the Russians with his blustering blustery bluster?”

    Everyone insists there’s some super-concerning Russia/Trump nexus, but can’t quite articulate whether its because he’s Too Friendly, or Too Hostile with them.

    The idea that we’re supposed to be terrified of the foreign policy implications of someone who has no foreign policy track record…. instead of the person who was personally responsible for “a few of the last couple of military interventions” of the last ~8 years…?

    Is it not possible to maybe step back and look at the actual *(#&@$ issues, neutral of any person who is vying to be president, and maybe just write about that?

    Maybe try and inform the public about the actual details of any given regional conflict? and not waste breath trying to prognosticate future behaviors based on bullshit campaign rhetoric?

    Just a thought.

    1. Hey Media, the 1980’s called, they want their foreign policy back! /BHO turnt up to 11ty

      1. Given than the ’90s ushered in a never ending war, I’m not sure why it would be bad to revert to the ’80s.

    2. I believe the strategy employed by Reason and their peers is to throw shit at the wall for 100 days and hope no one pays attention to the deluge of leaks, revelations of jaw-dropping corruption, and constant terror attacks.

    3. Foreign policy is 100% driven by the cartoon character public personas of the ostensible heads of government, so obviously regional details and the actions that make sense for a given nation are pointless distractions. If you just got enough of the right cartoon character personas in office to be [non-interventionist/multi-lateral/nationalistic], you will have resolved any and all foreign policy disputes.

      If this sounds too simplistic or lacking in detail, please refer to the Reddit Political Debating Style Guide and adjust your expectations accordingly.

  14. none of this matters when hillary’s justices void the first and second ammendments

  15. Europe basically disarmed itself after the Cold War. It has an enormous economy and nearly twice the combined population of Russia. Why the hell can’t it deter Russia on its own? And why the hell should the US risk World War III and go toe to toe with the Ruskies again when the Europeans don’t seem to care enough to defend themselves?

    I am sorry for the Ukraine but if they can’t arm themselves enough to deter Russia, that is too fucking bad for them. They are a big country and life is hard when you have a big nasty neighbor like Russia.

    Trump is absolutely right about Russia and NATO. And the response given by the internationalists in both parties just shows how intellectually bankrupt they are. The only thing they seem to have to say is something to the effect of “you can’t be serious”.

    1. The thing about the Ukranians is that they had nukes and were loath to give them up. But the west convinced them to return the nukes to Russia in exchange for security guarantees that if they were attacked Russia, England and the US would come to their defence.

      Sucks to be them, I guess. It’s what you get for signing a treaty with Bill Clinton.

      1. #1 lesson learned from the Ukraine and Libya over the past six years: don’t give up your nukes, ever!

        #2 lesson: if you don’t have nukes, get them!

        1. yes, that’s sort of the argument for ensuring that these agreements are actually enforced.

          AND there’s the little thing about …when the US makes similar promises in the future? whether anyone will want to play ball. they can always point fingers to this and go, “Why should anyone expect you to keep your word”?

          1. Throughout history, great powers have only honored their commitments when it was I their own interest to do so. Any Ukranian that really believed that the US would go to war with Russia to protect their territorial integrity because of a peice of paper was an historically ignorant idiot.

        2. Lesson #2 is spot on. Iran knows this and no one i going to stop them from getting nukes.

      2. “Sucks to be them, I guess. It’s what you get for signing a treaty with Bill Clinton.”

        You know who else got screwed by Bill Clinton?

    2. I am sorry for the Ukraine but if they can’t arm themselves enough to deter Russia, that is too fucking bad for them. They are a big country and life is hard when you have a big nasty neighbor like Russia.

      While I don’t disagree with this reasoning in a vacuum, they gave up their nukes because of us. Obviously they shouldn’t have done that, and obviously we didn’t actually promise them anything in return, but taking a cavalier attitude about it all is bound to sow some ill will.

      1. Yeah, sucks, but compounding the mistake would be worse. Aside from that, I don’t see us as having a dog in that fight, and as far as the people of the respective countries go, there’s more political freedom in Ukraine (maybe not now) but more economic freedom in Russia, according to the ratings that’ve been linked here.

      2. they gave up their nukes because of us. Obviously they shouldn’t have done that, and obviously we didn’t actually promise them anything in return

        ehrm.

        *actually*….. about that.

        The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances refers to three identical political agreements signed in Budapest, Hungary on 5 December 1994, providing security assurances by its signatories relating to Belarus’, Kazakhstan’s and Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Memorandum was originally signed by three nuclear powers, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. China and France gave somewhat weaker individual assurances in separate documents.[1]

        The memorandum included security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

        As a result, between 1994 and 1996, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine gave up their nuclear weapons. Before that, Ukraine had the world’s third largest nuclear weapons stockpile,[2][3] of which Ukraine had physical if not operational control.[4][5]

        sure, ‘assurances’ aren’t binding…and these things are only enforceable insofar as anyone *wants* to…. but still – they DID make a piece of paper.

    3. Why the hell can’t it deter Russia on its own?

      Look, you can either have a Navy or universal preschool. Europe chose early retirement for all.

    4. Blame Brexit for blocking European unity!

    5. The thing about Ukraine is that there really is a large minority in their country that could be described as Russophiles, who want to go back to the good old days of being the premier piece of the Eastern European empire. Myself, I don’t think that’s such a great idea considering history, but I see serious problems if the US tries to be more involved than it is right now (especially since the EU is starting to fall apart, and with it, Ukrainian options for integrating with Western Europe).

      1. They also have a significant population of resettled Russians from the Stalin days.

        More proof that mass immigration is always and everywhere a Good Thing with no downsides of any kind whatsoever, never, nosireebob!

  16. Looking at the comments, I have a question for you guys??

    Do I have some sort of virus that inverts the content of all political articles??

    Because for ME this article looks to be bashing the Democrats for taking a hypocritically hostile stance against Russia while mocking the idea that /Trump/ would be the candidate to reignite a Cold War.

    My version’s got all sorts of lines like “This year’s Republican presidential nominee has kind words for strongmen like Vladimir Putin and isn’t particularly saber-rattling on Russia, so the Democratic platform is. This time around, Russia ‘is engaging in destabilizing actions along its borders, violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and attempting to recreate spheres of influence that undermine American interests.'”

    But then looking at the comments it seems everyone else is seeing an article bashing Trump and endorsing Clinton unabashedly?? So am I the only one seeing my version of the article??

    I mean another explanation is that people are just reading the title and not the article, but THAT can’t possibly be true!!

    1. I never read Reason for an election season before this one. To me, nearly everybody are Team Red Republicans who think it’s cool to pretend to be libertarian in odd years.

      1. You seem to be reading comments provided by the voice in your head, because nothing I see here supports that.

        1. That’s probably because you’re a team red Republican who pretends to be libertarian.

          It’s clear as day to basically everyone who isn’t cheerleading a loudmouthed authoritarian pussy just because he won the GOP.

      2. nearly everybody are Team Red Republicans

        Clearly the comment of a cuckfag

    2. I don’t see this as bashing Trump at all. And I don’t see where any of the comments assume that either. I think your virus is infecting the comments not the articles.

      1. There’s a fair amount of Trump-bashing in there, but not an unusual amount.

        I just thought it amusing that they speculated about Trump’s financial ties to Russia, without ever mentioning Hillary’s financial ties, AND the favors that she coincidentally granted around the time that sweet Russian lucre showed up at the Foundation.

        In an otherwise sorta kinda evenhanded article, its a pretty startling oversight.

    3. I think your reading is the correct one. Headline is that Trump is accused of threatening a cold war, and sub head says Democrats did it already.

    4. Speaking for myself, I had one reaction to the title, and a different one after reading the article. I thought that this

      Trump’s erratic, off-the-cuff answers shouldn’t detract from an important debate on interventionism and antagonistic foreign policy, one Democrats, like Republicans, have often falled on the wrong side of. It’s another reason interventionist “skeptic” Gary Johnson would be a substantive addition to the presidential debates.

      were the two best lines.

      Both teams have failed. Badly.

    5. Because for ME this article looks to be bashing the Democrats for taking a hypocritically hostile stance against Russia while mocking the idea that /Trump/ would be the candidate to reignite a Cold War.

      Yes, which is why its sort of retarded that the title is,

      “”Could Donald Trump Help Spark a New Cold War?””

      Doncha think?

    6. Also, re: Eternal Blue Sky

      If you haven’t noticed…. comments don’t always necessarily limit themselves to the content of the actual piece in which a thread happens to exist.

      Just as often, people are talking about ongoing themes which have been the subject of debate for months and months. Everything new is compare-contrasted to the old. Everything is an ongoing topic. I

      Unless you see actual quotes from the piece in question being cited, any comment isn’t necessarily limited to the scope of the given post. Sometimes people dive into a post and dissect and debate every little detail, and sometimes the actual substance is ignored, and people just riff on the general idea.

      this is S.O.P @ H&R. Though i can see how it could be confusing.

  17. Russia is in bad shape and they are acting self-destructive and looking for trouble. Trump will join in on the fun, whereas Hillary could easily start a cold war to respond to their aggression. As long as you have nations run by people not laws these kinds of problems are inevitable. And yes a non-interventionist like Johnson could certainly contribute to the discussion though hopefully he is not so naive to think that Russia just wants to bring peace around the world.

  18. Could Donald Trump Help Spark a New Cold War?

    Sure. Why not?

    But, less snarkily — Whoever’s “turn” it is will be in wars of all temperatures, just because.

  19. Yes, but no worries. Hillary will press a ‘reset button’ and there will be peace for a thousand years.

    1. there will be peace for a thousand years.

      Depending on the half-life of the fallout, of course.

  20. RE: Could Donald Trump Help Spark a New Cold War?

    Of course not.
    He wouldn’t spark a new cold war any more than he would kick out immigrants without applying due process.
    What’s wrong with you people?
    Where’s the love?

  21. At risk of throwing some cold-water on the NEW(and Improved)! New-Cold War-concept now being test-marketed as the Trump-Panic Du Jour…?

    The entire premise of the ‘old’ Cold War was that the West and the Soviets were locked in a potential existential-death-grip/tiger-by-the-tail scenario….

    …where we dare not confront them directly, lest we risk TOTAL NUCLEAR WAR…

    …and yet we could not dare refuse to confront them indirectly, lest the spread of communism cause the gradual erosion of the influence of the Capitalist West, and cause a death-by-1000-cuts…..

    What is notable about the current world balance-of-power, by contrast….

    ….is that *either* scenario is completely fucking impossible.

    There is no plausible alternative world-order to global-market-capitalism, or the “neoliberal consensus” or whatever the faux-intellectual-liberals like to call it these days.

    And there is no even-remote possibility of any other major world power – the chinese, or the russians – waging a 1-on-1 conventional-war with the USA over anything in particular anytime soon; much less a nuclear-gunfight.

    Sure, ok, someone will suggest there’s a quasi plausible war-game scenario out there. But it sure as fuck isn’t hinging on the identity of the next president.

    Even using the “Cold War” as an analogy is retarded. The nature of intl-relations has transformed completely in the time since.

  22. All right, now you’re just parodying yourselves. Trump could spark a new cold war because he’ll make Democrats more hawkish in response to him? So it’s always Trump’s fault. I guess this is Krayewski’s eyeblinking in Morse that he’s in the tentacles of the Kochtopus.

  23. Russia is attempting to create “spheres of influence” that oppose America’s “interests”…
    See, only the US can legitimately have a sphere of influence. A jaguar can’t pounce without the US approving it. We own the Western Hemisphere. No one there except a drunken Pancho Villa has ever invaded us, but we won’t brook any outsiders in our sphere, no sir.
    Russia has no right to protect its vital Naval base in the Crimea, even though Turkey and England have both tried to seize the Crimea, and if Ukraine held Crimea, NATO would threaten it. Nor can Russia even think about courting Hungary, because NATO protects Hungary from making its own choice as to who is its friend.
    China can’t have a sphere of influence either, like the South China Sea. Even though hundreds of thousands of commercial ships go through there every year, and the passage through Indonesia only loses half a day…
    Monroe Doctrine for US, but not for the Russkies and the Chinks!

  24. So objecting to a “strongman’s” government carving out chunks of another country (which we have friendly relations with) by military force is an antagonistic foreign policy? That is taking craven to a new level.

  25. I think this article’s title fucked it from the beginning.

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