On his 77th day in office, President Donald Trump changed his Russia policy. He may not have realized it as he gave the order that sent Tomahawk cruise missiles toward a Syrian airbase, but his decision to directly strike Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime put him in direct conflict with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s effort to prop up the very same dictator. In the days that have followed, the administration has offered changing and even conflicting accounts of Russia’s complicity in Assad’s use of chemical weapons against civilians. While Russia’s advanced knowledge of the chemical attack remains unclear, what is apparent now is that Trump appears willing to publicly criticize Russia, a departure from his previous position. But the White House is going to need something more than Trump’s tweet Thursday morning expressing hope that things between the United States and Russia will ultimately “work out fine.” The Trump administration desperately needs a strategy to deal with Russia.
Russia, specifically Putin, has been a thorn in the side of four successive U.S. presidents. As a consequence, many U.S. policymakers have found themselves tangling with Russian diplomats, intelligence operatives, and military leaders on a range of topics, often without much success. In an attempt to learn the lessons of years past, we’ve selected five tidbits of advice.
Read the full article at Foreign Policy.
More from CNAS
PodcastThe U.S. Withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty, with Steven Pifer and Anna Wieslander
Steven Pifer and Anna Wieslander join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on the latest episode of Brussels Sprouts to discuss the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Open S...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Anna Wieslander
CommentaryConverging Chinese and Russian Disinformation Compounds Threat to Democracy
In recent weeks the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) propaganda and disinformation blitz around COVID-19 has drawn increasing attention, and with good reason. In addition to pr...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor & David Shullman
PodcastReflecting on Five Years in the U.S., with Finnish Amb. Kirsti Kauppi
Kirsti Kauppi joins Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss her time as Finland’s Ambassador to the United States, Finland’s response to COVID-19, and more. Amb. Kau...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Amb. Kirsti Kauppi
PodcastPutin’s 20 Years in Power, with Mike Carpenter
Mike Carpenter joins Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss lessons learned from Vladimir Putin’s time in office, how Putin views the United States, and more. Dr. C...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Mike Carpenter