Unfortunately, McMaster’s boss was not on board with this approach. In McMaster’s time, he notes, President Trump often said improving relations with Russia “would be a good thing, not a bad thing,” while succumbing to Putin’s flattery and treating his criminal actions “with dismissiveness and moral equivalency.” And, of course, the repeated references to “the Russia hoax,” which meant no one in the president’s circle could discuss election interference without dreading an eruption triggered by Trump’s fear that the legitimacy of the election was being questioned.
McMaster never deals head-on with the fundamental problem — that the administration had, on paper, a defensible Russia strategy, and the president kept undermining it. Instead, he cites his top Russia aide, Fiona Hill, who, he writes, always warned that “Putin seeks to divide; Americans and Europeans should not divide themselves.”
China, the climate-changer, is, of course, immune to containment strategies. If the old
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