Presidents Trump and Putin will in a week's time hold their first official summit, in Helsinki, capital of the great nation of Finland. This is a meeting long in the making; presumably the major points of agreement have already been worked out. Rather than offering an opportunity for discussion, I see such meetings as instead affording a chance to display to the public that which has already been agreed upon. This is a chance, amid the great success of the Russia World Cup football matches, and the increasingly stale rhetoric of the Blue Tribe's "Resistance" and "Russia Collusion" media campaigns, for Trump to at last deliver on his campaign promise for reasonable partnership with the Russian Federation.
Plenty of US presidents have met with the post-Soviet leaders of Russia, but little of lasting good came of these events. The US general approach to Russia has been to patronize (during the Yeltsin years) and to antagonize (during the Putin years). But we've never had a President Trump before. We are learning more and more about this man, his methods, capabilities and intentions.
When I approach an opaque problem to solve, the first thing I try to figure out is what questions to ask about the matter, before any action. I have a few basic questions I keep in my back pocket for such cases. More often than not the question to ask is: "Which one of these things is not like the other?" though in this case we already know the answer. Donald Trump (and whatever alliance is behind him) is not like any other. Instead, I think the question to ask (of Trump) is: "Do you feel in charge?"
We can be confident that President Trump feels in charge at this date, I think. I have waffled on this matter a bit. I admit to losing hope after the first Syria strike, drunk on my hopes from the 2016 campaign, filtering the media I saw through a middle class lens. But I am learning, learning to win perhaps, and am now confident that Mr.Trump is in charge. Witness the freewheeling, at times unhinged, speech our president gave in Great Falls, Montana on July 5th, 2018.
This speech was essentially a long, Anglo-Saxon formal boast. Like a boar-helmed barbarian, Trump noted how he 'kicked the Democrat's ass' in the 2016 election, and took the refreshing if surprising position that: "Putin's fine, we're all fine, we're people...". The choice of words was likely no accident by the Great Persuader, as Russians and Putin in particular have been the targets of a long and—following Trump's victory—increasingly deranged campaign of dehumanization by the Blue Tribe's GloboHomist assets in the news and entertainment sectors. By reminding the audience that Putin is in fact a person, especially amidst the successful world cup, where Russia has played gracious host to so many visitors, Trump makes some headway in unwinding this dehumanization. Trump told Montana, and his core supporters that Russians are indeed people, and are fine. No doubt the Fake News Media attempted to twist this message by replaying the clip, spreading the meme further into the American public.
President Trump looks to be more or less "In Power" today. His rhetoric is increasingly that of vintage 2016. His missile strike on Syria a month or two ago was laughable, blowing up a few empty buildings to appease a brainwashed public, nothing more than a nose-thumbing at the old establishment who knew it was a ruse. Peace is apparently being made with North Korea, and with it, US influence in that country. The promised trade war with China is now underway, with the S&P 500 close to record highs and jobs being added to the US economy in great numbers. In contrast, the Shanghai Composite is down 22% from the January 2018 peak, free traders be damned.
We should be careful not to descend too deeply into the dungeons of Sinophobia; the Chinese are people too, but we must also be realistic about the Celestial Menace. I wrote before on Thermidor of the risks that China poses to the world, and her likely rise to global hegemony, a position I still hold. If there's any hope that our children and grandchildren will live in countries free of Chinese domination, it lies in the USA and Russia, bound together in an informal alliance, at the economic, military and security services levels.
Speculation on the likelihood of a Russo-American alliance is a dubious undertaking, as we simply don't have much information on the actual power dynamics in the US. It's possible that Trump is the avatar of a Red Tribe deep state faction, centered perhaps around Marine Corps, Army and NSA bigwigs and their private sector diasporas. It's also possible there is no big, organized conspiracy, and that Trump is exactly what he appears to be: a last gasp of heritage America, before Texas, Florida and North Carolina turn inexorably blue, turning the USA into the sub-functional banana republic some on the internet right have long foretold. The difference between these possible worlds matters because an organized faction with real power behind Trump can change the world. It can break fingers in Hollywood, it can blackmail and change the nature of the propaganda the masses are fed, changing the Cause Celebre and what is valued. It can even put a finger on the scale when it comes to important elections.
If Trump represents an enduring change in American politics, and the election of a new Elite, then the Great Satan has been greatly reduced and Russia can make long-term bets on cooperation with the US establishment. If Trump is just a temporary disruption to the status quo, then the Russians should and will be weary of any long-term cooperation, this could change the depths and nature of deals in the present. The results of the Helsinki summit and the level of cooperation between the two states over the course of Trump's presidency will tell us which is the case.
By the 1970s the Soviet Union was famously more concerned with an invasion of Siberia and Vladivostok by the Chinese, than of war with NATO, allegedly having to be talked out of the use of nukes against the Chinese by the Nixon administration. While it is unlikely China will be invading a well armed Russia anytime soon, the fundamental strategic threat remains. China's 1.3+ billion strong population could easily overwhelm the underpopulated far east of Russia through economic means, as they did in Manchuria and Inner Mongolia during the Qing period when they had easy access to those regions. Those traveling in Mongolia proper, central Asia or in the Siberian and Far East portions of Russia already report a strong Sinic presence, it's been going on for decades. In facing the Chinese threat, Russia would gladly enlist western allies, if only they could be relied upon, yet the US-dominated west has always been unreliable and backstabbing.
The USA faces a Celestial threat as well, possibly greater than that faced by Russia due to corruption in military procurement, the GDP obsession of corporate America, and the politically correct nature of US policy. The vast pacific ocean, and the US vassals in the Pacific the, could, in time, be dominated by China, due to her massive economy and high human capital. The US Navy has wisely shifted focus to this arena, bolstering alliances from Australia to Japan. But the long rot has set in and the US Navy has fallen prey to an excessively greedy Military Industrial Complex, resulting in the laughable Littoral Combat Ship, the inadequate F-35 carrier variant and the costly, problematic and possibly obsolete Ford class carrier. Trump has signaled the days of the MIC selling the government junk are over, lauding the upgraded F/A-18 for example, who knows what else is going on behind the scenes, we can imagine, knowing Trump, that much is afoot.
An alliance with Russia, even if informal and not publicly emphasized, would free up ships from the other operational theaters, leading to a more credible deterrent in the Pacific against Chinese island building and power projection.
The threat is not just military though, not even close, Chinese civilians have infiltrated North America deeply, a greater threat than any missile or ship. The Chinese diaspora has a presence in all major US cities, especially on the West Coast. Their people are woven deep into the back offices of every major American corporation, including MIC corporations. These civilians not only push down American wages and disrupt team cohesion but also learn our business processes and retain for the Chinese state, an option to spy or throw a spanner into the works of our economy. Even if Trump succeeds in reforming immigration, and stemming the tide of Chinese visa workers, a large population of permanent residents and citizens of Red Chinese origin will always hinder the US capacity to play global chess with the Middle Kingdom. We've been hobbled in our capacity to face the Chinese, and we need help, Russia is an obvious partner.
The Chinese, like the Russians are people, and many of them are fine, but they are from a population and civilization apart from us. Their numbers are simply too great to treat them with a politically correct kid glove. Russia in contrast is a natural ally, their numbers are not so great, their diaspora is negligible and from a population standpoint, they are, to a relatively fine approximation, us. Given the burgeoning weaknesses in the USA, wherein much of the social structure of the country has been rotted out through POZ, atomization and thoughtless, unfiltered immigration, maintaining a global empire as only the number two economy will not be possible. Only by courting Russia as a partner, to augment the traditional Pacific and European system of alliances, can we hold the line against the Chinese Century that waits if the hope of Helsinki fall though.