We live in close proximity to the Russian Federation lead by the saber-rattling President Vladimir Putin.
Our President first displayed great admiration for Putin, obviously impressed with the manly-man behavior of taking without asking (Crimea) and getting away with it (despite UN sanctions.)
However, this US-Russian bromance is turning sour in the light of FBI investigations of Russian meddling into US elections and the US allegation that Russians still support a Syrian president who gases his own people.
That has ripple effects to allies on both sides, in the entire world.
North Korea is trying to push the limits in the international community to see how far they can go by performing nuclear weapon tests.
In response to the juvenile behavior of Kim Jong-un, U.S. Generals send a fleet of warships into the South China Sea, albeit going reportedly the wrong way. Had Trump not called China our trade enemy, we’d have an easier time working with them as China is our best hope to calm the North Koreans down. Chinese leaders already cautioned both sides to chill. War-torn Syria is the testing grounds for Russian and American influences and the American knee-jerk reaction of bombing an empty runway in the desert there has not done anything to prove to the world that American foreign policy is coherent and goal-driven. Clearly, a foreign-policy challenged U.S. President with a bad temper and a short fuse is not helping this volatile global mix of tensions.
Last week, we saw brazen acts of Russian taunting, right here in front of our door steps. Four times, Russian bombers flew so-called incursions of international airspace, coming close enough to Alaska for the U.S. Air Force to scramble F-22 fighter jets to check out what’s going on. The good news is that they did not have visuals of bombs on the Russian fighter planes. And the Russian and American pilots apparently waved to each other. Hopefully next time they add a smile to that wave. However, the taunting needs to be met with a cool head and strategic thinking, something that the Trump administration so far has not proven to be capable of in foreign relations. We need to advocate for a stable relationship with our neighbors and a return to giving diplomacy a chance. —D.H.—