As 2016 grinds to a close, everything seems to be changing. It’s fair to say that many of the trends we are witnessing have been a long time coming. But they seem to have come to a head this year. (Lucky us.) Instead of attempting to tackle them all in one fell swoop, what follows is the first in a short series of posts about these trends.
We begin with President-elect Donald Trump’s potential alliance with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
If the horrific events in Turkey yesterday (where the Russian ambassador was assassinated) and Germany (where a Berlin Christmas market was the target of a terrorist attack) have anything in common, it is likely this: They conspire to bring Trump’s America and Putin’s Russia together in a civilizational struggle that pits the forces of Western Civilization against radical Islam.
I talked about this new paradigm on CNN’s “New Day” this morning:
It’s impossible to predict whether this emerging alliance will endure. It’s entirely possible that it could fall apart. For example, Trump’s team is full of Iran hawks, and it is conceivable that the cooperation between Iran and Russia in Syria might create tension. Still, it appears likely that Russia preferred Trump over Hillary Clinton, and Trump has signaled an admiration for Putin.
Might this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship in the New Year? It looks that way. And this, of course, is a shift from our traditional adversarial relationship, dating back to the Cold War. To paraphrase President Obama: The 1980s called; they want their foreign policy back.
Stay tuned for more in my series of posts on things that we will bid adieu to in 2016.