By Jim Campbell
March 30, 2018
Those bloviating about the situation in the commentary below clearly don’t have a clear understanding of the situation at hand.
So our President has made the decision to close Russian Embassies.
This won’t be the first time and it won’t be the last.
Putin can never be trusted.
The Washington Examiner
by Tom Rogan
March 30, 2018
Don’t be alarmed by Russia’s decision on Thursday to expel 60 U.S. diplomats and shutter the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg.
While the Russian government’s resident troll and foreign minister Sergey Lavrov says the expulsions are a response to “the absolutely unacceptable actions” of the U.S. and Britain in organizing an international expulsion of Russian intelligence officers, the truth is that the Russians are nervous.
Be still my heart!
They’re nervous because while the Kremlin expected they would receive some response to their poisoning of British intelligence agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, they didn’t expect the international pressure that has followed.
Timing matters greatly here.
After all, Russia is about to host the World Cup and Vladimir Putin wants to show off Russia as a place to visit and invest.
Instead, the diplomatic expulsions have drawn international media attention to Putin’s decision to spread an exceptionally toxic nerve agent compound around a small British town.
In turn, the Russian leader’s assassination antics have given him an utter “blowback” failure.
In intelligence circles, blowback refers to an operation in which a mission causes far more harm to those carrying it out than those they targeted.
Consider that Skripal and his daughter weren’t killed (although he might still die), and Putin has made himself more of an international pariah than ever before.
The exigent question now is what follows?
I think one of two things.
Either Putin will escalate further by attempting to kill another defector or, perhaps, by escalating his harassment of U.S. persons in Russia.
Alternatively, he may back off and hope to get the World Cup concluded without further problems.
If he chooses the latter, then we can move on (although the British must crack down on Russian organized crime-Kremlin money in London).
That said, if Putin does decide to escalate, the U.S. should play him at his own game.
So if he targets U.S. persons, for example, the FBI should start breaking into U.S.-based Russian diplomatic residences and leaving their windows open and slashing the tires on Russian diplomatic cars.
That positioning of strength, oddly enough, is the surest way to speak to Putin in language he understands and thus put the former KGB colonel back in his box.