Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 02 February 2017, 00:20 hrs, UTC, Post #100.
Accessed on 02 February 2017, 00:20 hrs, UTC.
Reporter: Paul McLeary.
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One day following a telephone conversation between Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump over the Middle East crisis, Russian artillery and rocket fire resumed attacks against Ukrainian positions near the town of Audiyivka. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the coordinated attack was “a sharp increase for intermittent shelling that makes an ordinary day at the front, but that the fighting was so intense it could not be properly keep count.”
Asked if the Trump administration sees the renewed fighting as direct challenge from Mr. Putin, White House spokesman Sean Spenser said “we’re keeping an eye on the situation in Ukraine.”
According to “Foreign Policy” correspondent Paul McLeary, the mixed signals being sent by the Trump administration are playing into the hands of Vladimir Putin, who wants to re-integrate portions of Europe that broke away after the collapse of the Soviet Union 25 years ago:
“Trump’s affinity for Russia, and his phone call Saturday with Putin, has stoked fear in Kiev and among NATO allies that Trump could strike a deal with Moscow that would mean less U.S. support for the Ukrainian government, and potentially give Russia a freer hand in its destabilization efforts there.
One U.S. defense official, speaking with Foreign Policy on the condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon has long been anticipating an uptick in Russian aggression in Ukraine as Moscow tries to gauge “what they could accomplish” under the Trump administration.”
The longer Mr. Trump delays action over the Ukrainian attacks, the more Mr. Putin will try to convince European nations such as Bulgaria and the Czech Republic that the United States and NATO are unreliable allies. In time, this uncertainty over NATO and U.S. commitments to European defense may lead to the collapse of NATO and willingness of some European countries to make separate non-aggression pacts with the Russian Federation. With the loss of U.S. leverage in Europe, Mr. Putin will be encouraged to restore territory lost by the former Soviet Union. Russian influence will begin to fill the vacuum left by the United States. While the U.S. may get Russian cooperation to stem the tide of ISIS/ISIL inspired terrorism in the Middle East and Europe, we may, in the process, lose whatever influence we might have enjoyed in Europe. The deal to end Middle East terrorism may cost us our favored role and influence in Europe. Is the trade worth the “deal”? The real winner could be the Russian Federation as it slowly reassembles the frontiers of the old Tsarist Empire and the short-lived Soviet regime. The world is quickly evolving into a three-state power structure: the United States, The Russian Federation, and The Peoples Republic of China. This idea was best described in George Orwell‘s dystopian novel “1984.” This could be a chilling reality of science fiction becoming science fact.
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Hawaii Intelligence Digest