U.S.-Russian Relations in the Trump Era
October 1, 2017
Donald J. Trump’s rhetorical shift from ‘leadership’ to ‘greatness’ made possible some sort of rapprochement between the U.S. and Russia, after a period when relations had seriously deteriorated. Trump did not plan to give up American primacy, but ‘greatness’ was to be based on transactional relationships, the repudiation of democracy promotion and regime change. However, charges of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election of 2016 constrained Trump’s freedom of maneuver, and in the end relations worsened, although some practical cooperation remains. The situation remains open, with direct conflict not to be excluded, although a continued period of strained relations and the onset of elements of a new Cold War is more likely.