War Party Moving To Preempt Trump-Putin Reset
Nov. 21, 2016 (EIRNS)—Josh Rogin reports in the Washington Post today that a bipartisan group of Congressmen and Senators are planning to take actions to block any serious attempt by Trump to reset relations with Russia. John McCain and Lindsey Graham are taking the point in opposing a shift towards cooperation with Russia. They are planning to lead a Congressional delegation to Ukraine, Georgia, and Estonia, to reassure those countries that the US will remain their ally against Russian "aggression." They will be holding a series of hearings beginning in January on Russian transgressions in Syria, the Baltics, and in the cyber-warfare area. Graham, according to Rogin, also intends to use his chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations to finance European allies in their efforts to block Russian advances.
Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will also introduce bills to increase funding of the European Democracy Initiative. House bills are also being prepared to impose new sanctions on Russia.
CSIS European Program director Heather Conley told Rogin that Congress is moving preemptively to limit President-elect Trump’s ability to move toward cooperation with Putin and Russia. And the Atlantic Council has published a new report, detailing how Russia has worked overtly and covertly to build up pro-Russian political parties and factions in Europe, including in Britain, France, and Germany. Former Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski wrote the introduction to the Atlantic Council report, and he wrote that any overtures to Russia are doomed to fail because of Russia’s core commitment to exploit the weaknesses in Western political systems: “The Kremlin’s blatant attempts to influence and disrupt the U.S. presidential election should serve as an inspiration for a democratic push back.”
Rogin noted that Trump will have a few allies in his effort to improve U.S.-Russian relations, including Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.