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East-West Committee Member Takes Heart at U.S.-Russian Military Cooperation

March 15, 2017 (EIRNS)—Gilbert Doctorow, a Russia expert and member of the American Committee on East-West Accord, had an article published in Consortium News yesterday, recommending that the

"many backers of Donald Trump’s planned foreign policy, which sought dÉtente with Russia, [who are] are wringing their hands and shaking their heads over what looks like the policy’s defeat in the face of media and Democratic Party attacks,"

reconsider their view.

Doctorow pointed to the significance of the March 7 meeting of the Russian, U.S., and Turkish military chiefs-of-staff in Antalaya, Turkey in his article on "Trump’s Quiet Outreach to Russia":

"Trump appears to have concluded that the way forward in relations between the U.S. and Russia is to make progress out of sight of the media. Whereas bringing Russia into the U.S.-run anti-Islamic State coalition meeting in Washington would have invited the U.S. media’s brickbats, a summit of generals in a provincial coastal town of Turkey could be far more productive and produce much less controversy."

This "quiet expansion of military-to-military cooperation" can be successful, in Doctorow’s view, because

"Trump can also expect the greatest loyalty in the U.S. government’s hierarchy from the military as well as fewer leaks from holdovers hostile to any rapprochement with Russia. Indeed, many senior U.S. officers had constructive relations with their Russian counterparts for years on crucial issues such as supplying U.S. troops in Afghanistan and in sharing intelligence on terrorism."

By removing many of Barack Obama’s political nominees at the top of the Pentagon and in the State Department, the coalition of neoconservatives and liberal interventionists which opposed such constructive military-to-military relations is weakened.

Russian sentiment is still confident that U.S.-Russian relations will improve under President Trump, Doctorow reports, citing recent radio and TV discussions between some of Russia’s top legislators and heads of key policy think tanks.

"Unlike many American news shows where the ‘talking heads’ are often journalists imparting second-hand information, the key panelists on these Russian programs tend to be well-connected legislators or other government insiders,"

he drily noted.