U.S. and Russia — Not All Trump Advisers Likely to Advocate a Love-Fest With Putin, Russia — Obama and European Leaders Keep Sanctions on Russia

There has been a concerning question surrounding the newly-elected President of the United States, Donald Trump. And that question is: What were people thinking? The answers to that have caused an uproar of debate. Voters for Trump undoubtedly have many reasons as to why they picked the Republican candidate, among them being their hope of easing global tensions and lessening the chances of World War III.

Trump said some enticing things along his campaign trail, including questioning the role of NATO, as well as the use of “regime change” by the U.S. in opposition to other nations. He posed the question as to why the U.S. and Russia, for instance, couldn’t be on the same side. He also proclaimed the U.S. ought to pull out of foreign disputes and focus its energy on solving domestic problems.

He undoubtedly had “unpolitical” rhetoric that sparked the interest of people not only weary of the system, but of war itself — one of the attributes that defines American power.

But with Trump’s presidency set to become a reality soon enough, his reputation is starting to form, and causing people to wonder if he will actually follow through with his words, or if he has another agenda up his sleeve altogether.

For example, Trump has now named former CIA director and extremist neoconservative James Woolsey as his senior adviser on national security issues. The oddest aspect of this is perhaps that Woolsey, who departed the CIA back in 1995, continued on with a career as one of Washington’s most outspoken promoters of U.S. war in Iraq as well as the Middle East. With all Trump said regarding his opposition to war, it seems strange that he would opt for Woolsey.

While Trump referred to the Iraq War as “a disaster,” Woolsey, who is a key member of the neoconservative Project for a New American Century (PNAC), pushed for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and advocated waging war throughout the Middle East.

Woolsey even signed a letter in 1998 that called for Clinton to depose Saddam Hussein, and also blamed the 9/11 attacks on Iraq. He’s also exposed his desire for profit through the advocacy of war, serving as Vice President of Pentagon contracting giant Booz Allen, and the chairman of Paladin Capital Group, which is a private equity fund that invests in national security and cybersecurity.

To date, Woolsey chairs the leadership council at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, known as an intrusive national security nonprofit. He’s also a venture partner with Lux Capital Management, a company that invests in up and coming technologies including drones, satellite imaging, and artificial intelligence.

Woolsey recently went on CNN to announce that his main reason for supporting Trump came from the President-elect’s desire to expand U.S. military spending. Trump has proposed expanding the Army and Marines significantly, and calling for hundred-billion-dollar weapons systems for the Navy and Air Force. As to why, Trump noted officials desire for more firepower.

Woolsey supported Trump’s proposal by opposing Hillary Clinton’s viewpoints on the matter. He said: “I think the problem is her budget. She is spending so much money on domestic programs — including ones that we don’t even have now, and the ones we have now are underfunded — I think there can be very little room for the improvements in defense and intelligence that have to be made.”

Woolsey’s views have undoubtedly frightened some people’s hope for progression and peace, as he has previously requested that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden be “hanged by the neck until he’s dead, rather than merely electrocuted.”

Stranger yet in regard to Trump choosing Woolsey to join his team is that Woolsey has publicly disagreed with Trump regarding various national security issues, like Trump’s plan to ban Muslim immigration. Now, Woolsey says that while this plan would conflict with the First Amendment, he believes a temporary immigration block from some Muslim countries should be permitted.

So the question remains: Did Trump voters who desired peace merely get duped into believing what they wanted to hear? Only time will tell.



Obama and E.U. Leaders Agree to Keep Sanctions on Russia

BERLIN — President Obama and several European leaders “unanimously agreed” on Friday to keep sanctions in place against Russia for its intervention in Ukraine, amid concern that President-elect Donald J. Trump would soften the United States’ stance against Moscow.

The show of solidarity came as American allies — and Ukrainians themselves — have been unsettled by uncertainty regarding what kind of foreign policy Mr. Trump will pursue.

With surging populist movements straining alliances and Mr. Trump’s election upending the political calculations of many countries, Ukraine may be among the most vulnerable to the shifting political winds.

Fighting in Ukraine has continued since Moscow stealthily fomented an uprising among ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine with the help of undercover Russian forces, and then annexed Crimea in March 2014.

Read the rest: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/19/world/europe/obama-eu-sanctions-russia-ukraine.html


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