Breaking up is hard to do. In this case, we’re talking about the “bromance” between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. It was less than a month ago that Trump called Putin, directly, and against all advice, EVEN IN CAPITAL LETTERS, Trump congratulated the Russian president on his electoral victory—and invited him to get together. But things have changed.


Trump’s admiration for Putin, personally, may not have diminished, but on the state level, things have chilled significantly, due to the claim that Syria has once again used chemical weapons in their civil war.

President Donald Trump’s potential military strike against Syria is putting him on a dangerous new collision course with Russian President Vladimir Putin, just weeks after Trump invited the Russian leader to the White House.

On a day when Trump tweeted a vow to attack Syrian government forces—mocking a Russian threat of retaliation—experts and former U.S. officials warned that Washington and Moscow could stumble into a dangerous clash. . .

The rising hostilities are an unexpected turn some 18 months after Trump warned that his 2016 campaign rival, Hillary Clinton, favored a tough stance towards Russia in Syria that could “lead to World War III.”. . .

“Get ready Russia,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, added that missiles “will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart! You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

Trump also declared that the U.S.-Russian relationship is now “worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War.”

This came less than a week after Trump said he wanted to wash his hands of Syria, according to Breitbart and

at a news conference with Baltic Leaders, President Donald Trump said he wanted to get American troops out of Syria.

Trump said, “As far as Syria is concerned, our primary mission in terms of that was getting rid of ISIS. We’ve almost completed that task. . .

When asked, “Are you inclined to pull the troops out?” Trump continued, “I want to get out. I want to bring our troops back home.

Breitbart also reported that John McCain has blamed Trump for the Syrian gas attack.

Failed presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) blamed President Donald Trump for the most recent chemical weapons attack in Syria.

“President Trump last week signaled to the world that the United States would prematurely withdraw from Syria,” McCain wrote in a statement, saying that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad was “emboldened by American inaction.”

The Washington Examiner says Russia probably won’t retaliate if the U.S. attacks Syria.

When the U.S. takes military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad for his chemical weapons attack last Saturday, Russia is unlikely to retaliate.

Two factors underline why.

First off, the Russians do not want to associate themselves with what Assad has done. . .

In turn, while Putin is employing his standard distraction-deception-threat strategy in an attempt to shield Assad from blame, his eye is on other agendas. Notably, avoiding new sanctions targeting Moscow and ensuring that the upcoming soccer World Cup — which Putin sees as critical to attract much-needed foreign investment — are accomplished. . .

More importantly, however, Putin knows that these U.S. strikes will not endanger Assad’s continued empowerment and thus Moscow’s overriding strategic interests.

Some have complained that Trump’s warning has allowed Syria to move its important materiel out of danger. It’s the same issue for which Trump criticized Obama In 2013.

“Why do we keep broadcasting when we are going to attack Syria. Why can’t we just be quiet and, if we attack at all, catch them by surprise?” Trump tweeted in response.

The latest crisis between the U.S. and Russia is just one of many in recent weeks

In late March, the U.S. expelled 60 Russian diplomats to punish the attempted killing with nerve agent of a Russian double agent living in London, which the U.S blamed on Putin’s government. Last week, the U.S. sanctioned several Russian oligarchs as punishment for Russia’s 2016 election interference, one of several recent rounds of sanctions against Moscow.

Trump also approved late last year the sale of anti-tank missiles to the government of Ukraine, which is fighting a pro-Russian separatist insurgency in its eastern region, an act that infuriated the Kremlin.

Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has felt that it could act with impunity. “We’re the only Superpower—what are they going to do to us?” But while Trump may think that attacking tiny, powerless Syria is a cheap and easy way to make a point, it may not be so cheap or easy if we become involved directly with Russia.

U.S. officials and experts warn that events could take an even more dangerous turn if American missiles should kill any of the Russian soldiers who are assisting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces in the country. Russians are likely present at most key military targets inside of Syria, according to a former senior Obama administration Pentagon official.

Even if a U.S. strike didn’t actually kill a Russian, if the Russians see incoming missiles, wouldn’t it be natural for them to respond in-kind? It is suggested that a U.S. attack would come from a ship in the sea. Are such ships outfitted with equipment that would be able to repel incoming missiles from land? What would the U.S. then do, after beginning the attack and suffering a commensurate counterattack?

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Goethe Behr is a Contributing Editor and Moderator at Election Central. He started out posting during the 2008 election, became more active during 2012, and very active in 2016. He has been a political junkie since the 1950s and enjoys adding a historical perspective.

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