Rachel Maddow asked why Trump gave up the joint military exercises with South Korea and the answer is Russia.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) June 13, 2018
The other entity that really wants the U.S. To stop its joint military exercises with South Korea, the other country that has been increasingly insistent that those exercises are proven provocations and they must stop, the country that has been speaking out on that more and more in the last couple of years specifically is North Korea’s other abutter. Here’s Russia. March of 2016. Expressing their opposition to South Korean-US military exercises. Here’s Russia again March of 2017 when those same US-South Korean joint military exercises rolled around again the same time the next year because they’re annual exercises. But Russia’s starting to get a little more bold in the past year or two in expressing their opposition to the U.S. Participating in these joint military exercises. Theerz Russia in December 2017 getting even pushier about it, sending the head of the Russian armed forces to the Russian city that is nearest to that little sniglet of the North Korean border to personally proclaim his opposition to the U.S. Forces — to U.S. Forces participating in these joint military operations with South Korea.
Russia has just this tiny little border, 11-mile-long border with North Korea, with one crossing on a train and they’ve got a troubled and varied history with that country. But Russia is also increasingly straining at its borders right now and shoving back U.S. And western influence, especially U.S. And western military presence, anywhere near what it considers to be its own geopolitical interests. And one of the things that they have started to loudly insist on is that the U.S. drop those joint military exercises with South Korea. The U.S. Has kept those going as a pillar of U.S. National security strategy for, ooh, 70 years now. Until last night. When Trump casually announced that that’s over now, he’s doing away with those. Blindsided everybody involved. And gave North Korea something they desperately want and would do almost anything for. Except he gave it to them for free. How come?
Rachel Maddow found the Russia connection
When people ask what Putin wanted to gain from elected Donald Trump, the answer, at least in part, is that he wanted to both have his own foreign policy unchecked and be able to make US foreign policy. The North Korea summit is the latest occasion where Trump has given into Russian interests without an explanation. Trump has done the same thing in Syria. He has weakened the Western alliance just as Putin wanted. Donald Trump’s foreign policy is Putin’s foreign policy, and if you want to understand why Trump made a move that blindsided everyone, the first place to look is Russia and Putin.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association