Cold War Heats Up: Trump attempts to engage Russia in meaningful global dialogue, fails miserably, and Putin ramps up the Cold War rhetoric already in circulation. Putin’s anti-European Union, anti-NATO statements and policies become more strident, and the Trump administration reacts by digging in its heels. The United States returns to a late 1950s or early 1960s Cold War global mindset.
An us-versus-them political divide could serve the political styles of both men and enable them to expand their domestic support. Creating global crisis and tension certainly would help Putin, especially with the Russian military and intelligence communities.
Putin and his allies no doubt have already calculated that they could use and contain Trump for their own purposes. I’m sure that with his ego, Putin believes he can handle an international neophyte like Trump and make him act in predictable fashion in international affairs.
But then again, there is Trump’s boast that he will make American foreign policy less predictable. And who knows, he may prove to be just as irrational in office as he has been on the campaign trail.