He may not realize it, but Trump is seeking the wolf’s cooperation to protect the hen house. Both Putin and Trump said the U.S. and Russia could work together to protect Syrian refugees, millions of whom have fled to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Europe. One reason there are so many Syrian refugees? Because Putin’s air force has indiscriminately bombed Syrian civilians.
Putin also suggested that the two sides could work on cybersecurity, something Trump agreed to a year ago after their first chat. Again, this is seeking Russian cooperation on a problem Russia has created. As the director of national intelligence Dan Coates said last week, the Russian threat to America’s digital infrastructure is now at the same level — “blinking red” — as the warnings of a terror attack before Sept. 11.
Even on arms control, Trump is playing the sucker. Right now, Russia is in violation of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, something Putin himself confirmed in March when he unveiled a new line of nuclear weapons (and an animation showing a Russian nuclear attack on the U.S.). Why would Trump seek new arms control agreements with Russia when it keeps violating the old ones?