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    US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump accepts the nomination on the last day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio.

    Why is Trump Proposing a Detente With Russia?

    © AFP 2019 / Jim WATSON
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    The internal struggle between America's party of war, represented by "supreme hawk" Hillary Clinton, and its opponents is going on in Washington. The US "party of peace" is seeking a détente with Russia to de-escalate tensions and resolve regional crises.

    Western mainstream media sources remain mute about the danger posed by the West's new Cold War against Russia, Professor Stephen F. Cohen highlighted.

    "We're approaching a Cuban Missile Crisis-level nuclear confrontation with Russia, both along Russia's borders and possibly over Syria. And there is absolutely no discussion, no debate, about this in the American media," Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton University, noted on CNN's Saturday morning show Smerconish.

    In this context, the position of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump looks like a real breakthrough.

    "Trump speaks elliptically. You've got to piece together what he says. But he seems to want a new American policy toward Russia," the US academic stressed.

    "And considering the danger, I think we as American citizens deserve that debate, and not what we are given in the media today, including on the front page of the New York Times," he added.

    However, Trump's "pro-Russian" remarks have triggered an instant backlash from Clinton's camp.

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton branded Russia as a substantial threat to the US security along with Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) in her nomination speech at Democratic National Convention on July 28.

    Thereby, in response to Trump's attempt to change the mainstream anti-Russian narrative, the Clinton campaign has labeled the Republican nominee "Putin's agent."

    In his latest interview on the John Batchelor Show, Professor Cohen noted that a covert struggle is going on between the "party of war," represented by "supreme hawk" Hillary Clinton, and the "peace party" which is seeking to reach a détente with Russia. 

    The US academic stressed that there is nothing new in Trump's attempts to soften up the anti-Russian rhetoric. Decades ago, American presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan took steps aimed at the resolution of tensions between the US and the USSR for the sake of world peace.

    When the Cold War becomes too dangerous, we have to move toward détente, as Nixon did and President Reagan did later, the US scholar emphasized.

    "Donald Trump is proposing a kind of détente with Russia," Professor Cohen emphasized.

    In addition, it is Donald Trump who has openly thrown today's NATO mission into question.

    The professor pointed out that since the collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact, NATO's expansion toward Russia's borders appears to be the Alliance's main mission.

    "The expansion of NATO over a twenty years period began with [US President Bill] Clinton in Berlin where the divide was, and [stretched] all the way to Russia's borders… it has been the largest expansion in modern history," he underscored.

    The Alliance has absorbed the Baltic States and given the aspiration of the America-controlled part of Ukraine and also Georgia to join NATO, Russia sees its former security zone as having been brought under the control of the US-led military bloc, the professor noted. Predictably, it has aggravated tensions between Russia and NATO.

    However, in the course of its expansion in the 2000s the Alliance did not declare Russia a threat. On the other hand, since the 9/11 terror attacks, international terrorism has been regarded as a major menace to US security.

    Then the question arises why the US-led NATO bloc had not been focusing on fighting terrorists all these years. This question has been simmering for a rather long time, but Donald Trump has turned the spotlight on it.

    "He is dramatizing, he's become a kind of megaphone for people in this country who've been trying to get these questions into the mainstream," the US academic emphasized.

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office at Trump Tower, Tuesday, May 10, 2016, in New York
    © AP Photo / Mary Altaffer
    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office at Trump Tower, Tuesday, May 10, 2016, in New York

    According to the professor, Syria and Ukraine remain the two epicenters of the Cold War between the West and Russia.

    While the party of peace has taken a series of steps toward cooperation with Russia in Syria, the party of war, and particularly US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, is opposing these developments. As a result, the negotiations have stalled, the US professor remarked.

    Meanwhile, the Russo-Syrian forces have gained ground in the Aleppo region. If the Syrian Arab Army recaptures the city from Islamists, including the former al-Nusra Front and Daesh, Damascus will restore its control over Syria, the scholar added.

    Cohen believes that the Russo-American cooperation in Syria could have paved the way for a peaceful resolution of the Ukrainian crisis by Washington and Moscow.

    Still, there are signs emerging that the Clinton camp is preparing for an all-out war in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad. The war is likely to begin sooner rather than later, should Hillary Clinton win the presidential election in November.

    "The clear signals of Clinton's readiness to go to war appears to be aimed at influencing the course of the war in Syria as well as US policy over the remaining six months of the Obama administration," US investigative journalist Gareth Porter noted in one of his articles for Consortiumnews.com.

    It seems that the prospects of the Russo-American détente would be bleak If Hillary Clinton, backed by the party of war, comes to power. 

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    Tags:
    Middle East, cooperation with Russia, detente, The Syrian war, NATO, Ronald Reagan, President Richard Nixon, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Ukraine, Syria, United States, Russia
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