Consistent and Smooth

What’s fascinating to me is that Obama’s and Trump’s policy on Russia clearly comes from the same source. It’s a crescendo of silent blows that go from a tiny pinprick to harsher and harsher ones. The consistency and the smoothness of the operation makes it clear that the people we see on TV are not the ones who create foreign policy. We all knew it was the case during the Cold War. But it’s fascinating that there is still a consistent policy independent of any particular administration or party. Now the really fascinating question is what it is. What is its organizing principle?

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One thought on “Consistent and Smooth”

  1. From the available evidence..

    US policy toward Russia has the goal of constraining Russia as much as possible including the cooptation of allies through things like NATO and even supporting their membership in the EU. The US is far from crazy about the EU but it absolutely encouraged/s former Russian allies (willing or not) to join.

    They deal with Russia much the way an experienced dog owner domesticates a new pet or a certain type of adult deals with an undisciplined and obstreperous infant.

    Only deal with one main issue at a time, don’t teach the dog to sit at attention at the same time that you’re disciplining it for wetting the floor, those are two separate processes and should be separated temporally.

    Occasional unpredictable rewards (in the form of positive attention or a special treat)

    Consistent and predictable punishment (in the form of disciplinary non-attention and removal of options).

    Steadily increase punishment until the behavior your disciplining ceases (or becomes irrelevant).

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