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Putin Doesn’t Think US Foreign Policy Will Change If Trump Is Re-Elected (And He’s Probably Right)

Caitlin Johnstone

Sep 18, 2023

Trump has been campaigning on the claim that he can end the Ukraine war in a day if re-elected, but there is no actual reason to believe that’s true. 

Vladimir Putin said at the Eastern Economic Forum on Tuesday that he wouldn’t expect any meaningful changes in US policy toward Russia if former president Donald Trump secures re-election next year.

TASS reports the following on the Russian president’s comments:

“I think there will be no fundamental changes regarding Russia in US foreign policy, no matter who is elected president,” Putin said. “Mr. [Donald] Trump (ex-president and Republican Party candidate — TASS) says he will solve acute problems, including the Ukrainian crisis, in a few days, this can only please. Nevertheless, he too imposed sanctions on Russia during his presidency,” Putin recalled.
The US, according to the Russian president, “views Russia as a permanent adversary, or even an enemy, and has hammered this into the heads of ordinary Americans.” “The current authorities have tuned American society into an anti-Russian vein and spirit — that’s what it’s all about. They have done it, and now it will be very difficult to somehow turn this ship in the other direction,” Putin said.

This is not the first time Putin has made such comments. When Oliver Stone asked him in an interview during Trump’s presidency what has changed from administration to administration in the four US presidents he’d gone through during his leadership, Putin replied, “Almost nothing. Your bureaucracy is very strong and it is that bureaucracy that rules the world.”

And he’s right; from Bush to Obama to Trump to Biden there has been a consistent pattern of escalation which has now culminated in a terrible proxy war — provoked by western actions — which has the potential to go nuclear at any time. Trump has been campaigning on the claim that he can end the Ukraine war in a day if re-elected, but there is no actual reason to believe that’s true.

Neither mainstream American party likes to admit to this fact because of the implications for their respective political agendas, but in terms of concrete policy decisions Trump actually governed as a virulent Russia hawk who spent his entire term ramping up cold war aggressions against Russia on multiple fronts. He arguably played as much of a role in paving the way toward the war in Ukraine as any other president — it was Trump after all who first began pouring American weapons into Ukraine, an incendiary move that his predecessor Obama had actually resisted for fear of provoking Moscow.

The claim that Trump was a secret agent of the Kremlin has always been a ridiculous conspiracy theory made possible by mass-scale journalistic malpractice and intervention by the US intelligence cartel, and it has been debunked and discredited from pretty much every angle you could think of. But the strongest evidence that it was false was always the fact that Trump spent his entire presidency directly attacking Russian interests with actions like sanctions, shredded treaties, aggressive Nuclear Posture Reviews, efforts to shut down Nord Stream 2, occupying and repeatedly bombing Syria, and arming Ukraine.

Trump defenders will argue that Trump only did these things because he was politically pressured to by the Russiagate narrative, and that may be true, but what is the functional difference between a president who acts aggressively toward Russia because he was pressured to and a president who acts aggressively toward Russia because he wants to? In terms of actual behavior, there is no difference. If Trump is ramping up nuclear brinkmanship against Russia, it doesn’t matter how his feelings secretly feel about it inside — all that matters is that it’s happening. And if empire managers could pressure Trump to act as a Russia hawk before, there’s no reason to believe they can’t do it again.

The most significant thing about all US presidents is not their differences, it’s their similarities. The truth of the matter is that if you were to only watch the movements of troops, war machinery, resources and money from year to year, you wouldn’t be able to tell when one president’s term ended and another began, or what party they belong to or what their campaign platform was. The empire marches on completely uninterrupted, regardless of who Americans elect to be the face at its front desk.

The bureaucracy is very strong, and it is that bureaucracy that rules the world.


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