Days after publicly assuring NATO that President-elect Donald Trump wouldn’t make serious changes to America’s European policy, outgoing President Barack Obama is publicly making statements “urging” Trump to remain hostile toward Russia and not “cut deals” with them.
Obama’s comments mirror demands from NATO members since the US election, all of them bent out of shape at the Trump’s talk of a rapprochement with Russia. Trump has since spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the two agreed to normalization of ties between their nations.
That’s not sitting well with Obama either, and he’s now insisting that the US needs to “stand up to Russia” because they view the world differently. The US and NATO have in recent months deployed some 300,000 ground troops to the Russian border.
While predictions of a Russian invasion of Eastern Europe never panned out, the US and NATO have continued to build up their military position on Russia’s border, and continued to rail against Russia over any and every perceived slight. The costly deployments would be at stake if US ties with Russia improve, which has many officials interested in maintaining the status quo by pushing Trump to remain on a hostile footing with Russia.