by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Trump’s comments might be suggestive, and his campaign team may well have sought and even used anti-Clinton information from Russian sources, but his policies have thus far been revealing—and not of any particular softness on Russia. Just the opposite: Where Obama was weak, the Trump administration has pursued a tough-on-Russia foreign policy.
Take Trump’s recent trip to Poland, a nation that has on occasion seen Russian troops and never wants to see them again. Look past the noise surrounding Trump’s excellent speech. Instead, focus on the air-defense memorandum signed on Thursday. “The U.S. government has agreed to sell Poland Patriot missiles in the most modern configuration,” Poland’s defense minister Antoni Macierewicz announced. This provides a real measure of Trump’s support for Poland, which is understandably nervous about the Russian Iskander missile system to be deployed in Kaliningrad.
This move also contrasts sharply with the Obama administration’s decision in 2009 to scrap missile-defense plans for Poland and the Czech Republic. Many Poles, including the heroic former president Lech Walesa, interpreted that as an abandonment.