The U.S. was not at risk of war with Russia under Obama (or Bush or Clinton). The closest the two countries have gotten to direct conflict in recent years is when American forces shot down a Syrian jet in June, and Russia suspended “deconfliction” communications. But even then the risks of war were minimal. Given the negligible risk, Trump making concessions to Russia is a giveaway in exchange for nothing.

It is very much in China’s national interest to avoid war on the Korean Peninsula. Its stated position discourages both North Korea and the United States from starting one. China has never given the DPRK a blank check to initiate conflict, and has always tried to deter the United States from initiating one. A country acting in its self-interest is not a concession to anyone.

I noticed your decision to ignore the numerous ways Trump has mishandled China that I mentioned. But, in fairness, he did get one thing from the Chinese: some trademarks for his and his daughter’s products. I wouldn’t call that an American national priority, but still. His negotiation to get them was successful.

Senior Editor at Arc Digital. Poli Sci prof (IR) at U. Illinois. Author of “Drones and Terrorism.” Politics, national security, and occasional nerdery.

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