Unlike many on the right I don’t instinctively fear Russia or the former Soviet Union. Having studied Russian history and culture over the years I appreciate the suffering its citizens have gone through – usually at the hands of their own government. But understanding Russia one appreciates that at heart it views itself as in competition with the West – a zero sum game whereby any perceived weakness of the Western powers is perceived as making Russia that much stronger.
Eastern European countries also understand this, which is why they are pissed at being stabbed in the back by the Obama administration (who can’t even seem to get the protocol right when wielding the knife). Having been occupied by the Soviet Union for most of the last century, they aren’t very keen on being threatened with another occupation, especially when they see themselves as a pawn by an American administration keen to “reset” relations with their former occupier.
So being an ex-diplomat-wannabe myself, I propose that we offer Russia a grand bargain: They can occupy France, Germany, the Benelux countries, the Nordic states (except Denmark because the Danes understand America better than most of the Euroweenies), Portugal and Spain in exchange for leaving alone the Eastern European countries of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
We can even throw in my ancestral Ireland to sweeten the deal. Moscow wants a warm-weather port? How about Lisbon? Is that warm enough for you?
That way most of the Europeans who hate America will get their wish, and those who want to be our allies, get theirs. Russia gets some new friends – and everybody wins.
UPDATE: Since I got someone’s Irish up in the comments I reconsidered and decided to swap out Ireland for New Zealand in the Grand Bargain. Ireland may have its doubts about the USA, but aside from throwing Mary Robinson at us and being neutral during WW2 it has generally been a good ally. So sorry Liamascorcaigh.
As I’ve documented here, here and here, New Zealanders hate America with a passion that scares their sheep. So that they can sleep soundly, I would offer this fly on the windscreen of American foreign policy to the Russians gratis.
Guess it’s obvious why I washed out of the Foreign Service interview process.