2 Reuters (Andrius Sytas), “Baltic States Seek More NATO Help ahead of Russian Exercise,” February 9, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-baltic-nato-russia-idUSKBN15O2HZ. Karol Ulc, “Russia’s Secret Weapon to Invade the Baltics and Crush NATO: Soldiers Falling from the Sky,” National Interest, January 17, 2017, http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/russias-secret-weapon-invade-the-baltics-crush-nato-soldiers-19083.
3 Reuters (Jonathan Landay and David Rohde), “Exclusive: In Call with Putin, Trump Denounced Obama-Era Nuclear Arms Treaty,” February 9, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-putin-idUSKBN15O2A5.
4 Halya Coynash, “Russia’s Crimea Bridge Could Collapse Anytime,” The Atlantic Council, January 10, 2017, http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/russia-s-crimea-bridge-could-collapse-anytime.
5 Lily Hyde, “Crimea’s Water Troubles,” New Eastern Europe, February 8, 2017, http://www.neweasterneurope.eu/articles-and-commentary/2255-crimea-s-water-troubles.
6 Christopher Miller, “Anxious Ukraine Risks Escalation in ‘Creeping Offensive,’” RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, January 30, 2017, http://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-russia-creeping-offensive-escalation-fighting/28268104.html.
7 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, “UNHCR Operational Update-Ukraine,” January 31, 2017, http://unhcr.org.ua/attachments/updates/2017%2001%20Update%20FINAL%20EN.pdf.
8 See for example, Andrew Wilson, “Europe, Keep an Eye on Minsk,” Politico, March 17, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/europe-keep-an-eye-on-minsk-belarus-alexander-lukashenko-vladimir-putin-russia/.
9 Some U.S.-based agricultural firms have been benefiting, largely at the expense of the Europeans (with losses at $100 billion in mid-2016), after Moscow placed sanctions on European farm products in response to EU sanctions. Jake Rudnitsky and Ilya Arkhipov, “Putin’s Reliance on American Commerce Has Never Been Greater,” Bloomberg, June 15, 2016, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-15/putin-s-reliance-on-american-commerce-has-never-been-greater. In June 2016, the French Senate urged the Hollande government to put an end to sanctions: “French Senate Urges Government To Lift Sanctions On Russia,” RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, June 9, 2016, http://www.rferl.org/a/french-senate-urges-government-lift-european-union-sanctions-russia/27787635.html. The National Front of Marine Le Pen on the right and Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the left were among the prime contenders in the 2017 French presidential elections. Both oppose NATO and EU membership, and combined they receive approximately 40 percent of the first-round vote. It is unlikely that the national-populist Marine Le Pen will win the presidency against the liberal-centrist Emmanuel Macron in May, but anti-NATO, anti-EU sentiment will continue to run very high among both the French left and right.
10 See Sven Biscop, “How the EU can Save NATO,” EGMONT: Royal Institute for International Relations, Security Policy Brief no. 83 (March 2017), http://www.egmontinstitute.be/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/SBP83.pdf.
11 For projected benefits of the Trump presidency for Exxon, see Jenny Rowland, et al., “How Exxon Won the 2016 Election,” Center for American Progress, January 10, 2017, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2017/01/10/296277/how-exxon-won-the-2016-election/. If the ExxonMobil and Rosneft joint venture is forced to break up, then Exxon and Rosneft could swap assets in the United States and Canada and in Russia. But the gas deposits in the Arctic Circle are probably worth much more than the U.S. ones. And Bazhenov shale could prove ten times bigger than the Bakken shale of North Dakota. See Christopher Helman, “Why Forcing ExxonMobil Out of Russia Isn’t Going to Help Anything,” Forbes, September 14, 2014, https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2014/09/14/why-forcing-exxonmobil-out-of-russia-isnt-going-to-help-anything/.
12 Russia essentially has had three sets of sanctions put on it by the United States since Crimea became part of Russia. U.S. Department of the Treasury, “Ukraine-/Russia-related Sanctions Program,” June 16, 2016, https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/ukraine.aspx.
13 Reuters, “US Shale Firms Go Back to Work after Donald Trump’s Victory,” November 14, 2016, http://fortune.com/2016/11/14/donald-trump-victory-us-shale-oil/.
14 See Jon Hellevig, “Putin 2000–2014, Midterm Interim Results: Diversification, Modernization and the Role of the State in Russia’s Economy,” Awara Group, December 2014, https://www.awaragroup.com/upload/awara-study-russian-economy.pdf.
15 See my arguments prior to the Russian annexation of Crimea, in Hall Gardner, NATO Expansion and US Strategy in Asia: Surmounting the Global Crisis (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
16 Roman Olearchyk, “Ukraine Imposes Cargo Blockade on Breakaway East,” Financial Times, March 15, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/276f3fd8-098c-11e7-ac5a-903b21361b43; Nicolai Petro, “The Bizarre Reason Ukraine Could Be Facing a Legitimacy Crisis,” National Interest, March 15, 2017, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-bizarre-reason-ukraine-could-be-facing-legitimacy-crisis-19787.
17 The United States and Turkey are in fundamental disaccord over U.S. support for Kurdish factions in Syria who are fighting the Islamic State. Turkey fears that U.S. military support for Kurdish militias will backfire if Syrian Kurds are able to forge enclaves inside a collapsed Syria where they could potentially back Kurdish secessionist movements inside Turkey in alignment with the Kurdish PKK. This is one of the major problems that has caused Erdogan to look toward Putin for support. As a consequence, Washington will need to work with both Russia and Turkey and the Kurdish factions in order to find mutual accords once (or rather, if) a Syrian settlement can be found.
18 George F. Kennan, “Letter on Germany,” New York Review of Books, December 3, 1998, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1998/12/03/a-letter-on-germany/.
19 Nikita Vladimirov, “Trump Vows to Restore ‘Peace’ along Russia, Ukraine Border,” The Hill, February 4, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/international/317943-trump-vows-to-restore-peace-along-russia-ukraine-border.
20 One option is for Moscow to lease Crimea from Kiev. Great Britain had leased Hong Kong for 150 years after seizing it from China. The U.S. had leased the Panama Canal zone, after supporting and recognizing Panama’s independence from Colombia. In the 1921 Thomson–Urrutia Treaty, the U.S. then paid Colombia and granted it special privileges in the Canal Zone for recognizing Panama’s independence.
21 For a prescient analysis that forewarned of the crisis, see Rilka Dragneva and Kataryna Wolczuk, “Russia, the Eurasian Customs Union and the EU: Cooperation, Stagnation or Rivalry?,” Chatham House: Russia and Eurasia Programme, August 2012, http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/public/Research/Russia%20and%20Eurasia/0812bpdragnevawolczuk.pdf.
22 Helene Cooper, “Mattis Rejects Closer Military Ties with Russia as He Reassures NATO,” New York Times, February 16, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/16/world/europe/jim-mattis-nato-russia.html.
23 See my forthcoming book, World War Trump (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2017).
24 Pence’s speech in Munich in February 2017 was generally interpreted as repeating Trump’s threats that the United States might not support NATO allies who do not pay their share of the defense burden, most importantly, Germany. Ewen MacAskill, “Pence’s Speech on NATO Leaves European Leaders Troubled over Alliance’s Future,” Guardian, February 18, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/18/trump-pence-eu-nato-munich-conference-germany-britain.
25 Ben Aris, “Moscow Blog: Is Russia Seeing the Start of a Colour Revolution?,” Intellinews, March 26, 2017, http://www.intellinews.com/moscow-blog-is-russia-seeing-thestart-of-a-colour-revolution-118327/.
26 Kennan, “Letter on Germany.”
27 A better option—the option not chosen—was the cooperative-collective security approach that would have strengthened the Partnership for Peace (PfP) initiative, as urged by Paul Nitze and General Jack Galvin, among others. This approach would have included Moscow from the beginning. See Hall Gardner, Dangerous Crossroads: Europe, Russia and the Future of NATO (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1997); Crimea, Global Rivalry and the Vengeance of History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).