Playing Chess in the Sea of Asov

A rare [and brief ;)] second note on the same day – hearkening back to Part I of the 2020 GOP Tea Leaves post, in which I suggested that President Trump may face long odds in any quest for a second term …

For any not conversant with the Russians’ hostile actions on November 25 against Ukrainian vessels seeking to enter the Sea of Asov, a link is provided below.  The Russians’ activities clearly indicate an attempt to seal off Ukraine’s use of a waterway that it shares with Russia.  These actions have been condemned by the international community.  This Russian effort is possible only because of its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

Russians are renowned for their ability at chess.  I would guess that President Putin is an above-average chess player, and I am confident that he well understands his place on the board.  (I would also assume that he fully appreciates the adage, “Possession is nine tenths of the law.”)  If Mr. Putin has determined, based upon the 2018 election results, that President Trump is unlikely either to seek or win a second term – and further surmised that Mr. Trump’s conduct of his office is likely to be constrained if not crippled during the next two years – he may have concluded that this is the time to begin moving aggressively to advance his position on the world board …

2 thoughts on “Playing Chess in the Sea of Asov

  1. Jim, don’t disagree Trump looks weak against Putin. I’m not sure Trump looks any weaker than Obama did when he did nothing when Putin invaded and annexed territory of a NATO ally in Ukraine. Unfortunately, Trump’s weakness is nothing more than an extension of USA policy of doing nothing.

    I would expect the next thing you will see is “little green men” in especially Estonia and Latvia. We can only hope Sec. Mattis has influence over policy.


    1. Agree that Trump hasn’t been any weaker than Obama, but am suggesting that Putin is moving now and will be aggressive over the next two years because he may suspect — as I do — that whoever is the next President from either party, s/he will be elected with a bipartisan mandate to be tougher on Russia. Glad I voted for Barack the first time — although McCain would have made a fine President — but sorry I didn’t vote for Romney (despite his own waffling) in 2012. He was right on Russia.


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