On the face of it President Trump’s Russia policy is reactive and not proactive. It is tactical and not strategic. It consists of piecemeal tactical maneuvers, but in fact, it is a combination of continuity and improvisation. Trump’s approach to Moscow is adversarial reflexively because of his promise to “make America great again.”
America cannot be “great again” if it is perceived to yield to others in the international arena. President Vladimir Putin’s strategic goals conflict everywhere with “America first” policy. He wants to restore Moscow’s power over the post-Soviet zone and reassert himself in vital areas of America’s interest: the Middle and Far East. Since Russia’s objectives conflict with America’s goals, the White House and the Kremlin have clashed. It is a clash of titans because the Russian Federation has inherited the nuclear arsenal of the Soviet Union. Thus, Russia is the only power in the world capable of destroying us. This in itself puts Moscow in the category of its own as our adversaries.