Opinion | How Trump Helps Putin

Traditionally, the departing president writes a private letter to his successor, providing knowledge and greatest needs. President Barack Obama duly left such a letter for President Trump, as President George W. Bush did eight years earlier.

Imagine if Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, had additionally written a letter to Mr. Trump, one way or the other inserting it within the high drawer of the Resolute Desk within the Oval Office. What recommendation would Mr. Putin have supplied his American counterpart, the person whom Mr. Putin tried to assist elect, in response to the American intelligence group?

Mr. Putin’s targets are plain: to revive Russia to world greatness on the expense of the United States and to divide Europe by weakening NATO and the European Union. In Mr. Putin’s zero-sum calculus, when the United States and Europe founder, Russia advantages. The Russian chief is aware of that America’s world energy rests not solely on our army and financial may but additionally on our unmatched community of alliances from Europe to Asia. For some seven many years, our alliances have ensured that America’s energy and affect are magnified. Accordingly, Mr. Putin seeks to drive wedges between the United States and its closest companions, to pressure and in the end rupture its alliances.

If Mr. Putin had been calling the photographs, he would make sure that America’s reliability is doubted, its commitments damaged, its values debased and its picture tarnished. He would advise the brand new president to take a collection of steps to advance these goals:

First, withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the commerce settlement the United States negotiated to bolster its financial and strategic place within the Pacific, on the expense of China (and Russia). Then, pull out of the Paris local weather settlement, turning into the only country on the planet absent from this landmark accord.

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