Could Vladimir Putin have a sinister plan to disrupt the U.S elections and grow his own power with his own version of the ‘October Surprise?’
A lot has been made about Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s relationship. After years of professing some great relationship, Trump has spent the last couple of weeks trying to run away from any suggestion of the pair ever having any ties at all. This week, after it was revealed that his campaign manager, Paul Manafort had some pretty deep Russian ties, Manafort resigned, although some suggest it was more of a firing. Many have said that Putin is indeed trying to get Trump elected. The idea being that Trump would be easier to play and manipulate than Hillary Clinton. Trump, for his part, has seemed to play right along with Putin’s plan in some folk’s opinion. For example, Trump has openly criticized NATO and seemingly attempted to make our ties to the organization weaker, if not non-existent. Statements that totally defy long-standing U.S. policy.
But Putin’s previous alleged exploits to assist Trump like email hacks and revealing embarrassing information about Clinton and the Democrats might pale in comparison to what the former KGB head and Russian leader have in store for the fall. Keep in mind, Putin has used the distractions of events like the Olympics and Presidential elections to use for his own gain in the past. Like in 2008, as Israel’s oldest newspaper, Haaretz explains;
The world’s media is focused on the Olympics. In Washington, a tired president is about to complete two terms of office, and after having already been burned in the Middle East, has no appetite for foreign adventures.
Russia takes advantage of the situation to increase tensions on its border with a former Soviet republic, trying to get closer to the West. Armed provocations take place in contested enclaves where Russia already holds sway and the chances of a short sharp summer war increase.
These were the stages preceding the Russia-Georgia war in 2008, which erupted during the Beijing Olympics in the twilight of the George W. Bush administration. A very similar dynamic is taking place now between Russia and Ukraine during the first week of the Rio Olympics, while the world and Barack Obama are on vacation.
On Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced a full alert of the army units near the Crimean Peninsula, which was occupied and annexed by Russia two and a half years ago. The alert came after a series of accusations by Russia that special forces of Ukraine’s army carried out “terror” attacks in Crimea last weekend and tried to attack the land crossing to the peninsula.
According to Russia, an officer of the FSB federal security service and a soldier were killed in these attacks. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia “would not let this slide.”
Malcolm Nance is a former Navy officer who was involved in many intelligence operations. As an intelligence expert, he put together how Putin’s actions in Crimea could be setting up a scenario which would help Trump in November. The proverbial ‘October Surprise’ as he put it …
‘Here’s a little bit of strategic intelligence for you. Russia’s doing a military massing of forces right now in Crimea, they are moving forces. In what appears to be, what may actually be the October surprise — a military operation that takes all of southern Ukraine. I mean why else would they be moving anti-ship missiles which cover the entirety of the southern Ukrainian coast, armor brigades from all over southern Russia. It would be to go into what he calls ‘noble Russia.’ Now, that’s the sort of thing a spymaster, the former head of the KGB would do as a power play in the middle of the chaos of a political election.’
Why would Putin make such moves? Could it be he would want to do his invasion, thus causing Trump to be able to accuse Obama of being weak, then accusing Clinton of being more of the same weakness? It is very possible. Of course, that would have to make the American public forget that Obama handily outplayed Putin in the region throughout his Presidency.
Here is Nance explaining what might go down this fall;
Obama might indeed need to go another round with Putin this fall, and surely, Trump will be there to try to poke holes in whatever Obama does in this global chess match. Unfortunately, Trump will more than likely be interpreting the chess match as a game of checkers. However Clinton responds, one can be confident she will at least be familiar with and know the rules of the game. She also will probably have more of a plan to deal with Putin once she assumes office. Trump will probably have just platitudes and ‘secrets’ as he has all along if past behavior is indicative of the future, which, if anything, wouldn’t be a surprise at all.
Featured image via thefiscaltimes.com