Russia–US Tensions Likely to Escalate in 2017


There will be increased tensions between Russia and the US in the near future. That is the opinion of Jacob Shapiro, director of analysis for Geopolitical Futures. He argues that a Clinton win means the relationship between the US and Russia is going to worsen.

In an interview with Mauldin Economics, Shapiro begins by calling the Clinton campaign email leaks a “political sideshow.” He does not think it is a big deal, even if it was done by Russian hackers.


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Clinton Plans to Be Tough with Russia

Shapiro says that a win by Clinton is not likely to improve US-Russia relations. He notes that Clinton has long held a “tough stance on Russia.” She will most likely continue to be tough on Russia if she wins. She wants to have Russia be less involved in Ukraine.

Shapiro says that if she wins, we can expect her to be more “antagonistic to Russia” than is already expected.

US-Russian Relationship in Middle East Is Unlikely to Improve

The first topic Shapiro talks about is the geopolitical chess game going on in Syria today.

The fact of the matter is that the United States’ first interest in Syria is preventing the Islamic State from growing. Wiping out the Assad regime does not help them get to that objective. Obviously the United States doesn’t like the Assad regime, but it’s a secondary concern and they are not willing to expend the resources necessary to tangle with Russia over Assad when they [have] the battle for Mosul going on….

Shapiro says that Russia does not really like or care much about Assad. That’s not why Russia is there. The aim is simply to “develop some leverage in the place Russia cares about, which is Ukraine.”

US and Russia Cooperate on a Limited Basis in Syria

Shapiro points out that there is actually a good bit of “quiet cooperation” between the US and Russia in Syria. They organize cease fires and help coordinate the air forces of both countries to avoid shooting incidents.

Shapiro points out that Clinton has stated she wants a more aggressive policy in Syria.

Tensions Are Likely to Increase in 2017

Shapiro argues that it seems unlikely that tensions between Russia and the US are going to improve, no matter who wins the election.

He says, “The geopolitical situation for both of them does not have tensions decreasing at all. If anything, I think that Russia is preparing to get more assertive and the United States is going to stand against them.”

Shapiro also noted President Obama is not likely to be very active in new policies in the coming months if Clinton wins. He will consult with her if she wins and something flares up. But if Trump wins, Obama will likely make some larger policy decisions to “set things up in a particular way before he leaves office.”

Check out the entire video to get a better grip on where US and Russian relations are likely to go in the future.

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