Francis Fukuyama characterized a Trump comeback as advantageous to Russia in a new interview with DW.
“Russia will have achieved its major objectives simply by this change in American politics,” Fukuyama said.
He cited Trump’s apparent commitment to “pulling the US out of NATO.”
Francis Fukuyama, one of the US’s most influential political scientists, in a new interview with DW warned that Russia would benefit immensely if former President Donald Trump is reelected in 2024.
“If Donald Trump makes a comeback in 2024, that solves all of Russia’s problems because he’s apparently committed to pulling the US out of NATO. Russia will have achieved its major objectives simply by this change in American politics,” Fukuyama said.
Throughout his presidency, Trump repeatedly criticized NATO — often taking aim at allies over their defense spending — and at times raised fears that he would move to withdraw the US from the alliance. Trump’s first impeachment also occurred, in part, as a result of him withholding congressionally approved military aid from Ukraine as it fought an ongoing war with Kremlin-backed rebels in the eastern Donbas region of the country.
Along these lines, Fukuyama — a Stanford professor known for arguing that Western democracies are the end point of all political and economic systems — characterized a Trump comeback as dangerous for Ukraine and potentially fatal to the unified front the West has put up in the face of Russia’s unprovoked invasion.
Western countries have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow, moving to isolate the Kremlin both economically and politically. But the war and related sanctions have not come without a cost to the West, with inflation and energy prices soaring across the globe. There are open questions as to whether the West has the political will to continue its unwavering support of Ukraine as the economic hardships place more pressure on governments.
Meanwhile, NATO is on the verge of adding two new members — Finland and Sweden. Congressional Republicans who are allied with Trump have expressed opposition to adding the two Nordic countries to NATO, underscoring the ongoing sway the former president’s worldview holds over the GOP.
“That’s why I think it is really important that Ukraine make some progress and regain military momentum over the summer, because unity in the West really depends on people believing that there is a military solution to the problem in the near term,” Fukuyama said. “If they feel that we’re simply facing an extended stalemate that’s going to go on forever, then I think the unity will start breaking, and there’ll be more calls for Ukraine to give up territory in order to stop the war.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley on Wednesday said that the conflict in Ukraine is likely to continue as a “grinding war of attrition” for the time-being. Last month, former US ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer told Insider that some assess the war could last into 2023 or 2024. This means that the fighting in Ukraine could still be going on amid the next US presidential election.
Though Trump hasn’t made a formal announcement, the former president is expected to run again in 2024.
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