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Vladimir Putin’s warm-water lust

    Wednesday, August 29, 2018 -- (Long Beach, CA) -- The world is caught in a security vacuum, as the leader of the most powerful nation is turning his back on world affairs to focus on his own personal wealth, using political division and hatred as his tools.

    What is the greatest risk if America’s president leaves the world in a vacuum?

Our greatest foe -- Russia -- uses the vacuum to reach around the world for military domination.

    -- Europe and Canada quiver that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- founded by Harry Truman, to offset Soviet expansion across eastern Europe -- will be bankrupted by an American president ready to cut the ropes on global alliances.

    -- Asia watches as America’s president leaves early from a G-7 conference in Singapore, so he could have lunch with the insane leader of North Korea, who already has abandoned any deal to end the rising risk of a rogue nuclear nation.

    -- The entire southern hemisphere sees the American president tighten his domestic grip, to deny any immigration, be it Hispanics crossing the border, or intellectuals working in high-tech, or naturalized citizens from staying in the country.

    Through all of this, the only friendship that America’s president appears to rely upon is his warm, long-standing relationship with Vladimir Putin.

The greatest risk facing the world is that America’s president is about to face a bitter truth, that the leader of Russia will do anything needed to win what has for centuries been called, “The Great Game.”

    Started by the Czars, “The Great Game” asks one simple question: “Why shall control half the world?” When revolutionaries killed the Czar and his family, the Communists crushed 14 neighboring nations, to form a tyrannically-controlled Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Only when Adolf Hitler invaded the USSR did the Communists turn to America for help. When World War Two was over, quickly Joseph Stalin returned to “The Great Game,” and the expansion for the Soviets was an east bloc dominated by Moscow.

    Now, Russia’s Vladimir Putin stands ready to expand “The Great Game,” to asks a question of, “Ah, but who shall now control all the world?”

    Russia spans 11 time zones, but no warm water for an aggressive naval military. Mr. Putin sent Russian-backed forces into Ukraine to seize one-third of the neighboring nation that had gained independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The greatest military asset is the Black Sea, where the Russian navy can use the Crimea as it’s principal port.

How do Russian ships take over the world?

    Sailing out of the Black Sea passes through a narrow passageway between the continents of Asia and Europe. The nation of Turkey -- a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization since Harry Truman recruited them -- owns both sides of the passageway, with their capitol, Istanbul, in eye’s sight to the waters.

    If Russia wants to reach beyond the captured Black Sea, it must either cut a deal or invade a NATO member, by getting Turkey to allow Russian ships to sail into the Mediterranean. If the passageway is strategically secure, Russia can compete for control of Europe and north Africa.

    The Russian navy sent an armada to the coastal waters of Syria, saying that the United States was slapping around Syria, which Russia already claims as the bully who will beat them down. If Turkey cuts a deal with Russia, Mr. Putin’s navy has a main base in the Crimea, secure passages into the Mediterranean, and use of the Syrian waters as a warm-water port for competition over two continents.

    Europe fears that a Narcissist cares more about getting personal wealth through a friendship with Vladimir Putin than staying true to global security alliances in place since World War Two. Already, the President has held his arms over his chest while the Chancellor of German begged American not to abandon NATO, while fellow leaders watched a reality TV moment.

    Already, the President used his first State Dinner in the White House to lure the President of France to ditch the European Union to get a sweet deal between their own nations. When he returned to Paris, the French leader openly rejected the President’s policies.

So what would Turkey have as a choice is NATO collapses?

    -- Will Vladimir Putin again launch an undeclared war so that ships from the Crimea can cross through the narrow passageway between Asia and Europe?

    -- Is there an open assault by Russia against a long-term member of NATO, just as the Alliance is weakened by its dominant member?

    -- Does Turkey do what what Joe Stalin did when Adolf Hitler signed a secret deal to work together by not fighting one another?

If Turkey is lost or crosses over, what is the risk to the world?

    -- Syria becomes a warm-water port for Russian ships that can push back European ships while the American president turns his back?

    -- NATO collapses and Russia gains ability to expand once again into eastern Europe, to either seize territory or demand leaders that kiss Moscow’s ring?

    -- North African nations bend to allow Russian expansion, which could then include passage through the Suez Canal, to spread access into the Indian Ocean?

    If any of these emerge, they pose risk to global peace, and the rich man who has decades of a relationship with the current president of Russia will be able to sell America -- and the free world -- short, for the paltry benefit of his own pocketbook.

## END OF OPINION COLUMN ##






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Billy Orton is a novelist and historian living in Long Beach, California.