As President-elect Donald Trump may prepare to make peace with Russia, other forces within the United States are clearly against this adventure. Since President-elect Trump has yet to take office, and so us normal folks would not know what will be the concrete relationship between the United States and Russia. If Russia will not truly warm up to the idea of making lasting peace with the United States, we may see a more confrontational approach between these two powerful countries.
I think many powerful people in the United States fear that Russia may become too powerful again to the point in which Russia can once again expand into areas that were once Soviet Union’s territories. If Russia decides to do such a thing in the near future, a real conflict between NATO and Russia could very well play out in real-time. NATO is being watchful of Russia, so NATO’s troops are not too far from Russia’s border.The
United States is also worrying about China’s military expansion. Basically, the expansions of Russia and China at the same time could mean big trouble for the United States. If NATO gets weakened, Russia would expand and allow China to be more aggressive in the South and East China Seas.
Since Russia can never rely on the United States' friendship, Russia tends to move closer to China for obvious benefits such as economic and military ties. Furthermore, Russia would not want to make China angry as China is right across Russia's border. I don’t think Putin wants to see China’s soldiers' millions pouring across China/Russia’s border. China and Russia are both nuclear-armed countries, so the notion of allowing the conflict to get to the point of confrontation is definitely not very wise.
Meanwhile, President-elect Donald Trump may want to make nice with Russia in hopes that Russia could play nicer in the near future. This way NATO won’t have to be so active, and President-elect Donald Trump could have more freedom to deal with China alone. Nonetheless, Europe would be very worried since Russia’s president Putin could be very unpredictable. Nobody would know if Russia would ever do another Georgia invasion into a NATO member country. If President-elect Donald Trump isn’t careful enough, NATO’s member countries could take matters into their own hands and create the situation much worse.
If Russia is going to have a real conflict with NATO, the United States must come to the defense of NATO’s member countries. This means the United States could not play nice with Russia. Meanwhile, China is looking to push the United States out of the China Sea. Furthermore, Russia is not feeling easy as NATO’s forces are too close to Russia’s border. Basically, the United States if not tread carefully could face two fronts stemming from Russia and China. If this happens, the United States will have a tougher time planning and carrying out defensive measures against such confrontations.