The war in Ukraine is now 8 weeks old. According to news sources, given the rising casualty rate and severe international isolation, a small but growing number of Kremlin insiders are questioning Putin’s decision to go to war. These insiders believe that it was a horrendous mistake, which will set Russia back for years. Be that as it may, these insiders see little chance of Putin changing course. According to sources, Putin is growing more and more reliant on a narrowing circle of hardline advisors and he is dismissing those officials who are advising him of crippling economic and political costs.
If this does sound familiar it should. Donald Trump, in his first couple of years of his administration, was going through a similar process. The states were fortunate in that, initially, it could have been a whole lot worse. There were adults in the room such as John Kelly, H R McMaster, Jim Mattis, Sally Yates (Acting) and dare I say it, Rex Tillerson. If not for these adults, things could have been even worse, such as the US invading Iran, NATO being dissolved, the military being sent out during the Black Livers Matter protests, and the declaration of martial law.
As the 2020 elections drew closer, Trump kept attempting to put more yes men (men and women) or, moreso, weak yes men into positions that held power. Though it was Trump himself who wanted the power. After election day, when it became clear that Trump had lost, Trump surrounded himself with yes people who pushed his far fetched claim that the election had been stolen. While many, of his own party, at that time conceded that Biden had won, while he lost over 60 election fraud court cases, Trump kept pushing the far fetched claim that he had won. The yes people he surrounded himself with included; Rudy, Sidney Powell, Jeffrey Clark, John Eastman, and Mike Flynn. If not for a few brave adults such as, dare I say it, Mike Pence, Jeffrey Rosen (who along with Whitehouse layer Pat Cipollone told Trump there would be massive DOJ resignations if Trump appointed Jeffrey Clark head of DOJ) and Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, there quite possibly could have been a very different America today. We could have had a nightmare scenario of a second term Trump administration with a cabal of yes men surrounding Trump. American democracy would have been lost to American autocracy. First rule to be changed would have been the two term presidential limit. It would have been eliminated.
Right now, the world needs a few courageous adults in the Kremlin. Sadly, it is not going to be.