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Trump’s Ukraine ‘Peace’ Plan Comes Into View

As the Republican Party continues to shift in a more [1] openly [2] pro-Moscow [3] direction [4] (here’s the new RNC Chair [5] declaring Ukraine an “aggressive” election meddler), the Trump crew is at last presenting – via the usual trial balloon via leak – their plans for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In effect, a Trump Administration would let Putin keep what he gained, and then some (WaPo [6]).

Trump’s proposal consists of pushing Ukraine to cede Crimea and the Donbas border region to Russia, according to people who discussed it with Trump or his advisers and spoke on the condition of anonymity because those conversations were confidential. That approach, which has not been previously reported, would dramatically reverse President Biden’s policy, which has emphasized curtailing Russian aggression and providing military aid to Ukraine.

As bad as this is – and letting a tyrant swallow a chunk of territory like this would be a catastrophe – Trump et al are talking about handing Putin territory that is still in Ukrainian hands (emphasis added).

The Kremlin in September 2022 declared that it was annexing four southern and eastern Ukrainian provinces, including the Donbas region but extending well beyond it … Kyiv still controls much of the territory

Meanwhile, there would be nothing to prevent Russia from re-arming and trying again in the future. Emma Ashford of the Stimson Center called the whole plan “terrible.”

What’s even worse is the utterly naive motivation behind it – and even Trumps’ would be allies agree with me on that one. Trump and his people are still clinging to the notion that the charm of the Donald can reverse years of alliance between Putin and Xi Jinping.

Word of Trump’s plan for Ukraine circulated in Washington last November at a meeting at the Heritage Foundation between right-of-center foreign policy figures and a visiting delegation from the European Council on Foreign Relations. Former Trump White House aide Michael Anton described the expected contours of Trump’s peace plan as Ukraine ceding territory in Crimea and Donbas, limiting NATO expansion and enticing Putin to loosen his growing reliance on China, according to multiple people present for the meeting, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private discussion.

So not only can Putin keep what he’s stolen, but he gets a promise that future targets can’t get NATO to defend them – all for “enticing Putin to loosen his growing reliance on China.” In effect, Trump is hoping that forcing Ukraine to give up land will make Putin be nice to him and abandon Beijing. I’ve already taken apart [7] that nonsensical view. This time, an analyst from the very organization plotting Trump’s complete takeover of American democracy (the Heritage Foundation, via Project 2025) agreed with me (emphasis added).

James Carafano, a Heritage Foundation fellow who convened the meeting, declined to comment on the private discussion but criticized the idea of splitting Russia from China. “That is stupid idea 101,” he said. “Anything you could give Russia that they would really value would compromise all your other interests. The way to deal with the Russia-China relationship is to make Russia a weaker partner.

Of course, none of this should be a real surprise, given Trump’s long-standing hostility to NATO. If anything, we should be grateful this is seeing the cold light of day. The American people need to know just how far Trump is willing to go in appeasing tyrants. They also need to know how foolish his people are in thinking he or they can somehow prod Putin loose from the Chinese Communist Party.

All of the minor party candidates who could make the presidential ballot agree with Trump on Russia. Only one candidate is willing to stand up for Ukraine and for NATO: President Joe Biden [8].