Friday, January 13, 2017

The chess player and his needy friend: What Vladimir Putin really wants from Donald Trump


At Cityam by John Hulsman  --

Chess players are a particularly rare bird in the political risk ecosystem. The only major aim of such chess playing – and it is certainly an important one – is the acquisition and retention of political power over the long term.

Chess players’ dogged, patient, rational, long-term pursuit of coherent strategic, political and geopolitical ends flies in the face of the fruit fly-like attention spans of most people in the modern world. In our own time, a mass media which gives me the constant choice of reading literally hundreds of foreign policy articles on any given day means that the endless churn of the short-term news cycle provides a perfect hiding place for political actors with more fixed policy strategies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is the living archetype of the chess player as decision-maker 

Putin’s aims are simple, though achieving them is not. He wants to, in Tsar-like fashion, utterly dominate and control Russian politics. Second, he wants to – much as De Gaulle did in France after the war – restore his proud country to great power status. Everything else is secondary, merely means serving these two overriding ends.


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