Robin Diel: FDR and Stalin were the first Russo-American ‘Bromance’
Unfortunately, President Trump’s infatuation with a Russian leader is not unprecedented in the history of American foreign affairs.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), 32nd president of the United States, had a similar relationship with Joseph Stalin. During the Teheran Conference in 1943, FDR participated in a scathing treatment of the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. FDR humiliated Churchill in order to “charm” the Soviet dictator. Roosevelt did this despite views in the U.S. Senate that saw Stalin as “the most ruthless dictator in the world.”
FDR’s cooperative approach with the Soviets and suspicion of the British dominated his foreign policy in the last two years of World War II. Roosevelt opposed the British liberation of Greece and failed to oppose Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Stalin violated agreements made at the 1945 Yalta Conference and imposed a Soviet Empire on those nations.
President Trump has fallen into this same trap. His alienation of NATO, ridicule of our British ally, and belief in the power of his personality is strangely reminiscent of FDR’s approach with the Soviets that failed. How many times must we repeat the mistakes of the past?
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