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January 23, 2017 | Putin Opens Door for U.S. Alliance Against Terrorists

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.


In conjunction with a massive air strike by Russian bombers, and with Donald Trump’s inaugural promise to eradicate radical Islam, Vladimir Putin has ordered Iran/Hezbollah forces out of Syria. This bold stroke required no treaties, U.N. speeches or shuttle diplomacy — only the calculation that Iran would not dare get in the way of U.S.and Russia forces intent on hitting ISIS and al Qaeda with everything they’ve got.

Putin’s act of statesmanship has given Trump a singular opportunity to repudiate his predecessor’s feckless strategy of “leading from behind”. By expelling Iran, Putin would cast aside an ally that has worked relentlessly to make trouble for the U.S. throughout the world. The Russian president presumably did so in order to simplify the Syrian conflict so that Trump can sell a joint U.S./Russian mission to Congress. Huffington Post, CNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post et al. will wax apoplectic trying to deconstruct Putin’s “hidden agenda”. What they will inevitably neglect to consider is that, for once, in this urgent instance, Putin has made his motives perfectly transparent. He also will have laid to rest — in the minds of Trump’s detractors, and possibly even in Trump’s own mind — the question of whether he need be America’s friend in order to be our ally.

Finally, Something to Fear

As for the terrorists, for the first time in their history they will have something to fear: the combined military might of U.S. and Russia, assisted by Israeli intelligence and drones; and a battle plan sufficiently clear to justify putting troops on the ground. Assuming the mission is successful, it could be extended to Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and all other places where jihadis currently hold sway. The legitimate leaders of those countries will welcome Russian/U.S. troops with open arms, confident that the Putin/Trump alliance will be able to destroy the terrorists, their training camps and their weapons factories.

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January 23rd, 2017

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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