Vladimir Putin was appointed Deputy Chief of the Presidential Staff by Boris Yeltsin in 1997. That same year, Aleksandr Dugin, a prominent political scientist, published a book that went on to become required reading for Russia's political, military, and intelligence elites: The Foundations of GeoPolitics The book lays out a program that Vladimir Putin has followed almost point-for-point. It lays out a program where Russian influence and domination is achieved not through conventional military or economic, through social and political means. But through The Foundations of GeoPolitics lays out a suggested course of action: Germany is to be encouraged to form the center of a European-bloc. France encouraged to join them in a firmly anti-American stance. Britain should be cut off from Europe. (Hello, Brexit?) Ukraine should be annexed by Russia: Donald Trump today announced he would consider recognizing Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and ending sanctions against Russia. Trump made the point of removing language in his party's political platform that supported Ukraine. It recommends applying "geopolitical shocks" within Turkey. These can be achieved by employing Kurds, Armenians and other minorities" China is to be encouraged to move "in a southern direction – Indochina (except Vietnam), the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia" as geopolitical compensation" for Russian moves in Siberia elsewhere in east Asia. The main focus of the book regards the United States, which Dugin and the Russian elites see as their main foe. This is to be accomplished by by spreading anti-Americanism everywhere: ""the main 'scapegoat' will be precisely the U.S." Hello Wikileaks. Within the United States itself: That is the roadmap Vladimir Putin is following. We have seen too many of the landmarks on that roadmap come to pass. We have seen Russia acting to destabilize its neighbors. Militarily in Ossetia. Annexing the Crimea. Funding and supplying renegade separatists in Ukraine. We have seen Russia seek to cow and intimidate the countries of Europe through its oil industry. Who knows what role Putin's thugs might have played in the disastrous British vote to leave Europe. Who knows what role Russia may have had in encouraging the Chinese to expand into the South China Sea. And today, Donald J. Trump handed Vladimir Putin the greatest gift he could hope for: The spoken assertion that a potential future US President was willing to walk away from our country's commitments. To sell Ukraine, and America's promise, down the river. A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for Vladimir Putin. Make no mistake about this. The United States might very well survive one Trump term in the White House. But I am certain that whoever follows Trump will face a world where the United States has been humiliated. Where our oldest and strongest alliance lies in tatters. And our society at home is more riven by strife and discord than ever before. Trump is an imbecile. Do not vote for him. He is playing into Vladimir Putin's hands. In my entire lifetime I have never imagined we would see a threat as dire as the one posed by Donald Trump dancing to the strings being pulled by Vladimir Putin.