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Leon Aron, CNN: Kerry's pointless diplomacy in Russia

(CNN)From the moment John Kerry's trip to Russian President Vladimir Putin's summer residence in Sochi on the Black Sea was announced, it was hard to see what the U.S. secretary of state hoped to achieve. Indeed, of the three objectives on Kerry's official agenda -- seeking Russian assistance in ending the Syrian civil war, bringing peace to Ukraine and "keeping the lines of communication open" between the U.S. and Russia -- not one made sense.

On Syria, for example, there is no incentive for Putin to let the conflict abate and every incentive to exacerbate it. The continuation of the Syrian civil war, which destabilizes Iraq, bolsters Iran and weakens moderate Arab regimes allied with the United States is clearly in Russia's geopolitical interests.

WNU Editor: For those who do not understand how diplomacy works (i.e. how they make the sausage) .... before the heads of state and/or their top representatives meet, the details and major points to be discussed are always done weeks/months in advance .... and when the leaders finally do meet, they are usually just meeting to formalize what has already been agreed upon and/or to iron out a point or two. U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry clearly has a different approach .... and from my vantage point .... I have trouble seeing how it is working for him. On a bright note .... on his Russian trip John Kerry at least got some potatoes .... Russia just gave John Kerry a basket of potatoes. We have many questions (Amanda Taub, VOX).

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