The bottom line: however Trump sees them, the Russians still see us as their number one enemy and chief geopolitical opponent. Syria is beside the point. Ukraine while definitely not beside the point, is by no means the whole point. Russia always wants to be seen as pushing the United States back and asserting its own power and influence in the world. It's national ego (and certainly that of its president) was badly bruised by losing the Cold War. It wants a new one- and this time, one it will win. Of course, if America is foolish enough to abandon the world to the Putins and the Kim Jung-Uns and the ayatollahs and let them run wild, the objective of reversing the blow to Russia's national prestige at the expense of America's will be accomplished that much more easily.
Donald Trump's naivete and ignorance about the world are dangerous in themselves. When combined with his egotism and stubbornness and unwillingness to brook opposition, they hold the potential for disaster. And when he's predisposed to take a benign view of a foreign power which sees us as their number one opponent.... well, draw the picture for yourself.
Here's hoping that the President-elect develops the humility to listen to people like Gen.Mattis.
HT: The Cyber Brief