U.S. needs to know the Russians

To the editor:
I agree with the March 12 article about the dangers Russia presents to the United States at this point in history as opposed to Cold War times. They pose little danger as compared to Iran, North Korea, etc.
President Trump, for all his tweeting flaws, is right about Russia in one way. It would be a good thing if we could work with Russia on areas of mutal concern without demonizing each other for past sins.
I believe in knowing one’s friends well, but knowing one’s adversaries better. We gain nothing but greater distrust by refusing to talk to adversaries who are not interested in starting an armed conflict with us.
It is unwise to castigate General Flynn or Attorney General Sessions for talking to a Russian ambassador. To assume that either of these men, after a lifetime of national service, was somehow involved in some dark conspiracy that would damage the U.S. is beyond naive. It is incomprehensible.
I think it is in our best interests for our representatives to develop an understanding of those on the other side. That can only be done by personal contact.
Russia can’t be discussed without considering Vladimir Putin. And yes, he is sane. Beyond that he is a complex person.
First, he hates the degradation that Russia suffered with the fall of the USSR. I think he has one purpose in everything he does, “to make Russia great again”.
In his dealings he is highly intelligent and notoriously cunning. He respects success and power and has contempt for those who do not possess it. That is why he has “made nice” with President Trump.
Putin trusts no one. He has a simple answer for those who seriously oppose him ­— assassination. Yes, Putin is a complex man, but not to be trusted with one’s welfare.
Richard Grabmeier
Albany