Re: Alternate States
There seems to be a popular delusion that Trump is somehow a Russian puppet or somehow better for Russia.
Just consider this, economically Russia is very heavily dependent on Oil and Gas revenues. Currently Oil and Gas prices are at relatively low levels for one main reason - the resurgence of the USA as a major producer through fracking techniques. Which of the two candidates in 2016 would have been most likely to promote fracking and which would have mostly opposed it ?
There seems no doubt that in economic matters at least, Trump is far worse for Russia, and given the current economic woes the Russians have because of low O&G revenues, I think that would be an important consideration. Global political consideration may be important, but if your state is under significant budget stress, wielding any external power can be problematic. The US wields extensive power not just because it has a large and mostly competent military but also because it can afford one and afford to deploy it.