Ok Donald, I am sorry, I should have been more focused on international politics. I have focused too much on national politics, but I thought that was important too.
What would I advice in this situation?
First of all, you had, contrary to everybody in the defense community in the US, actually a good rapport with mr. Putin.
That was ruined due to the infighting in the defense community with you.
I hope everybody sees now, that that was a good thing. That you wanted to make peace with mr. Putin.
Having a friend in Vladimir Putin will give the US two things:
1. Peace at the eastern front.
2. A good ally in the fight against ISIS.
The fact of the matter is, that albeit wrong, mr. Putin has, as yourself, become a kind of scapegoat for all the problems of the West.
That is factually wrong, and it is not good for the peacekeeping efforts of the world.
When mr. Medvedev calls out an international war, that is serious.
Do we really want to do that? Think about it; Europe in flames, nuclear warheads, weapons so powerful that they can destroy countries in a blink of an eye.
This is what we get if we keep scapegoating mr. Putin.
I think what I would do, was to follow your first idea, and make friends with mr. Putin. Hinder that war, and use your resources carefully in the true wars; on IS and perhaps of China.
That would be the wisest thing to do, and that would make you a tough man and a good friend.
Mr. Putin also did pay dearly to support you, as you did pay to support him.
He is your potential friend, use that in the interest of the US.
Because then you may just end up making America Great again.
That is what we are truly aiming at.
G-d bless the wisdom of strategical thinking. G-d bless the peace that is still possible.