Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) launched a comprehensive verbal attack on Russian President Vladimir Putin—and criticized President Donald Trump’s unwillingness to do the same—in an op-ed published Monday by USA Today. Writing to garner support for Vladimir Kara-Murza, the journalist whom he called a “courageous Russian dissident,” McCain accused Putin of being “committed to the destruction of the post-war, rule-based, world order built on American leadership.” Kara-Murza, who is an American resident, is currently hospitalized in Moscow in stable but critical condition after a suspected poisoning, according to USA Today. McCain’s op-ed calls for Americans to support Kara-Murza and to recognize that “there is no placating Putin.” McCain criticizes those who would engage Putin diplomatically and catalogues the many crimes of the regime, from interfering in the American election to invading Ukraine and waging war in Syria. Putin wants a return to “a world of competing great powers,” McCain wrote, which is “the world that produced two world wars, colonial empires, and dehumanizing ideologies advanced by oppression and slaughter.” McCain called on American officials to “support the Russian people and their rights to liberty and justice, not the corrupt leaders who betray them.” In a pointed concluding sentence, McCain calls out Trump’s interest in renewing relations with Russia and says, “the President of the United States, the nation that has been the greatest force for good in human history, should be the first among us” to see the corruption of the Russian regime and fight against it.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.