Not long after President Donald Trump's inauguration, administration officials tossed about the idea of withdrawing troops from Russia's border in an effort to appease President Vladimir Putin. Nothing came of the proposal.
Kevin Harrington, the National Security Council’s senior official for strategic planning, suggested in February 2017 that U.S. troops be removed from areas near Russian borders in order to “refram[e] our interests within the context of a new relationship with Russia,” a former official, who was present when Harrington suggested the idea, told the Daily Beast.
Harrington was interested in developing a friendlier relationship with Russia and believed that sanctions against the country were hurting that possibility.
The former official said he believed the idea was ill-advised and that the Kremlin would perceive the move as a go-ahead from the U.S. for additional provocations in areas such as Ukraine and Syria.