The Russia-Ukraine war is unlike other battles. Russia is, without doubt, the perpetrator; Putin invaded Ukraine, a sovereign country.
But, make no mistake; the Biden administration was the catalyst that made Russia act. Team Biden botched things up in multiple ways, giving Moscow reasons to feel threatened.
First, President Biden needlessly invited Ukraine to sign a security agreement with the West in November 2021 when there was no imminent Russian threat. Border skirmishes between the Russian majority in eastern Ukraine and Ukrainian forces had been going on since Moscow’s Crimea annexation, but these were no reasons for Team Biden to needle Russia.
President Putin’s #1 demand, going back to 2008, was that Ukraine and Georgia should not become NATO-friendly nations. No country wants a nuclear-armed power next door. President JFK understood this during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, which he deftly averted through dialog with his Soviet counterpart.
Second biggest culprit is President Biden’s energy policy. From day one, the President pursued a policy of energy dependence on rogue nations to try to please the far left of his party.
We imported Russian oil and thereby enriched Russia. With enough money to fund the war, Putin could pursue his dreams of returning the country to past glory.
Third, before the war, President Biden projected immense weakness. The chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan, in August 2021, was proof enough. The world watched in horror, and the debacle confirmed to Putin the weakness of American leadership.
Fourth, President Biden’s foreign policy and national security team lacks diplomatic finesse. We see that repeatedly when officials use threatening language against major powers, force them to dig in, and use even more threatening language to deepen the abyss. Russia, China, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Indonesia, Brazil, and Colombia, nearly half the African countries – have either opposed Western action or remained neutral. It is little wonder that his team has never pursued peace as a possibility one year after the war. Worse, Biden has helped create a new cold war environment with China and Russia that will take decades to repair.
Fifth, President Biden foolishly relied too much on sanctions. Instead of drying out Putin’s war coffers, Biden’s sanctions only succeeded in dividing the nations into two blocs. The White House failed to persuade countries to stop importing oil from Russia. In fact, the record-high oil prices and willing buyers further emboldened Putin and fattened his war chest.
President Biden does not have a clear vision for Ukraine. Period. He has never articulated one and has always avoided it. Despite its valiant resistance, Ukraine is no match for Russia. As Zelenskyy says, it is a match between David and Goliath.
The U.S. sanctions are not working. Russia is still selling 10 million barrels of oil daily and can continue to fund the war.
Truth be told, the U.S. is fighting a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine. And we are involved knee-deep.
Images of President Biden’s botched Afghan withdrawal that beamed worldwide were traumatic; it was America’s lowest foreign policy moment of the past two decades. Each day now, Americans wonder if the President will make another Afghanistan out of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The chatter about World War III is no more a taboo. Over two-thirds (68%) are concerned that the conflict may become a nuclear war.
The media is also to blame for blindly cheerleading and not questioning the Biden administration at critical junctures. The silliest absurdity is that talking heads and columnists portray anyone questioning the war as an unpatriotic and anti-democratic Russian sympathizer.
President Biden’s overall approval rating was 46% in the recent TIPP Poll completed in early February. Only 40% give him good grades for handling the Russia-Ukraine war.
The nation’s debt is running at $31 trillion. Nearly 20% of Americans are skipping meals to make ends meet. The U.S. has sent $113 billion to fight the Russians. We are on tap for rebuilding Ukraine, which could cost upwards of $700 billion.
The war will have a lasting impact on the global economy. Many are shedding the old ways of doing business on the international stage. Under President Biden, the dollar is losing its stature as a reserve currency, daily. China is inking deals even with our erstwhile friends like Saudi Arabia. Russia is trading with India eliminating the dollar. The war forces countries to look out for their interests, even if that means breaking ranks. The White House’s inability to persuade those outside the EU to fully support Ukraine and provide able leadership is taking a toll on America’s standing.
The war has been raging for a year. Yet, there is no end in sight. Instead of exploring avenues for peace, Biden is playing to the media and warmongers, spouting lines like “as long as it takes” and “whatever it takes,” prompting Russian allies like China to consider joining the fray. The White House would do well to remember that there are no winners in a modern war, and innocent civilians always pay the price. While a mere politician would pursue punishment and penalties, a statesman would devise and implement a bilaterally acceptable peace plan. But then, President Biden’s weakness is foreign policy. Sadly, it is no hyperbole, and the world is paying the price for the nation electing him.