Biden Still Behind The Curve With Ukraine
The news out of the G7 meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, was all good for Ukraine.
President Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to press his case for more aid from the world democracies – and he got it. He received pledges for billions more in aid and military equipment. Of course, those deals were already negotiated and concluded before Zelenskyy arrived.
That is how those things tend to work in the world of international diplomacy.
The most notable news was that Ukraine would soon be getting those fighter jets it requested from the onset of the Russian invasion. Several NATO nations – including Poland and Estonia – had offered fighter jets for over a year – but the Biden administration blocked the delivery, claiming Ukraine did not need them.
This time there was a notable change in Biden’s policy. He would no longer block the delivery of planes from other nations and support America in training Ukrainian pilots. However, the President still would not commit to planes from the United States. That will probably come later as Biden again withdraws from an earlier policy.
We saw in Japan that President Biden was consistently behind the curve in providing necessary support for the Ukrainian war effort. Biden’s fans like to brag about how he is leading NATO. Actually, he has been behind the curve of other nations – England, Poland, and the Baltic nations, to name a few.
Some television generals are engaging in double talk when it comes to Biden’s Ukraine policies. Generals Mark Hertling and James Stavridis are among those who praise the Biden policy as being spot on throughout the war. At the same time, however, even they said he could have – and should have — acted sooner in providing military aid – especially the jets. That makes no sense. Either the policy of sending war equipment was spot on, or it was habitually too late. It cannot be both – and the facts clearly show which claim is correct.
What the generals were saying – as that tried to sound as if there were not saying — is what I have been saying since Putin invaded. The Biden policy has been too little too late. Fortunately for Zelenskyy, too little too late is better than not responding at all.
And it is not only humanitarian and military aid. Biden announced another round of sanctions on Russia during the G7 confab. At the onset of the War, Biden said that Russia would be hit with every sanction possible. That was not true then – and it appears the United States has not yet run out of sanctions. Biden likes to talk tough, but his policies are weak.
It seems that the American policy is for Zelenskyy and Putin to arrive at some sort of negotiated settlement. That can only mean Putin retaining a chunk of Ukraine — minimally the Crimea and the Donbass Region. There would be no surrender by Putin … no reparations for the damage he has done and the lives he has taken … no war criminal trial … and Putin would remain in power.
There is still room to support the Ukraine war effort. We should do more than train Ukrainian pilots. The United States should give them the planes and the most advanced weaponry. We should also lift Biden’s restrictions on hitting targets inside Russia. Minimally, Ukraine should be supported in taking out military installations, weapon batteries and ammunition supplies on the Russian side of the Border. The allies should provide all the intelligence available in targeting Russian facilities. Hopefully, we are working surreptitiously in supporting the growing internal unrest and rearguard action inside Mother Russia.
I am convinced that if the United States and NATO had gone all in at the onset of the invasion – and not been intimidated by Putin’s nuclear saber-rattling – this war could have been over by now with an utterly humiliating defeat for the Madman of Moscow.
The United States still has the most powerful and advanced military in the world. Add that to the NATO contributions, and Russia becomes insignificant. But if you do not use the strongest and most powerful military in the world when necessary, the claim is meaningless.
You may recall that there was a Russian offensive in the Spring. Or maybe you did not notice. It was a lot of sound and fury amounting to nothing. Russia is claiming the taking (leveling) of Bakhmut as a victory. It is a Pyrrhic Victory at best. It cost the Russian military more than 100,000 soldiers and weakened the entire military just as Ukraine was about to mount its offensive.
We can only hope that Biden will join NATO in putting the power of the democracies into the mix. It would be nice if Ukraine should do its own version of “shock and awe” military action when it launches its upcoming offensive. Hopefully, Biden will show a little more testicular fortitude in the future.
So, there ‘tis.