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Biden Still Behind The Curve With Ukraine

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.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

14 Comments

  1. frank stetson

    We all want the war over ASAP; any war. We would love anything that expedites reaching that goal. But putting our kids in harm’s way means we are risking their lives in defense of our nation. IMO, that’s as serious as it gets. Is our nation in peril, at risk from Putin’s Russia? Based on Ukraine, it would appear not (except for the nukes, but that’s no change from pre-Ukraine). I contend we are not there yet, and credit Joe Biden for his success in that.

    Has Biden done anything that puts our country or kids at greater risk? No, IMO.

    Larry does not seem to fear nuclear war, especially with tactical nuclear bombs.

    Russia has about 2,000 of these, the US has 230. The Russian version can be bomb, missile, some mobile and hard to track. Certainly, they are on the western border but many are mobile, on trucks with missile launchers. Could be on their subs too, we go for larger fare there, ours are the last thing the Russians will see. The US tactical versions are mostly bombs and stored in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey. We have low numbers of tactical’s because they are not really a deterrent when you have the big ones. Like we would fire a few tactical’s and call it a day? Hey, it’s just a few cities, let’s stop and talk…. Right.
    Larry seems to think these tactical’s are livable, like people “survived” Hiroshima. They are 5 to 10 times more kilotons than the Hiroshima bomb, good luck with that. And then comes the big ones.

    In hindsight, Biden:
    1. entered the War quickly
    2. put back together the Trump-damaged NATO creating the coalition which has held firm, even added countries to NATO for a global response.
    3. created ever-increasing global sanctions for a global economic squeeze while not running out of energy supplies to Europe during the winter.
    4. avoided escalation with Russia
    5. helped make Ukraine the largest military force in modern Europe
    6. kept our kids out of the battle
    7. seems to be holding it’s own, if not winning

    I would love the war to be over, but Ukraine did not lose as Larry, and I, predicted, so far. Russia has not exactly galvanized behind Putin who is suffering terrible loses, needs mercenaries, and conscripts to continue. Putin has not been deposed, but it seems apparent that for the war to be over, he will have to leave, and the big question is will he let the big one loose before he does. Or can they oust him before he goes that far. So far, Biden has threaded that needle and that’s a huge victory in my book. Because I disagree with Larry and feel when the first one of these tacticals goes off, in war, the world will be changed forever. The entire world.

    On this Memorial Day, I say —- hello, Joe, and thanks for the no go to war while keeping Ukraine in the fight.

  2. Tom

    I think in the beginning that being a little behind the curve and having to catch up was acceptable. But now it seems like Biden’s plan is to drag his feet and be embarrassed by other European states into giving more. England and Germany embarrassed him into sending tanks. Estonia, Poland, and Sweden embarrassing him into fighter jets. Ukraine is now getting missiles that can reach into Russia as well, but I forget from where but I do not think it is the USA. I think Obama called this “Leading from Behind”. Sort of makes me wonder if Obama isn’t in the background somewhere giving Biden advice. And this strategy of just giving Ukraine enough to continue the fight is bothersome because it smacks of another Vietnam kind of strategy in a way. Putin will not stop at Ukraine if he gets his way and wins territory without having to repay for all of the civilian damage and no criminal trials. So we need to be in it to win. The Western Europeans know this, and that is why they are dragging Biden along. It is better for them to drag Biden than not to have Biden there at all.

    Biden has in the past given three reasons why he does not supply some of these advanced weapons: 1) Not encouraging Putin to use nukes, 2) Level of maintenance required to support these advanced weapons, 3) Does not want any advanced weaponry being captured by Putin. Reason #1 is just hype. He will not be using any nukes. Reasons #2 and 3 do seem valid. And then there is China sitting on the sidelines as a bit of a wild card. I think as long as NATO stays physically out of Ukraine, China will stay on the sidelines. China has no concern for Ukraine and has stated that Ukraine does not have a right to exist. China’s only concern is economics. And right now their economy is sagging quite a bit.

    • larry Horist

      Tom …We agree on #1. The nuclear threat is intimidation — an empty threat. On #2, Biden is bullcrapping. He spoke of the difficulty of operating the Abram’s tanks. They were promoted as the easiest tanks to maintain and operate. Hell .. even I drove one of those. Biden is now training Ukrainian pilots. Couldn’t he have done that a lot earlier? On #3, I am laughing. This is a guy who is worried that Russia will get some of our advanced weaponry. This is a guy who left behind billions of dollars in weaponry in Afghanistan. And what is the logic. Does one NEVER actually use the best weapons because the other side might capture some of it. That is a reality of EVERY war. I think it all comes down to ONE factor. Biden is weak — and perhaps too influenced by those in his Party on the radical left, who have never been known to stand up for America or western interests.

      • frank stetson

        “This is a guy who left behind billions of dollars in weaponry in Afghanistan.” Really — advanced weaponry? All in solid working order? Oh, the horrors of war. What and how much?

  3. Darren

    TOM, I have to agree with everything you wrote.
    I think you have it %100.
    Remember, Biden has made personal profit from Ukraine and has
    personal interests in Ukraine.
    If boots ever hit the ground from the .U.S. in that country this would mean the U.S.
    is involved Personally in a war and Profiteering could spell Treason for Biden.
    As usual, this country will fund and fight with equipment while Ukraine’s loose their lives.
    Does anyone read history were we Backed the Russians during the end of WW2 as they lost 10,000 men a day!
    Aw, but WE defeated the enemy.

    • Frank stetson

      What profit did Joe Biden make from Ukraine?

      BUSTED

      • Darren

        His Family, and ya, 10% to the big guy.

      • Tom

        Actually Frank, I do not think it is the case that the proof is not there. IT is more a case that Biden and his crime family have hidden the proof among 11 or more shell companies that are llc’s. And banks are not cooperating at giving over all of those alerts they generate when there are suspicious deposits. There is proof that the llc’s exist thanks to the Chinese being happy to hand over their evidence. The llc’s will now be audited and we will see more later. Better hold on to that bust because the fat lady ain’t sung yet! :>)

        • `frank stetson

          There are SARs indicating money going to Biden family members from Romania and China. SARs do not include proof of illegal actions. There is no proof, to date, tying Joe Biden to this money.

          Yes, they are still investigating but look below to Comer’s current conclusion and put your lynching rope back on your saddle. They are looking still. Plus still looking for those thousands of FBI whistleblowers to blow the weaponization roof off that house…..

          So, sure, fat lady no sung, but either has there been fire found in all that smoke.

          Yeah — THERE IS NO PROOF yet and you saying the proof is there is wrong —- so far.

  4. Darren

    Frank, only you could believe if you put Lip Stick on a pig you could call it a Cow.

  5. frank stetson

    Darren,
    Like I said, what proof do you have?

    Comer just released a nothing burger with a lot of innuendo and zero new facts as to a direct connection with any of this money and Joe BIden.

    The SARs alone are not proof of guilt and none of them included a time to Joe Biden.

    Comer’s conclusion: ” “I don’t think anyone in America … would think that it’s just a coincidence that nine Biden family members have received money.” Get the rope and call him guilty —- Dareen.

    Meanwhile, Hunter under investigation with DOJ, sounds like tax issues, maybe foreign agent registration issues, and who knows, maybe more.

    They supposedly have $10M coming to Biden family members, but Romania and China, not Ukraine and not Joe. This is based on SARs that track the money but not illegality. You make that up.

    And while the Republican investigation says: it’s not credible that Joe didn’t know, there’s nothing wrong in the knowing and Republicans, at least the one on committee, have not said there’s illegality involved. You did though.

    I hope the investigation wraps up soon and clears the air. But so far, there is no tangible evidence tying Joe Biden to any money accepted by any member of the Biden family.

    BUSTED still (do you want all my sources, including FOX?)

  6. Mike f

    But back to the original article and Larry’s bashing of the dems and Biden in particular (of course-we understand that is what you are paid to do-you aren’t supposed to be objective). I tend to be somewhat hawkish, so I can sympathize with “we should have done more, earlier” philosophy. However, I shudder to think what would have happened if that other guy had been in office that was running against Biden, you know, the one who worships Putin and asked Zelensky to open an investigation against Biden to assist him in his reelection? Given that Zelensky turned down that request, and given trump’s notorious thin skin, I think that any thinking man would realize that Ukraine would have received far less assistance (only the assistance that Congress insisted on, and given the MTG noise on the right that would have been minimal). Bottom line, our Ukraine policy hasn’t been perfect, but it is so much better than we would have had if the majority of Americans voted like Larry did. So there tis…

  7. frank stetson

    “This is a guy who left behind billions of dollars in weaponry in Afghanistan.” Really — advanced weaponry? All in solid working order? Billions and billions?

    The number Larry didn’t come up with is $7B — it is mostly equipment in the hands of the Afghan army —- sorta like letting the Ukrainians have it to wage war and protect the soverignty of their nation. I guess Larry wanted to defund and disarm the Afghans before we left? Was that the Trump policy he expected? I doubt it, but what was Trump’s brilliant plan: “stay awhile, stay forever…” Sorry, early video game quote and elementary kids played so much, it’s etched in my mind like a bad song lyric :>) And that was only half of the equipment we gave them in the war’s entirety. Maybe he would fix it in 8 years like the debt….. Or “it’s easy” like ObamaCare. Or the Taliban are fine fellows like that nutjob in NK who never stopped developing, testing, and shooting missiles while his nuclear program continued unabated.

    Larry leaves out that almost anything the US used was either retrograded or rendered inoperable before we left, just as any PRUDENT person would think the military would do especially if you watched movies…..Total of the good stuff, the stuff Americans had, was about $150M that was US equipment left by US soldiers, rendered useless mostly, of the $7B. $150M of the “billions” and mostly rendered useless. Oh the horror of it all. Trump put us in more danger with his top-secret-document-theft for Mara Loser show n tell Drag Queen hour (I mean, have you seen that hair? drag queen!)

    More than 50% of the Afghan $7B was in vehicles. Humvees.

    But there was $500M in small weapons, over 300,000 of them held by the Afghan Army that undoubtedly feel into the Taliban’s hands. And yes, they may be turning up in places like Kashmir already. There is ammo on top of all that. These are the big ones, small arms and small arms ammo. Not like that shit ain’t falling off trees over there.

    I can go through the rest, but mostly Larry is using inuendo again to sow his usual fear and loathing about Democratic actions when the truth is the $7B is US stuff, old stuff, we gave to the Afghans that Larry says we should have destroyed or stayed there are babysat them FOREVER. Our stuff, the good stuff, was only $150M, most of which was rendered inoperable and all of which is very hard to maintain without parts and talent even if it was operational, which most was not.

    Larry’s mountain is a molehill that we smashed flat.

    BUSTED on the facts, you’ve been stomped, again, as usual.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … You deceive with impunity. First of thank you for confirming that Biden left behind billions of dollars in military equipment in Afghanistan. You are wrong to say that all the equipment was rendered inoperable by the retreating military. That was one of the criticisms of the Biden surrender. In trying to be my constant counterpoint, you are making a fool of yourself. But carry on.