Select Page

United States (Biden) is Ukraine’s Biggest Impediment to Defeating Putin

United States (Biden) is Ukraine’s Biggest Impediment to Defeating Putin

President Biden has repeatedly said that the United States and NATO have given Ukraine all the military weapons and equipment they need to win the war.  That is obviously untrue.  Biden’s too little/too late policy on weapons and sanctions – and his influence on NATO — has only prolonged the war.

Biden’s strategy has been defensive only.  He has said as much.  He will help Ukraine continue to hold off Putin’s military – essentially creating a prolonged war-of-attrition.   That is what we have seen for the past year or so.  The Ukraine military has prevented Russia from taking over the country – although they now control more land than they did prior to the invasion.  Putin’s military has created a critical land bridge between the Crimea and the Donbass Regions that were previously controlled by Russia.

On the other hand, Ukrainian forces have not taken back a significant amount of Russian held territory.  There was some initial hope that the highly vaunted “summer offensive” would break the stalemate.  So far, it has not.  The Ukrainian advance is hamstrung by a significant Russian physical defense line.  The offensive is also stalled by lack of basic ammunition.  Ukraine positions and cities continue to be hammered by Russian aerial attacks.   Does that sound like the Ukrainian military has all it needs to win the war?

If the United States or NATO were providing all that Ukraine needs to win, there would be no shortage of ammunition.  Ukrainian pilots would already be flying fighter jets.  The west could have imposed the no-fly zone that President Zelensky requested at the onset of the war – and again at the recent NATO meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania.  Ukraine would have many times the tanks they have today if Biden had not blocked an earlier request.

It is not just a matter of new weapons.  Ukraine needs more of the long-range TOW missiles that can hit targets more than 4000 meters away.  More of the Javelin missiles and launchers – which President Trump started sending in 2018.  More Spike missiles and launchers than the European Union sent in 2022.

In terms of air defense, the United States has still not sent the belatedly promised NASAMS surface to air missiles that can hit targets 100 miles away.  Ukraine needs more of the Stinger low altitude air defense missiles that were initially sent by Trump in 2019.  They need more Patriot missiles that can take down long-range missiles and drones.

Ukraine needs a continuous flow of small personal arms – M4 carbines and M240/M249 machine guns that were initially provided to the country during the Trump administration.

(In view of the current domestic political climate, I think it is important to recognize that Trump reversed President Obama’s ban on sending weapons to Ukraine.  That played an important roll in upgrading the Ukrainian military prior to Russian invasion.)

Virtually every retired general appearing on the news programs – from FOX to MSNBC – has been unequivocable and emphatic that the United States and NATO must provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs to win the war asap.

I understand that there are political voices in both parties who call for ending all military aid to Ukraine.  Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of members of Congress believe in helping Ukraine defeat Putin – as do most of the American people.  We have heard the mantra that America and NATO will do whatever is necessary to defeat Russia.  So far, we have not been doing it.  If only President Biden’s actions were consistent with his rhetoric.

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.

15 Comments

  1. Tom

    But isn’t Trump one of the ones against sending military weapons to Ukraine? He seems to think he can end it in a day? And you and many others are still supporting Trump. About those weapons Trump sent to Ukraine, wasn’t that only after that pay to play scam became news that Trump was withholding weapons to Ukraine until he got Ukrainian dirt on Biden?

    Your article puzzles me? You condemn Biden for not doing enough yet he has done much more than the person you support? Seems a little like you are pushing on a door marked pull.

    • larry Horist

      Tom … Wow! You really missed the mark on this one. Trump was the one who sent weapons to Ukraine after Obama refused to do so. Trump did remind Zelenskyy of the weapons when he asked for information re Hunter’s activities in Ukraine — which were already being investigated by the Ukrainian prosecutor Biden later had fired by actually holding back aide until he got what he wanted. Trump never held back or cancelled ANY military aide. The weapons were delivered on schedule even though Trump did not get the “favor” he requested. Trump’s request did not hinder the sending of the weapons. You can question the appropriateness of Trump’s request, but you are TOTALLY wrong on the weapons issue. Trump was more responsive to Zelenskyy’s requests than Obama or Biden. I cannot think of a time that he turned down a Zelenskyy request.

      Yes, Biden and Congress have provided a lot of aid, but not enough and never on time. Biden has refused a number of requests from Zelenskyy. I have consistently called the Biden policy “too little/too late.” Biden has even resisted NATO nations that wanted him to send more — such as the jet fighters. Yes, one can say that Biden is sending more money and equipment than Trump, but that is because Biden and NATO were not able to stop the invasion Biden is dealing with wartime needs, That was not the situation with Trump.

      I am surprised that you call me a Trump supporter. Since you follow my writings a lot, you KNOW that I am NOT a Trump supporter. How can you say that without it being lie? You know better. I have been critical of his personality and some of his policies — and have indicated in a number of commentaries that he will not get my vote in the Florida primary. And you call that a “supporter”. Since I have known you as one of the more honest critics, I will assume and accept you apology.

      • frank stetson

        Obama refuse to send arms to a corrupt government with ties to Russia

        But Horist knew that………

      • Mike f

        Larry,, while I agree with much of what you say in your article you had to go and spoil it with all the debunked bullshit you put in this response to Tom. Everyone knows that the prosecutor was not fired to assist burisma, but was fired due to worldwide condemnation of his inaction on corruption-everyone that is but right wing nuts pushing conspiracy theories. And of course you brought up the infamous phone call that should have removed the orange one from office-it is totally unacceptable for a president to pressure a foreign nation to do something solely for his personal benefit-regardless of quid pro quo or not. However Republicans have lost their moral bearing and that impeachment fell by the wayside. Enough of your BS, this is why I respond to your writings-to point out your ignorance on various matters (a question you asked previously..)

        • Frank stetson

          +1 mike. And we all left out the part where Trump got dinged for holding back on money, basically blocking the will of Congress. It is not as Larry said that he paid on time.

        • larry Horist

          Mike f … FACTS. Obama refused to send arms to Ukraine. Trump did to defend against Russia. Trump never withheld military support for Ukraine for any reasons. He responded to every request from Zelensky. Biden did not. Biden could have done more and sooner with weapons and sanctions. In terms of Trump’s request re Hunter Biden’s activities, you can certainly criticized how he handled it. But … is there no American national interest in knowing if the son of the former Vice President is engaged in illegal activities associated with the father? And how do you justify Biden’s holding up aid until the prosecutor investigating Burisma and Hunter was fired. That smacks of abuse of power even if the prosecutor was otherwise considered corrupt. I think it is noteworthy that when the prosecutor was fire, the investigation of Burisma and Hunter ended. In terms of Biden, there was a quid pro quo. that is not true in the Trump case. I do think Trump’s approach was clumsily and typical of his nature, but I never thought of it as an impeachable offense.

          • frank stetson

            “Trump never withheld military support for Ukraine for any reasons.” Horist 8/4/23

            “Why The Trump Decision To Delay Aid To Ukraine Is Under Scrutiny” npr 12/6/19

            “Trump administration broke law in withholding Ukraine aid” cnbc 1/16/20

            “White House acknowledges strings attached in Trump withholding Ukraine aid” reuters 10/17/19

            BUSTED

          • frank stetson

            “Biden’s holding up aid until the prosecutor investigating Burisma and Hunter was fired.”

            “Shokin was not prosecuting Burisma.” cnn fact check
            “While there had been an investigation of the company, Shokin’s former deputy, Vitaliy Kasko, has said that it was dormant at the time of Joe Biden’s intervention. (The former US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, George Kent, testified in Trump’s impeachment inquiry that Shokin was corrupt; the US and its allies had made a coordinated effort to oust him.)”

            “Shokin has alleged that he was forced to resign once he started looking into Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma, but a deputy prosecutor working under Shokin has said the Burisma case had been dormant at the time the U.S. was pushing for Shokin’s removal.” cbs news 11/10/20

            I am pretty sure that Hunter was never being investigated by Ukraine and Trump was impeached for the asking. Burisma was investigated previous to Shokin by another Russian-corrupted asshole, but not by Shokin except alleged as he was running for his life for corruption.

            BUSTED

            BUSTED

          • frank stetson

            “Trump’s approach was clumsily and typical of his nature, but I never thought of it as an impeachable offense.”

            There’s an archetype case of history repeating itself :>) On one hand, the thought of a VP strongarming a guy not to investigate his son is an impeachable move IMO. On the other hand, the thought of a President strongarming a guy to investigate his opponent and his son is OK? And what could go wrong with that?

            – Mar A Largo espionage/documents case
            – Georgia Election Interference case (not indicted….yet)
            – 1.6 Election Disruption and Fraud Case

            With more cases and reasons you should have impeached yet to come. No, Larry, he was eminently qualified to be impeached on the second case and I will say it also proves how far he had progressed from his jumblement on the Russian attempt to steal an election. Character matters, and how a party that wanted a guy’s head for getting a blowjob suddenly declares that using taxpayer dollars, duly anointed by Congress to provide military aid to Ukraine, to strongarm a sovereign foreign head to investigate his opponent, and his opponent’s son is just not correct, not American. He played Godfather with taxpayer dollars; that’s good enough for impeachment IMO. Your side let him off and look what he did.

          • larry Horist

            Frank Stetson … Look up the work “temporary.” The military aid when to Ukraine even though Trump did not get what he requested.. Citing incomplete stories from news outlets does not tell the truth … the hole truth … and nothing but the truth. Since you accepted badly written reports … incomplete … I will only say you did not do good research.

  2. frank Stetson

    I have vacillated between stay-the-course and not but mostly stay-on-course. Bottom line is experts are not sure if Ukraine can even handle more weapons. Perhaps airpower, but not sure how much more can be done on the ground with effective results.

    From my understanding, the offensive has started, is stalled, they are re-engineering the strategy, and will resume.

    Apparently, training in US methods to use said weapons, and the appropriate strategies, is tougher than expected. The mine fields have been tedious to get though. And the Ukrainians are re-engineering the offensive based on the lack of success.

    It is still too early to say failure, but certainly had hoped for more success.

    Time will tell, it seems like summer, but that Ukranian winter is something that neither side probably desires to see in war. IOW, I think they will need to see progress very soon or morale is going to fall in the Fall.

    But, given the results from training the Ukrainians to our weapon systems, adding more may not be the solution that brings the results that Larry suggests. We may need instead to focus on training them more on the systems they already have.

    On another note: Ukrainian strikes in Russia continue, I think that’s good. Sanctions are extended to Belarus, that’s good. The Russian economy is amazingly strong, citizens are used to living in constant economic turmoil, and government spending has propped up the economy, which may be bad as the bubble grows as the government is buying good will with citizens with higher pensions, salaries, even subsidized mortgages (remember, that one, we called the result The Great Recession). So, consumers are on a spending spree (remember, that one — we are still waiting for our recession) somewhat removed from war as they buy new house, vacations, etc. A mixed economic bag but always on the brink of a collapse if we just keep pushing forward.

    I think as the summer wanes, where Ukrainians are in the war will be foretelling as Winter approaches. I wish them best success with the re-engineered offensive strategies over the next two months. They will need some big wins before the snows,

    • Mike f

      Frank-Larry does not write about things the way they are-he writes about things that make either him or republicans sound good-with an occasional factual detail thrown in (case in point-the bullshit he has invented regarding me). I think both of us attempt to get the facts out so at least some of the people reading these tomes understand that what right wing pundits say is frequently not correct (another case in point of that-the description that republican members of Congress gave regarding hunter’s former business partner bs what was actually said…). Keep pushing for facts!

      • frank stetson

        While I find Mr. Horist the best of breed here and generally a man of his own, he does seem to dislike all things Democrat, he seems to blame most things on Democrats, and in that regard, a little slow to pick up on facts outside his paradigms. One case being that Democrats are racists, the cities are the proof, but somehow Republican-controlled locations with the same laws are different. I have some weird ideas too.

        This one is a little odd because Horist does not immediately accept blogosphere lore and on this one he has swallowed it whole even when I cast doubt. Now he’s got the proof, but rarely will own up to it.

        I have proved the this corrupt prosecutor did not have an open investigation in burisma, the one that did was closed before his time. He was not investigating Hunter either. I noted that Ukraine was corrupt, with Presidential ties to Russia, a great reason NOT for Obama to give them weapons at that time. And I proved that Trump did hold back military aid for which he got smacked about for. It is not like Horist to make these mistakes, much less some many, so close together.

        FYI: don’t really like it when he tee’s off on me either, but been doing this awhile, he’s nothing compared to others. Plus, I am considered a bit sharp, at best, so water-off-a-democrats-back sort of thing.

        So, there tishit.

  3. jboo7

    This description of Ukraine as a problem is short and missing out some important details:
    A. Ukraine is a MULTINATIONAL STATE: The “Ukrainian People” as one ethnic, cultural, linguistic “tribe” existed only in, say, 40% of the present “National” Territory, West of DonBass, North of Kherson and Odessa regions, East of Galicia and Volhynia.
    This has changed, with regards to Galicia (capital Lvov) and Volhynia which were Polish. And that change” was through UKRAINIAN NATIONALISM, GENOCIDE AND EXPULSION. These regions were, from 1918 on “UKRAINIZED”.
    They had been donated to the FIRST UKRAINE STATE, FOUNDED UNDER GERMAN OCCUPATION IN WWI, BY THE GERMAN HIGH COMMAND!
    This Ukrainization was completed in WWII, AGAIN UNDER GERMAN OCCUPATION USED BY UKRAINIAN NATIOINALISTS-FASCISTS FOR GENOCIDE AND HOLOCAUST!
    The Soviet-Union “tolerated these conquests by donating (with Western Approval) 1/3 of German territory in its East to Poland for the Polish population expelled by Ukraine-Nationalists.
    DonBass was, at that time less exposed to Ukraine-Nationalists Conquests, but UKRAINIAN SS FOUGHT ALSO IN ASSISTANCE TO GERMAN TROOPS, e.g. in going after partisans in Belarus and DonBass. DONBASS HAD BEEN RUSSIAN POPULATED SINCE THE RUSSIAN POST-MONGOL EXPANSION [Crimean fighters assisted, themselves engaged against Turkish occupation].
    When, RADICAL UKRAINIAN NATIONALISTS came to power in Kiev, WITH US ASSISTANCE and MASS MURDER ON MAIDAN, and “OUR YATS” Fascist leader (Yatsenyuk) declared ONE “UKRAINIAN NATIONAL LANGUAGE (Ukro-Polish-Creole of Galicia) , suppressing minorities (Russian: 30%+, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Rumanian, Tatar, Roma) and Russian-speakers in Odessa protested, Nationalist radicals attacked and killed 50 unarmed demonstrators and threw the dead into the flames of the Union Building that had been set alight.
    This MASSACRE and some others caused Ethnic Russian regions to SECEDE, and the Ukrainian Army came against them.
    THAT WAS IN 2014 – AND SINCE THEN, THIS WAR HAS BEEN A UKRAINIAN BUTCHERING OF EVERYONE WHO RESISTS “UKRAINIIZATION” – as before the millions in former Polish land.
    If that is “fighting for Freedom and Democracy”
    – why are 11 all opposition parties and “free press” banned?

    • larry Horist

      Jboo7 … Thanks for the history lesson. But today Ukraine is an internationally recognized democratic independent nation. If you base your view of Ukraine on history, then you can break up the United Statutes based on colonies, land purchases and military conquest. Most of the Mede terrain belonged to Italy. Most nations are composed of multiple ethnic groups — including the United States. Putin’s invasion violates international law and is being carried out with war crimes against the CURRENT Ukraine. We need to deal with the present reality. Should I assume that you are okay with Putin invading … causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children … disrupting the world food supply causing hunger and starvation in Africa? Putin is the closest we have seen to Hitler since … Hitler. Putin is an enemy of the United States. Is all goes well, Ukraine will be a member of NATO — the alliance that was formed to push back against Russian imperialism. I know what side I am on.