A round of applause for U.S. President Joe Biden: he has just touched down in Ukraine in a show of support for a nation that has truly suffered like no other in the 21st century.
But there is a problem with all of this: if he was ever going to do this trip it is about six months too late and creates a massive amount of problems for the president.
Like what the heck is your Ukraine policy anyway? I do this for a living and I struggle to understand what it is.
Ok, the moment of truth, I don’t know what it is.
The problem for Joe Biden is people are now actually going to start asking real questions about U.S. policy when it comes to the Ukraine war. You don’t need a Ph.D. from Princeton to dream them up: what are our goals in Ukraine, how do we plan to achieve them, and what we are willing to risk to reach them?
And believe me, those are never questions any president wants to answer when it comes to matters abroad.
Imagine if we asked these questions before or even during Vietnam, Afghanistan, and the Second Gulf War? The world as we know it today would not look the same.
For example – and let’s try to look past Biden’s photo-op foreign policy moment in Kyiv – does anyone have a clue exactly what Joe Biden’s end goal is for giving Ukraine billions of dollars of military aid?
I can answer that for Joe Biden – he doesn’t have one.
Want proof? It seems the administration only gives the sort of aid that would make a difference – M777 artillery, HIMARS, M1 Abrams tanks and I am sure soon it will be F-16 fighters – when pressured – and only then. That means Ukraine has enough arms to push Russia back and gain some ground but never achieve anything spectacular on the battlefield.
There is no end game, just to make sure there is no media outrage that we aren’t helping Ukraine. You know, Biden has to worry about 2024 and keeping his poll numbers from not slipping any more than they have.
But from here the questions get even harder. Has Joe Biden ever articulated exactly how he wants to see the war in Ukraine come to an end? For example, will Biden press Moscow and Kyiv to start negotiating once say Ukraine pushed Russia out of all lands it took beginning one year ago? How long will America keep taking ammo and weapons out of its own stocks to help Ukraine fight? You can’t answer that until you get some sort of idea about the administration’s end goals and what the strategy is to get there. This isn’t a war we can keep supporting forever and ever – no nation can or would.
Or – and this is where things get quite dangerous- is Biden’s war goals in Ukraine something more extensive? Does Washington truly want to see Ukraine take Crimea, another land grab by Putin nearly ten years ago that could be a real Russian redline that could push Moscow into actually thinking about tactical nuclear weapons or something even worse? And what are we willing to risk to get that goal achieved?
For the sake of argument, let us assume that Joe Biden wants to help Ukraine take back Crimea and see the nation restore its borders to its pre-2014 state. How much money and equipment are we willing to spend to do that? What weapons platforms will we give Kyiv to accomplish that task? How much intelligence are we willing to share?
Joe Biden has opened a Pandora’s Box when it comes to his trip to Ukraine as it will force him to some extent to answer – or at least try to answer some of these questions.
I hope the photo-op was worth it.
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Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive and serves as President and CEO of Rogue States Project, a bipartisan national security think tank. He has held senior positions at the Center for the National Interest, the Heritage Foundation, the Potomac Foundation, and many other think tanks and academic institutions focused on defense issues. He served on the Russia task force for U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz, and in a similar role in the John Hay Initiative. His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum. He holds a graduate degree in International Relations from Harvard University and is the author of the book The Tao of A2/AD, a study of Chinese military modernization. Kazianis also has a background in defense journalism, having served as Editor-In-Chief at The Diplomat and Executive Editor for the National Interest.
Mary Ann Ruddell
February 20, 2023 at 8:20 am
Wow. I can’t believe you cannot figure out the objective. The objective is to stop Russian aggression with a show of strength. If Russia is successful in their invasion of Ukraine, they will not stop there. They will move against any of the prior Russian states. If they win, it will embolden China to try and take over Taiwan and show other dictators no one will stand up to them. I prefer a peaceful solution to this crisis but Putin will never stop this aggression. He’s fully committed.
February 20, 2023 at 9:00 am
Woohoo, hold your horses.
Biden needs to return home in one piece (mind & body) before anybody should dare trumpet about his visit to kyiv.
It’s quite possible, that after the visit, he’ll end up like boris johnson who lost office shortly after returning home from kyiv.
In biden’s case, he could lose his marbles (or what’s left of them) entirely, thus handing over the job to harris.
Remember, what’s been happening in ukraine since biden became president is 1000x worse than the animalistic riot that took place in new mexico penitentiary in feb 1980.
Look it up. (1980 New Mexico prison riot.)
February 20, 2023 at 9:11 am
And then there’s the question you don’t ask: is the U. S. willing to put American troops in Ukraine? Because in all likelihood that is what ejecting Russia from all erstwhile Ukrainian territory will require and that is the stated Ukrainian objective.
February 20, 2023 at 9:20 am
Mary, with all due respect, your comments merely restate the general points raised the article. When is the ‘show of strength’ supposed to end? What is a Russian defeat supposed to look like? The article simply states that the final goals have not yet been defined by Washington. And in my opinion, none of these actions in Ukraine will influence China’s actions in the mid to long term with respect to Taiwan.
February 20, 2023 at 9:30 am
And to be fair, Washington likely doesn’t have a concrete goal for this conflict that can be stated for the benefit of the media and its readers. It’s more likely a daily moving target, weighing the overall costs and benefits. Washington will start reducing support whenever it wants to, without ever having stated a final target. It’s politically easier to do it this way.
February 20, 2023 at 9:40 am
It’s fair to wonder what the result should be. And I have long been advocating the US get ahead of the game of the ever shifting red lines to give Ukraine better weapons faster so they can achieve victory.
That said, there finally does seem to be a somewhat coherent strategy coming together to supply Ukraine with the weapons they need to make another major push against the Russians.
GLSDB and other longer range weapons like Storm Shadow to shape the battlefield. HARMS and Harpoons to take out radars and ships… then new western provided tanks, IFVs, and mine clearing equipment to advance on the ground.
IF they can get the deliveries there and training done in time for when the mud dries in early summer, the timing should align well for maximum ability of Ukraine to maneuver off road while advancing against the Russians before the next mud comes in the fall.
Ukraine doesnt even have to physically take all of Crimea to make life there untenable for the Russians. There are only two roads into Crimea from mainland Ukraine so a full liberation would be tricky. Yet taking back left bank Kherson makes most [if not all] of Crimea in range for the variety of Ukraine’s soon to be had longer range missiles. Another bombing/missile strike of the Kerch Bridge would likewise add to the squeeze of logistics for the Russians. And shutting off the Crimean Canal that brings in fresh water would add further pressure.
They could play the long game and continue conducting missile strikes until the Russians decide to withdraw the way they did in right bank Kherson.
OR, At that point perhaps a window opens to at least offer to negotiate a lasting peace to avoid further bloodshed that a full liberation by force would entail.
That would have to include, among other things, a demilitarized Crimea, rights for the Crimean Tatars, full access to the Sea of Azov for Ukraine, and a steady supply of western missiles the Ukrainians can place in Kherson [and the rest of south and east Ukraine] in case the Russians ever try to steal Crimea by force, deny sea access, or otherwise invade Ukraine again.
Bottom line: it’s nice to want all the answers now, but it’s a bit more dynamic than that…and there should be flexibility to re-evaluate the options once another major liberation takes place.
February 20, 2023 at 9:58 am
Biden, in Ukraine, reiterated, the U.S. will continue to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”
Commenter: “The objective is to stop Russian aggression with a show of strength.”
There is a vague objective… help Ukraine achieve a position of strength, then have a “Winners” negotiation with Russia… Secretary of State, Tony Blinken.
Or is the goal to “weaken” Russia, as Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, stated last Spring?
Or is the goal to insure Ukraine ejects Russia from all Ukrainian territory, including Crimea, as stated by Victoria Nuland?
Vague or varied objectives lead to hard to define metrics of accomplishment… the measuring stick of success or failure of any given policy.
This is by design, I think.
Without a firm goal Biden can fudge whatever he thinks is possible at any moment in time, given the current political support for the policy.
Is the American public ready for another “forever” war, albeit without official American boots on the ground?
Obviously, many readers, here, are all in on another forever war… but I submit the general public is not.
How much time & money does Biden have before the public sours on this war?
While this war maybe “forever” for many, Americans’ patience is not “forever.” And, I suggest, Americans’ patience is shorter than for Iraq or Afghanistan.
Once burned, twice shy.
That’s the price of failure.
February 20, 2023 at 10:01 am
There’s no objective. Even now, with the startling results that the Ukrainians have so far achieved there’s still no certainty. Consequently, resources have been and will continue to be provided on a ‘supply and review the results’ basis. They are only getting what the US can afford to lose in equipment terms without compromising themselves and that in itself has been substantial. We’re talking hundreds of billions so far. Don’t forget, China and the Taiwan issue are also a concurrent concern so nobody can seriously claim that Biden isn’t doing enough.
February 20, 2023 at 10:10 am
LoL, your faux notion of ‘forever war’ is your usual inversion of reality.
‘Forever War’ is what Russia has been doing to its neighbors for centuries. Putin talks about his place in that imperialist history all the time.
But then again you have proven time and again that you have near zero understanding of relevant history.
As well, See my above post of a better understanding of where things are, and what lay ahead.
Have a liberating day.
Dr. Scooter Van Neuter
February 20, 2023 at 10:18 am
Absolutely everything Biden has done has been an abysmal, catastrophic failure. Supporting an also-godless and corrupt regime that has enriched him and his family for years – but only to a certain point – is a recipe for a never-ending bloodbath.
February 20, 2023 at 10:41 am
You are crazy. We are there to stop Russia from taking over Europe. We are there because of the atrocities that Russia is committing in Ukrainian. Russia has stated that Moldova would be next. Then Poland. For you to say Biden has no reason and no foreign policy regarding this is crazy. You are obviously pro Russian. We should load everything up in Ukraine and attack Russia. All of NATO. Most of Russian technology doesn’t work anyway.
February 20, 2023 at 10:41 am
Very legitimate questions with very difficult answers. French President Macron says Russia should be defeated but not crushed. That is a fine line. Ukranian President Zelenskyy declares that Ukraine wants to recover all its’ pre-2014 territory, including Crimea and the entire Donbas. I do not believe that Putin can survive the loss of Crimea or the occupied Donbas. And what about the rebuilding of Ukraine’s damaged infrastructure and its’ ravaged cities and towns? Russia could pay for that reconstruction, but I seriously doubt it would be willingly (see Weimar Germany). And the surrender of alleged war criminals for trial? While achieved after WWII, both Germany and Japan were not merely defeated but occupied – I can’t see Ukraine even trying to occupy Russia.
A ‘dream scenario’ for Ukraine – Ukranian forces repeat their isolation tactics against the Russian forces south of the Dnipro River, force a crossing then begin to roll up the Russian forces in the Kherson Oblast. Their drive continues to near Perekop at the neck of the Crimean Peninsula, where it is stopped by Russian resistance and Ukranian logistic concerns. Putin is replaced and the new Russian government (Russia V.2) asks for a cease-fire and peace negotiations. President Zelenskyy agrees to a cease-fire but demands an immediate Russian withdrawal to the pre-2014 borders. Russia V.2 refuses but repeats the proposal for negotiations in place. Does the West back a refusal by Zelenskyy and a resumption of the fighting? And if Russia V.2 refuses to pay for Ukranian reconstruction (“Putin did it, not us!”) and to surrender accused war criminals (“They went to Venezuela w/ Putin!”)? Here’s the question about the ‘end game’ and what the West sees as a just end of the war.
For me, it’s OK for Russia to be ‘defeated but not humiliated’ as long as Russia V.2 pays for most of the Ukranian reconstruction and for Putinism to be thoroughly crushed and humiliated.
February 20, 2023 at 10:58 am
Biden’s visit was not only to support Ukraine, but to show the PRC (China) that we will oppose their plans to bolster Russia with military support. Look at the big picture – the remaining Communists (Putin & Xi) are forming a new axis that will be very disruptive of the world. This must be opposed, and Pres. Biden is doing exactly that.
February 20, 2023 at 11:09 am
I pray Biden’s trip will bring the war into focus for the American public. Up until this point few have been following the conflict and even fewer could find Ukraine on a map.
February 20, 2023 at 11:19 am
You are using subtrifuge to make some trivial point. War is Hell, the policy that escapes you is Russia must remove it’s presence on all Ukraine territories and pay for all the damage they have caused. Got It? Remember It!!!
February 20, 2023 at 11:23 am
really, if you don’t know what is on game now, you are blind… it remembers me when USA was isolated when the IIWW… saying at the beginning that it was only another european war with Hitler invading some countries, is about the autoritarism against democracies… the axis today is RU-China-Iran-NK… the axis on 1939 was Germany-Italy-Japan…
February 20, 2023 at 11:26 am
You are really a simpleton! What is so hard to understand. Are you pro Russian? Would you like your previous president just let Russia run wild?
Thankfully we have a president now who understands the importance of stopping them in their tracks!
February 20, 2023 at 12:12 pm
Good observation, Mary Ann. However, Joe has never articulated his policy, and that is the problem. Just throwing $ willynilly ( dare I say willyMilley) into the fray, without a plan is never good. Similar to peppering Ukraine with 4 or more different tanks, IFVs, etc. without realizing the differing logistical requirements.
February 20, 2023 at 12:27 pm
Unless we help Ukraine defeat Russian artillery, it will loose.
We are talking switchblade 600, excalibur, GLSB, artillery munitions in great quantities.
Battle tanks and fighter jets cannot fully offset the Russian artillery and Rocket artillery advantage. Loosing 100+ Ukrainian soldiers in Bakhmut every day is not sutainable for Ukraine.
Russia has increased munition production 50 fold, while Nato has refused to ask for war production modus of its member nations. That is a clear recipe for defeat.
We are not doing what needs to be done.
The military draft has to come back in the US and other Nato members as recruiting is taking a nose dive.
Our nuclear forces need to be expanded.
The UK ministry of defence needs at least 11 billion pounds to replace its delivered arms and munitions, but this is blocked by its treasury.
February 20, 2023 at 12:32 pm
The trip’s purpose was to distract from the Ohio train derailment.
Biden should have gone there.
February 20, 2023 at 12:49 pm
Mr. Kazianis. Rather than foaming at the mouth, please elaborate on ‘Why US and Biden should not help Ukraine?’
What should Biden do then? Condition help to Ukraine to getting dirt on Trump or GOP?
February 20, 2023 at 1:04 pm
Winston Churchill once famously observed that “Americans will always do the right thing, only after they have tried everything else.” It’s been popular in the past in American Foreign policy to stick our head in the sand waiting for the storm to pass but then awake from the shock (Like Pearl Harbor.) Maybe this time it is different.
The entire world order (Breton Woods, etc.), Democracy, Progressive Humanity… All are threatened by Russia now. An immediate response was needed. And if we you folks have a better idea, suggest it here and lets be discuss.
You all here speak well but your empty armchair politics is short on action and long on protectionism, indifference and defeatism.
February 20, 2023 at 1:06 pm
I know they say that all PR is good PR, but this guy must be really starving for attention.
“Has Joe Biden ever articulated exactly how he wants to see the war in Ukraine come to an end?”
Yes: Russia withdraws, and Ukraine is restored to international recognized borders.
“Will Biden press Moscow and Kyiv to start negotiating once say Ukraine pushed Russia out of all lands it took beginning one year ago?”
If he intends to, he need to keep his mouth shut about it (just like he does now). It would be unwise both from a militarily and a political point of view to state such a policy. It would just give Russia a better starting position in any future negotiating and assure Russia that Crimea is safe and give them the opportunity to prioritize other areas.
How long will America keep taking ammo and weapons out of its own stocks to help Ukraine fight?
Do we really need to explain why it would be a mindboggling stupid idea to give Russia an expiration date for US and western help to Ukraine?
“You can’t answer that until you get some sort of idea about the administration’s end goals and what the strategy is to get there.”
End goal: see number 1 and perhaps 2.
Strategy: see number 5.
“This isn’t a war we can keep supporting forever and ever – no nation can or would.”
True, but it is also true for Russia. Maybe you should look up the CIA world factbook and fire up your calculator. Look up all the nations in the western alliance supporting Ukraine, and Ukraine itself, on the one side and Russia, Belarus, North Korea, and Iran on the other. Aggregate BNP on both sides. Look up military expenditure for both sides. Look up corruption levels on both sides. Who’s got the best technology and industrial capacity (present and near/medium future). Combine that information with what you have already learned about the state of the Russian Army and their failures in the field and mobilizing new manpower, also consider the disparity in morale of the Russian and Ukrainian troops.
Now imagine how much of the vastly greater economic power of the alliance it would require to outproduce Russia and set Ukraine on a winning path. Then compare that to the human and economic cost if Russia is victorious in Ukraine and then emboldened embarks on a quest to reestablish the Russian empire.
February 20, 2023 at 1:30 pm
Agree with the first comment , it’s also a surprise to me why the author fails to understand simple concepts. Or maybe he understands but can’t find a real issue to criticize a democratic president, can you guys start looking at real problems to solve instead of fallacies just to improve your chances for 2024? This is not helping the American cause
David J DeLoach
February 20, 2023 at 1:50 pm
Seems to me the administration is playing out a very effective policy, one to destroy the Russian military and armament stockpile without military to the US and NATO (except for needing to rebuild our stockpiles, but much of what has been used was old expiring munitions anyway). The longer this plays out the better for the West and the higher cost on Russia. Ukraine pays the blood cost, but the US doesn’t really care about that. What happens with the other Russian satellites when Ukraine wins? Seems like a pretty good strategy to me.
February 20, 2023 at 1:54 pm
For a well educated man you sure seem to be unable to loin the dots!Suggest a change of carreer.
February 20, 2023 at 3:11 pm
Gary, what is your definition of forever war?
Surely, you have a definition which applies to this war.
But more important is the definition the general public has for a “Forever War”… and how anxious they are to avoid another forever war… on the taxpayer’s dime.
February 20, 2023 at 3:55 pm
Can they keep him?
February 20, 2023 at 4:12 pm
Suggesting that the US make the determination as to when and how to end the war is a ridiculous notion. Biden has articulated the support for Ukraine and has supplied weapons necessary to do the job. It is Ukraine’s responsibility to choose how to end the this conflict and they have clearly articulated that the job won’t be done until they are free from all occupation.
Harry, you’d best go back to the Heritage Foundation and huddle for a new strategy to attack Biden. You are an embarrassment.
February 20, 2023 at 4:45 pm
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair
I hope that paycheck is fat enough to cushion all the abasement you bring to your dignity.
February 20, 2023 at 4:59 pm
Dear Mr Kazianis,
I would say the US objectives are quite clear:
Help Ukraine defeat Russia so thoroughly that Russia will not soon try again to invade Ukraine.
Ensure that Ukraine regains most of its lost territories, so that Russia clearly does not gain much of value from the war.
Nice side benefits: Russia’s military is degraded for many years to come, without a single US soldier being killed. China gets a clear warning that it is really difficult to defeat a determined opponent. NATO is strengthened.
So how to achieve this? Simply: by providing the Ukrainians with what they need to fight this war. The Ukrainians have already proven that they are really good and determined at defending their country, they just need the tools. That’s a HUGE difference with say Vietnam or Afghanistan!!
Where will the borders be when all this is over? That is to be determined. Probably somewhere around where the borders were before this war began a year ago.
I pretty much suspect that the US is willing to recognize Russia’s sovereignty in Crimea, if Russia is willing to acknowledge defeat.
I also suspect that Zelensky is willing to give up Ukrainian claims on Crimea … IF the West is willing to provide ironclad security and economic guarantees. Maybe even eventual NATO and/ or EU membership! Because that is what Zelensky is really hoping for: that is the Western future he want for Ukraine. One where Ukraine is finally, after a 100 years of horrors, safe of Russia.
In other words: Crimea is the ultimate bargaining chip. And that’s why no one is giving it up as of yet. You’d be a fool to already give up that chip now by saying you are ok with letting it go.
As for the “People’s republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk, I guess we will have to wait and see how this war ends exactly. Maybe they will become a part of Russia, maybe they return to Ukraine, with some federalist formula that gives them lots of autonomy.
February 20, 2023 at 5:15 pm
I answered that already: Russia has been conducting an imperialist ‘forever war’ against its neighbors for centuries. That is the only correct use of that term in this conflict. In fact I have had to describe that history in detail to you repeatedly. The last time I explained it you complained that I was speaking about events from 100+ years ago, and I had to remind you that Putin injects himself into that history repeatedly… as well as the fact that Russia invaded no less than 10 of its neighbors in the 20th century. And then two more [Georgia and Ukraine] in the 21st century, in addition to propping up Assad’s terrorist regime in Syria, supporting the Iranian terrorist regime, and let’s not forget the attempted coups in Ukraine in 2004 and 2014.
Side note: in your rush to blame everything on NATO and nothing on Russia, you always fail to recall that it was the US and NATO that helped get Ukraine to give up its nuclear weapons and *send them back to Russia* in exchange for a promise of territorial integrity. That’s the other part of the Budapest Memorandum. Supporting Ukraine now after Russia has never honored that deal that we helped pressure Ukraine into is pretty much the least we can do.
As for the US involvement in this conflict, my 1st post in this thread lays out a lot of my view on it from our end, and where a potential negotiating point might be.
Furthermore, your faux notion of ‘forever war’, and the cost to support Ukraine, also fails to take into account that most of what we are giving Ukraine is money that has already been spent building that equipment. It is NOT new money being spent.
Furthermore, many items are either straight out of our mothball closet, or items we have so many thousands of that the amount of those we are giving Ukraine is inconsequential to us.
That includes Abrams Tanks, Bradley IFVs, Strykers..of which we have thousands each.
Ukraine is getting:
We could more than triple the number of each of those to Ukraine and we wouldnt even skip a beat. Not to mention that the Bradley is about to be replaced, and Abrams-X stands to be the next version of our main battle tank.
On HIMARS, Ukraine got 20 from our supplies. The US has over 500 of them. 16 more were ordered straight from Lockheed brand new off the assembly line to arrive over the next 2 years.
Then there are the Hummers, MaxxPro MRAPs, and M111 types [among others] that we dont even use anymore…of which we have given Ukraine hundreds of each. M111 is so old it was replaced by Bradleys, and the others are being replaced by JLTVs.
When put into proper context the actual cost of supporting Ukraine is quite a bargain. Especially when there are Zero US troops in combat.
People like you choose to misuse and abuse the top line number as if that is the whole story when nothing could be further from the truth. But that is par for your course.
And that’s before we get to the money made back by massive weapons sales around the world [close to 10 Billion now to Poland alone] and our LNG filling in for the cut off of Russian NatGas to the EU.
I could go on for days like this, but for now I digress.
Have a liberating day.
Sir Winston the Nazi Slayer
February 20, 2023 at 5:43 pm
If you are going to compare the invasion of Ukraine to Vietnam …
You should be pointing out that it was a disaster for the invader, not for the USSR. For the USSR it was a huge win.
This time is no different. The invasion of Ukraine is a disaster for the invader, and last time I checked it wasn’t USA troops invading Ukraine.
February 20, 2023 at 7:42 pm
Yes, the western powers indeed seem to be giving the Ukraine just enough support to fight Russia to a standstill, but not enough to win a decisive victory. Excellent point, but surely this is on purpose? It would seem to me that the objective is obvious: to make Russia bleed, to draw out the conflict, to ultimately weaken Russia enough that it collapses and the western oligarchs can loot the carcass the way they started to do under Boris Yeltsin. Sounds like a coherent plan to me, but obviously not one that will be made public.
If, after the initial Russian attack had been repulsed, and before the Russian mobilization, the US had give Ukraine 100 MLRS launchers and 1000 M1 tanks and 1000 self propelled artillery systems and 1000 F16 fighter jets, Ukraine could likely have rolled up the depleted Russian forces. The US could easily have afforded to do this – by ending the war early, it would likely have even cost less! But then Russia would still be intact and would not have bled as much, so the US didn’t do it.
Oh and of course Biden is not in charge. Biden is what he has always been in the roughly 50 years of his political career: a complete lickspittle sock-puppet corporate whore whose greatest value to the elites is that he will reliably do as he is told. His wealthy patrons are way smarter, but apparently prefer ruling by proxy to taking actual responsibility for their actions.
February 20, 2023 at 9:20 pm
President Biden is the commander of the Ukrainian forces. He has armed them; has coordinated assistance from our partners and has dissuaded Russia’s allies from providing Putin with armaments.
Most importantly, President Biden’s commanders and intelligence services are training Ukrainian forces and guiding those forces in shaping strategy. Strategy! And it’s no surprise that our strategy is destroying Putin’s forces and resolve.
This is Biden’s masterwork. He has been perfectly clear from 2014 to the present: Putin will leave all of Ukraine, including the Crimea. It is odd that you don’t know this.
And of course you are a Ted Cruz schmuck. It’s time for you and your American defeatists, chumps, to stop getting in the way; stop criticizing our great military. Contribute
February 20, 2023 at 9:55 pm
Being so late, after dozens of other western leaders have paved the way, looks like cowardice. Was there even a reason other than politics?
Biden’s only strategy is to do the opposite of everything Trump did, no matter the horrific consequences.
February 20, 2023 at 10:23 pm
How many lunatics does 19fortyfive have writing for them?
February 20, 2023 at 10:33 pm
Biden’s objective is crystal clear once you understand one thing:
You don’t get rich by starting out saying “yes.” You get rich by saying “No” and making the other party work to persuade you to change your answer.
February 20, 2023 at 10:50 pm
If the Russian military leadership were wise, they would take out Putin, Prigozhin and Kadyrov, and probably more than a few others. They they would say enough is enough, and pull their troops out of Ukraine, asking Zelensky to allow them an orderly withdrawal.
Those troops would be so happy for getting pulled out of purgatory that the generals would gain their undying (literally) gratitude. The Russian mothers of those troops would likewise cheer, and so probably would most other Russians, once they learned what was really going on.
The Russian generals would set a date for free and fair internationally supervised elections, perhaps a year from now. In the mean time they would release all political prisoners, starting with Navalny, which again would earn them the gratitude of those freed, and likely of many other Russians who silently supported those people. The generals would also give a free pass for Russian exiles to return.
Will this happen? Of course not. But it’s nice to think about.
February 21, 2023 at 12:14 am
The reality of the situation is we have a clueless moron who was never elected President, and should be in Ohio not Ukraine. The war was lost on day 1 when Russia countered 8 years of Ukraine killing eastern Ukrainians of Russian descent.He doesn`t have a plan for anything, LOL!
US Army Vet
February 21, 2023 at 1:06 am
Does the author work for the Russians?
Russia is a wounded animal- bleeding. This is good. Why would Biden put down any lines or strategies when he doesn’t have to? Meanwhile the Chinese watch what happens when you decide to annex your neighbors. This is an important stand and Biden has played the cards well.
February 21, 2023 at 3:17 am
Accepting (for the sake of argument, not for real) that all the author’s criticisms of his country’s Ukraine policy were valid… they are not made any worse or better by the American president visiting Ukraine. There’s nothing in this article that says the president’s visit is a disaster; it’s just a rehashing of dubious arguments that could be made with or without that visit.
February 21, 2023 at 5:57 am
There are people who support the Trumpist GOP and will reach for any excuse to complain about Biden. While the author raises some legitimate questions about war aims, it is hyperbolic to the extreme to suggest that the trip was a disaster. Rather, the trip was quite a success so far. It showed an 80+ President who was willing to take a ten hour (one way) rail trip through a war ravaged country to meet with an ally. Seems more like a triumph to me. Sure, there is more to this than a clandestine trip and time will tell if Biden’s highly calibrated escalation will achieve the desired results, which are; an end to the war on advantageous terms for Ukraine and the West. Right now, Russia is still doubling down, but if their big offensive fails and Ukraine can make headway in its own offensive later this spring, we i’ll see whether Putin’s appetite for more humiliations is not sated.
from Russia with love
February 21, 2023 at 9:19 am
I wonder if anyone thought about what the West will do after the defeat of Ukraine? there have already written a lot of recipes for what to do with the loser. what will the West do when all these recipes are applied to them? 😉
February 21, 2023 at 9:30 am
The US Federal government is basically organized crime, reminiscent of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. The Treasury is being looted, free and fair elections disappeared in 2020, the rule of law is gone in urban areas, the US DOJ is like the KGB in the final Soviet years censoring dissent and persecuting enemies of the illegitimate Regime. Be prepared.
February 21, 2023 at 10:05 am
Sending just enough to not win is exactly the US strategy, keep depleting Russia is the plan. In fact it was a big inconvenience to NATO and the US that this thing was not over in the two weeks they thought it would be. If they actually intended for the Ukraine to win they would have helped them back in 2014 instead of sending food and blankets.
Vietnam was critical to stop communism
Iraq was critical to stop WMDs
Afghanistan was critical to stop terrorism
Ukraine is critical to stop Russia
Why am I not convinced any of them were work it. If the Ukraine had fallen in the expected two weeks would Biden be telling us how critical it is?
February 21, 2023 at 10:06 am
Pathetic Joe now becomes magician stuntman Joe, conveniently arranging for the air raid sirens to go off as he steps outside with Lord Voldemort Z. into the sunlight, doing his absurd best (or, maybe rather worst), to phon-ily imitate Winston Churchill during the German London blitz. Has there ever been so contrived a stunt since Bill Clinton marched over the White House lawn with some Marines in tow? Yes, look at our big brave President daring to go outside to face the Russian Star Destroyers on their way. Turns out there were no Russian Star Destroyers with Darth Putin on board, only the fake air raid wailing. Fake wailing for a fake President, that is. Hm, in a way, too bad. Can we imagine the panic scrambling before the cameras otherwise as a general aerial bombardment swooped in? What a gleeful sight it would have been. And with both ‘leaders’ together, hey, maybe they *could* have gotten two mangy crows with one “stone”.
February 21, 2023 at 11:34 am
It’s all very simple. As long as joe and the others that have gone over there are getting their kickbacks the war will continue. This war is the perfect money laundering scheme and you can be sure a lot of the equipment sent over is no longer there. Remember when some of it was found in Africa recently?
Anyone that thinks joe bidet cares about Ukraine, or the American people is simple. He’s addicted to money.
These facts will be born out during the tribunals.
February 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm
My gosh, the twisting, the perversion of reality is rife here, with many of the Poor Loser Party posting hate.
February 21, 2023 at 9:34 pm
Biden’s visit is oil on the fire for public opinion in France and Germany. The media has been glossing over reality. A full half of the German population and more than half of the French do not want to send weapons to Ukraine. The German and French leaders understand this and the nail in their coffin may be be appearance of being the tail wagged by the USA. ‘Western solidarity’ is seen as ‘the USA dictates and we follow’.
‘Almost’ extreme rightist movements are being fed by he feeling that their nations are under assault not by Russia but by an immigration and culture battle. Italy will not be the last to turn further to the right. Biden is seen by many western Europeans as some blind General galloping on his horse leading others into a chaotic no man’s land.
February 22, 2023 at 12:12 am
You have some sort of serious and morbid suicide/death wish, right? No really, you do. Crank up all of NATO and attack Russia? Do you and other war-rooter fools commenting here know what that would unleash? Yes, we all do know. Russia has said so. Repeatedly. And has shown the world the weapons it has t mean it. Weapons you say don’t work, but how would you possibly *know* that? What an irresponsibly cavalier and arrogant dismissal. Besides, that absurd assertion has been historically proven wrong from the T-34 tank to the AK-47 rifle thru the Mig-15 and -21 fighters, for example. Do you really want to risk whether any of their ICBM’s won’t work? If you say yes, then you have the potential blood of the deaths of hundreds of millions, maybe eventually billions, on *your* hands. You, and many other people like you commenting on this website. But I don’t know when and thru whom Russia has said it plans on taking Moldava or anyone else. Who said that, and when? Russia nas never asserted it wants the whole of Ukraine, just parts with Russian-ethnic concentrations under its tutelage. Why is that the U.S.’/NATO’s business? Face it—-NATO goes in, Russia goes balls-to-the-walls nuclear at some point or another. And there are plenty of us who don’t want that. Ukraine is not worth Armageddon, it is not some sort of history’s sacred nation. And the Dark Lord who rules it is not some sort of Churchillian hero, just the opposite. He is a manipulative money-grubber like his virtual cojoined twin Pathetic Joe. Amongst other things. And the world should not be put at risk for the sake of his butt, nor that of any other national ‘leader’. Even the President of the U.S. is not worth that. Especially a fake one like Pathetic Joe. You and the NATO elitists will find this out the hard and literally terrifying painful way if and when things get out of hand regarding this situation. You and they will all burn and perish together with the rest of us, there will be no respite for any human alive. All because of your wholly phony narrative of defending a heretofore obscure non-democracy in the backwater of eastern Europe.
February 22, 2023 at 5:36 am
Ukraine is a Corrupt Nation and they have bought America by bribing our disgraceful political class for years. Now the Biden Crime Family Syndicate wants to send 500 million to pay for their pensions and social benefits. All while risking an all out war with Russia. Zelenskyy owns a 30 million dollar Mansion in Florida as do many of Ukraine’s other Government Officials. We need to walk away from this immediately as we face bankruptcy or all out war.
February 22, 2023 at 6:23 am
Ukraine has been part of Russia for a very long time & has been birthplace of at least 2 Presidents . Russia made 2014 agreement where Ukraine would be a buffer between NATO & would not join NATO. Now NATO wants Ukraine & that means Nuke missiles will most likely be installed there which is untenable since 1st strike capability would make Russian civilians likely incineration victims by Nuclear blast. U.S. & NATO are war mongering aggressors & must leave Ukrainians alone. U.S.& NATO weapons must leave Now ; just as Russian missiles were Not tolerated by Peesident John Fitzgerald Kennedy had Russian missiles only 90 miles away in Cuba. They were removed just as Russia demands that U.S. & NATO must remove their weapons Immediately from Former Russian State of Ukraine ! CREEPY Joe get outta Russia’s backyard Now ! !
February 22, 2023 at 11:18 am
Look at the author’s CV. It tells you why the piece wasn’t worth reading.