Due to rapidly-breaking developments and in order to facilitate readers’ access to the latest dispatches, we are publishing this article as it is being written. please check back for updates and additions.*
To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.
Only force can stop Putin
See “Ukraine War, April 5, 2022 (II): Force must be used to stop Putin,” The Trenchant Observer, April 5, 2022.
1) David Ignatius, “Are Biden and Putin agreeing on limits to the war? Just read their statements,” Washington Post, April 21, 2022 6:41 pm EDT).
Ignatius quotes Biden as follows:
Biden underlined NATO unity against Russia, another bedrock theme of U.S. policy. The alliance, he said, was “sending an unmistakable message to Putin: He will never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine. He will not — that will not happen.” Biden’s statement, though resolute in tone, left open the possibility that Putin might occupy some of Ukraine, in the southeastern region where Russian attacks are now concentrated.
This comment is as unfortunate as Biden’s earlier comment about responding to a Russian “incursion” into Ukraine.
As The Telegraph has pointed out, Biden is “the president we have.”
Pretty incompetent, heading a pretty incompetent foreign policy team. Actually, they are good at some things, just not very competent when it comes to policy or big decisions.
Like the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan.
Like the decision to take force off the table.
Like the distinction between “offensive” and “defensive” weapons we might send to Ukraine.
Like the distinction between transferring aircraft parts and “whole” aircraft to Ukraine. And clarifying the distinction and earlier statements, to make sure the U.S. doesn’t “provoke” Putin.
Like Biden’s benighted policy proposal to modify nuclear doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons to be a “sole-purpose” doctrine.
Like explaining, publicly and over and over again, how careful the U.S. is being not to provoke Putin.
The foreign policy team must be changed. This dog can’t hunt.
Only Congressional Democrats can force Biden to reconstitute and bolster his foreign policy team, by bringing in the most qualified and experienced, and independent, former military and foreign policy officials. These should include former officials from both Democratic and Republican administrations.
Democratic Senators and Congressmen should be motivated. If they don’t take such action, now, they are likely to be blown out of the water by the Republicans in November.
So, Biden is telegraphing to Putin that he might accept a “frozen conflict” in Ukraine as a condition for easing military aid to Ukraine and relaxing the sanctions against Russia.
I am sure Putin is happy to have this information about Biden’s current thinking, and his current bottom line.
Fortunately, other NATO members may not go along with this kind of appeasement. Zelensky and the Ukrainians would appear unlikely to accept such terms.
Someone, at some point, is likely to remind Biden that the U.N. Charter, international law, and the international legal order are at stake here, and that they must be vindicated before there can be any real negotiations or settlement or any possibility of a stable peace.
Still, the sad fact is that through this enormous blunder Biden, in his careless incompetence, has given Putin one more reason to believe that his territorial goals in Ukraine might be achieved, and one more reason to continue fighting to achieve them.
The Trenchant Observer