Ukraine War, April 23, 2022 (II): Zelensky announces Blinken and Austin will travel to Kviv to meet with him on August 24 (Orthodox Easter)

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1) Thomas Grove and Yuliya Chernova, “U.S. Secretary of State Blinken, Defense Secretary Austin to Visit Ukraine, Zelensky Says; A trip would be the highest-level visit by U.S. officials since the war began,”Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2022 (updated 6:17 pm ET).


Proving once again that Biden’s foreign policy team is one of incomparable incompetence, Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky announced on April 23 that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will be traveling to meet with Zelensky in Kviv on Sunday, April 24, 2022.

Obviously, Zelensky would never have made the announcement without White House approval.

The announcement violates a cardinal rule of security when high value targets are traveling in a war zone: Don’t announce their movements in advance.

Moreover, there seems to be a certain chest-thumping aspect to the announcement. It is far too early for U.S. officials to exhibit self-satisfaction or imagined success by providing weapons to Ukraine, while hundreds and perhaps thousands of Ukrainians are being killed every day as the U.S. and NATO stand on the sidelines, unwilling to use even limited force to stop Putin and his army’s atrocities.

This war is a long way from over.

Let us hope that Blinken and Austin have a safe trip.

The Trenchant Observer

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James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.