1) jok/dpa, “Russland bestätigt Pläne für Sturz der ukrainischen Regierung; Der Kreml verschärft den Ton im Ukrainekrieg: Erklärtes Ziel sei es, die amtierende Regierung in Kiew abzusetzen – das machte Chefdiplomat Sergej Lawrow nun klar,” DercSpiegel, den 25.Juli 2022 (08.24 Uhr);
1) Anthony Blinken must be replaced as Secretary of State.
2) Jake Sullivan must be replaced as National Security Adviser.
3) Joe Biden must renounce any candidacy in 2024.
4) Allies must set up a unified directorate of military and diplomatic affairs. No more freelancing.
5) NATO countries must release restrictions on the use of long-range weapons, and supply artillery shells with the full range of what artillery pieces are capable of.
6) Broad and all-of-government efforts must be made to gain the support of “the South” for Ukraine and for the sanctions regime. Diplomats forced out of the State Department by Donald Trump and Michael Pompeo should be called back into service for the good of the country.
7) All loopholes in sanctions must be closed.
8) Appeasers in the European Commission and individual governments (e.g., Germany) must be ferreted out and removed from policy-making positions.
9) War production in the West must be ramped up to supply Ukraine with the weapons it will need over the long term–five to ten years.
10) Foot-draggers and appeasers in EU and NATO countries and bureaucracies must be made to pay the price.
11) NATO must prpare for fighting a conventional war of collective self-defense against Russia, with the strictly limited objective of repelling the Russian “armed attack” against Ukraine in accordance with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter.
The current parallel with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the many appeasers in the Conservative Party in Britain in the 1930’s, and after September 1939 until Winston Churchill was named to lead Great Britain on May 10, 1940, is extraordinarily striking.
There are “friends of Putin” (Putin Versteher) throughout the ranks of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Germany’s “Ampel coalition”, in the European Commission–which is secretly relaxing sanctions against Russia under the guise of strengtehening them, and in a number of countries in the European Union such as Italy.
Ask yourself why Germany and France and Italy have done so little to provide weapons to Ukraine to repel the Russian invasion.
In the United States, the record of the Biden administration on Ukraine has been one of extraordinary strategic blunders, both at the conceptual and at the operational level. These range from the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan to the decision to tell Putin the U.S. and NATO were taking force off the table in terms of a potential response to a Russian military invasion of Ukraine.
If we look behind the headlines at the specific details of American policies and decision making, we can see the repeated failures of an incompetent foreign policy team.
It is made up to a dangerous degree of individuals who are Joe Biden protegés, who lack significant on-the-ground experience in foreign countries, and who are in essence not battle-hardened by previous senior military and diplomatic experience.
This is true of both Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, and Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser. Neither has significant experience outside of Washington.
Sullivan is as smart as a whip, but he reminds us of David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest and the lesson from Vietnam that even the brightest individuals can be wrong (Robert McNamara, McGeorge Bundy, and many others).
The bottom line is that Biden’s foreign policy team has failed, and failed miserably, and that if we are to win the war in Ukraine, key figures like Blinken and Sullivan must be replaced, with battle-hardened senior officials from outside Biden’s coterie of friends and protegés.
A great mystery has always been, from the very beginning, why one of the Democrats’ most senior and experienced officials, Susan Rice, did not join the Biden administration in a top foreign policy role.
William Burns has broad experience of the type we need in a Secretary of State. He has done a good job at CIA, but perhaps now he should be considered for a senior role closer to the heart of decision making.
Whatever changes may be required, they must be made–at the earliest possible date–if Ukraine, the U.S., and its allies are going to prevail in the war to defend not only Ukraine, but also the U.N. Charter, international law, and our civilization.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has announced in Cairo that the Russian goal in Ukraine is to overthrow the government and to annex the country.
This is the same Ukrainian government Russia signed a Black Sea grain shipment agreement with on Friday, July 22, together with Turkey and the United Nations (fn. 2).
Shortly after concluding the agreement, Russia launched missile strikes at targets in the key port city of Odesa.
This is what international relations without international law looks like, and will look like in the future if Russia’s aggression is not halted and Russian troops are not forced to retreat from the territory of Ukraine.
The issues we face are of enormous complexity and of enormous significance for our future.
Appeasers, in the European Commission or anywhere else, should not be left free to simply oppose effective policies and actions to repel Russian aggression.
As in 1939 and 1940 in Britain, appeasers forming a fifth column from within are a great threat today. They must be defeated, in public opinion and at the polls, and removed from policy-making positions.
The war is a gravely serious matter. It is time for us all to get gravely serious about how we are going to prosecute it.
In the United States, a critical first step will be the replacement of Blinken and Sullivan and the strengthening of the administration’s foreign policy team.
The Trenchant Observer