President Biden has already made some tactical errors in addressing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But none more serious than he just committed. While I do agree with the ever intensifying sanctions, it time to get tough. This notion that we can pacify a dictator or somehow use sanctions to get Putin to lay down arms, is simply bad strategy and will not work. In addition, laying out strategy or feelings about the conflict as President, is simply inappropriate.
To what do I refer? President Biden vetoed a US transfer of fighter jets to the Ukraine. It’s a decision that both Republicans and Democrats, criticized. What he said specifically was, “The idea that we’re going to send offensive equipment and have planes and tanks and trains going i with American pilots and American crew. Just understand, don’t kid yourself no matter what y’all say, that’s called WW III.” I don’t happen to agree with him but more importantly, he never should have uttered those words. It’s a tactical error that makes him and NATO look week. And nothing is worse than showing a dictator a weak hand.
The correct response should have been, “everything at the moment is on the table.” What “Biden’s Blunder” essentially tells Putin, is that we might talk a good game and even through out some serious sanctions, but when push comes to shove, help yourself to whatever you want. We will back down if pressed. This is a miscalculation; a blunder of the highest order. Even if he said that he wasn’t looking to escalate this conflict, but that it was really in Russia’s and particularly Putin’s hands, that would have been sufficient.
It would then need to have been followed up with, “but make no mistake President Putin, any attempt to escalate and spread this war beyond Ukraine, will be met with severe and immediate consequences. We have in fact learned from history and your aggression will be met with force. We will not allow your cancer to spread beyond the borders of Ukraine. Please do not test our resolve” At least that would have alerted Putin that no matter what he thinks or is planning, he better understand he won’t win. That the resolve of the US, NATO and the free world, will no longer tolerate evil dictators spreading violence and death. Biden has instead demonstrated weakness instead of strength; fear instead of valor. It’s a flaw and one that must continue to be called out by his own party as well as the GOP.
If Putin is not called confronted and given an ultimatum; and if he believes that no matter what, the US and NATO will stand down due to the fear of WW III, it will only embolden him. Apparently President Biden does not remember his history.