Slouching towards war with Russia: Biden's drift is getting dangerous
Joe Biden, the man who has been "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades," as former defense secretary Bob Gates wrote, has nebulously put the U.S. on a path to war with Russia. Not because he wants to. But because he doesn't know what he's doing.
That's the consensus of foreign policy experts as diverse as Thomas Friedman, golf buddy to President Obama, and Mark Wauck, the decorated former FBI official from its pre-wokedom era.
According to Friedman, writing on May 6:
If you just followed news reports on Ukraine, you might think that the war has settled into a long, grinding and somewhat boring slog. You would be wrong.
Things are actually getting more dangerous by the day.
For starters, the longer this war goes on, the more opportunity for catastrophic miscalculations — and the raw material for that is piling up fast and furious. Take the two high-profile leaks from American officials this past week about U.S. involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war[.]
Friedman cited the leaks from supposed U.S. officials declaring that the U.S. had given Ukraine intelligence to enable it to target and kill Russian generals and that the U.S. had given targeting information to Ukraine to help it sink the Moskva, Russia's Black Sea flagship naval ship.
As a journalist, I love a good leak story, and the reporters who broke those stories did powerful digging. At the same time, from everything I have been able to glean from senior U.S. officials, who spoke to me on condition of anonymity, the leaks were not part of any thought-out strategy, and President Biden was livid about them. I'm told that he called the director of national intelligence, the director of the C.I.A. and the secretary of defense to make clear in the strongest and most colorful language that this kind of loose talk is reckless and has got to stop immediately — before we end up in an unintended war with Russia.
The staggering takeaway from these leaks is that they suggest we are no longer in an indirect war with Russia but rather are edging toward a direct war — and no one has prepared the American people or Congress for that.
Wauck, too, commenting on the leaks, had this to say:
These braggadocious claims seemed to many, including myself, to be remarkably reckless and provocative. That, in turn, has led some to speculate that the Zhou administration is actually seeking to provoke open war with Russia for domestic political reasons — the Midterm Elections, imposition of authoritarian control over dissent, etc.
Now, however, identifiable Pentagon officials — people with names, like, "John Kirby" — are walking back the claims of the anonymous "senior American officials" and "US officials". This leads to speculation that is little less disturbing than the idea that elements within the US government — carefully concealed behind deliberately vague sourcing statements — are, in fact, attempting to walk the US up to the brink of war, but that other elements, prominently in the Pentagon, are resisting rushin' to war. We have repeatedly pointed to this dynamic throughout the course of Russia's "special operation" in Ukraine.
That the US government is so divided on the core issue of war or peace with a nuclear power is disturbing in and of itself. That one faction in the government is attempting to go over the heads of the Pentagon on the issue of a war of choice adds to the concern. The fact that the sources are identified so vaguely is further cause for concern, since it suggests a lack of military expertise. That this semi-public debate is taking place with essentially no significant input from the one constitutional institution of the American republic which has the authority to declare a war — the legislative branch — or meaningful public debate should raise our concerns to the level of alarm.
Both have pointed out that Biden doesn't really know what he's doing.
Friedman: "Boasting about killing his generals and sinking his ships, or falling in love with Ukraine in ways that will get us enmeshed there forever, is the height of folly."
Wauck: "This leads to speculation that is little less disturbing than the idea that elements within the US government—carefully concealed behind deliberately vague sourcing statements—are, in fact, attempting to walk the US up to the brink of war, but that other elements, prominently in the Pentagon, are resisting rushin' to war."
Now we see the next card come down: Biden signing a new bill to enable arms sales to Ukraine on easier, streamlined terms. According to the Washington Post:
"The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 revives this pivotal program, waiving time-consuming requirements on the president's authority to send critical defensive resources to Ukraine," she said. "It's important to note that it's about time. Time is very important when lives are at stake."
This takes us yet another step closer to direct war with Russia.
There may be "wag the dog" reasons for these decisions. But just as likely, the Bidenites are allowing themselves to be jerked around by various sources from defense contractors eager for big contracts, to Trump-haters of the Rep. Adam Schiff variety eager to "prove" that President Trump was the bad guy on Ukraine, to the understandably compassionate Ukrainian-American émigré lobby, to lazy, cheapskate Europeans happy to get the U.S. to do Europe's fighting and secure its energy supply. He's being jerked from all directions and doesn't know what he's doing.
But each day seems to be showing U.S. involvement in the Ukraine conflict getting closer and closer, while there is no public debate about it. We may find ourselves suctioned into a war with Russia, with Ukraine the proxy element, and end up footing the entire bill for the problem. What's worse, we may well be exposing ourselves to Russian cyber-attacks and Russian oil cutoffs, not just of the Russian supply, but the supplies of its proxies and allies. Venezuela, for example, made it very clear to the Bidenites that its loyalty to patron Russia is paramount, so don't expect Venezuela to be supplying the U.S. with oil it won't produce itself. Russia itself has warned of "consequences" to the U.S. for doling out Ukraine military aid.
Biden has signed off on this measure, which comes on top of all the aid packages he's approved, plus the leaks about killing generals and sinking battleships, and all one can wonder is what's next. Will this be the end of it, or will there be more and more to come? Biden is facing a shellacking come November, so it wouldn't be surprising if he leans toward getting us into a war in order to see the voters rally around the flag and president. But on the other hand, this isn't some little third-world hellhole dictatorship; this is nuclear-armed Russia, which is a bit more than a farm with nukes. He may well be biting off more than he can chew, making himself the equivalent of Kaiser Wilhelm II in rank stupidity — and the consequences will be on us.