Government Watch / Instagram / Politics

Biden’s Leadership Failure on Ukraine Takes World to Brink

AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Roman

Russia

With Russian forces having failed to take Kyiv after four weeks of effort, the Biden Department of Defense was willing to do a victory lap. “What we’re seeing is a near-desperate attempt by the Russians to gain some momentum and try to turn the course of this in their favor,” Steve Kirby, the Pentagon’s spokesman told the press corps Monday. “ And doing so could simply be… an attempt to improve their position at the negotiating table, to get some kind of leverage because right now, it doesn’t appear like they have a lot of leverage to negotiate with.”

All well and good, if true. But Kirby’s description illustrates a major, if not the major weakness of Biden’s entire approach to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Kirby describes it from the perspective of a bystander. His tone was reflective of a fan describing a sports game. Kirby and the Biden administration are keeping score, rooting for the Ukrainians, and shipping them weapons of course, but the idea that “negotiations” might not be an effort for Russia to extract itself seems lost on them. Biden and his team seem to have no vision for how they want this resolved other than dead Russians, a collapsed Russian economy, and a geopolitical humiliation for Vladimir Putin. They have in the process failed to define what the United States wants from any sort of settlement, and therefore what “winning” would look like.

Before the war, foreign policy “realists” warned that rightly or wrongly, Russia had interpreted NATO expansion as a threat, and that the United States, by pushing that expansion was creating the conditions for a conflict over something neither Washington nor its allies actually wanted (Ukrainian membership in NATO), and in the process, the West was pushing China and Russia into a dangerous alliance. The “neo-conservative” or interventionist wing of the American establishment countered that Ukrainians had the democratic right to choose their political and cultural orientation, they had chosen the West, and the West has an obligation to support them because of that. The former group views the outbreak of the war as a political disaster, but vindication for the latter group has been in the realm of public opinion alone. They have certainly rallied most Americans to the cause of supporting Ukraine against Russia, but have failed to define any positive way this could reasonably end.

The great Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz once said that war is the continuation of politics by other means. By this, he meant that military force could be used to successfully advance political objectives, but military success was ultimately worthless without a viable political goal. Napoleon could win any number of battles, but as long as he lacked a vision of the peace he wanted to achieve, it could only could lead to more war. More war meant that he could win any number of battles, but one defeat would undo him.

Russia’s problem in the Ukraine, beyond all the tactical and organizational flaws of the Russian army that have been revealed, or the dire state of its logistics system, is that Putin, like Napoleon, embarked on a military campaign not to achieve a specific political objective, but rather in the hope that the conflict itself would provide one. Having failed to achieve any of a long list of goals over his 20+ years in power – equal partnership with the United States in a global order during the Bush years, a sphere of influence under Obama, a modus vivendi under Trump, or even promises regarding NATO expansion from Biden, Putin was faced with the prospect of retreating again or rolling the dice with use of force, and he chose to gamble.

Whether the goal was a puppet government, an agreement with Kyiv to keep Ukraine neutral and out of NATO, annexation, partition, or an agreement with Washington, the expectation was that military success was more likely to produce at least one of those than continued diplomacy. Yet by failing to set a political objective, Putin also failed to set a military one. If his goal was negotiations, he should have targeted the Ukrainian army in the East. If it was a puppet regime, he needed to seize Kyiv. He tried to do both and accomplished neither.

It is important that the U.S. does not repeat the same error. There is a lot of discussion about what terms may be acceptable to Kyiv, but not what terms will be acceptable to the U.S. But the U.S. is not a bystander, no matter what Biden administration officials sometimes seem to imply. The U.S. and its NATO allies are Ukraine’s major suppliers of weapons. The nature of Ukraine’s “neutrality” in any agreement will have a lot to do with what weapons the U.S. rushes to Kyiv afterward. The sanctions which are crippling Russia’s domestic economy are orchestrated by the United States. The boycotts of Russia are largely by American and European countries. Zelensky cannot lift sanctions or boycotts he did not impose.

Would the U.S. be willing to lift sanctions regardless of what Russia does? It is unclear. Suggestions from Joe Biden that Vladimir Putin is a war criminal and from other officials that the Russian President and his entourage should face war crimes trials imply that it is unlikely the sanctions will ever be lifted on the current Russian government. This alone risks providing Putin with dangerous incentives for further escalation. If the sanctions will remain in effect regardless, then the value of a deal with the Ukrainian government goes down for Russia. Instead, the value of the Ukrainian people as hostages goes up. Defeating the Ukrainian army will not lift sanctions, nor will pulling out. But, as unthinkable as it may be, causing enough suffering and death to Ukrainian civilians, maybe even using chemical weapons (as the Biden administration has warned), might well lead Washington to reconsider and grow desperate to end the war.

This is not an argument against sanctions. They are vital to pressuring Moscow to end the war. But they will only work if there is a prospect they will be actually be lifted if Moscow does end the war. Without that, they merely provide Moscow a reason to kill more and more people until the West comes to the table.

It is also worth asking whether the long-term isolation of the Russian state and economy is even in the best interests of the United States. Many realists argued that the U.S.-Russian conflict is not just a distraction from the need to counter a rising China, but aiding China by pushing Moscow into an alliance with Beijing. While it seems unlikely that Russia could have been as easily wooed as some think, there is truth to the argument that the failure to build a modern, successful, and prosperous Russia during the 1990s contributed to the defeat of those in Russian politics who wished for an alliance with the West. A Russia which is bankrupt, with its independent media gone, internet firewalled, and intelligentsia long since forced underground will be a satellite of Beijing.

Furthermore, while alarmist, worries that the sort of sanctions inflicted on Russia will undermine the position of the dollar and the dominance of Western financial systems such as SWIFT are not entirely without merit. Those sanctions are producing a public relations backlash in India and Africa, and the longer they are in effect the more incentive there is to develop alternatives. On the other hand, if they are lifted relatively quickly, Russia will have incentives to return to Western institutions out of familiarity and inertia.

For all these reasons, the Biden administration should not be reveling in the current stalemate as any kind of victory and mocking Russia’s lack of leverage in talks. Rather, the U.S. should take advantage of this to figure out what settlement it can live with, one which brings this war to a close. Looking at from the distance of history rather than the horror of the moment, we may ultimately look back and see that the United States has potentially gained quite a lot by Putin’s miscalculation. NATO is rejuvenated with increased spending commitments across the board. The prestige of Western military doctrine and technology has been redeemed after the fall of Kabul. A new unified Ukrainian national identity has been forged which might well see the country transformed for the better if the war does not utterly destroy it.

It is time to look for an exit ramp which will let us end this before it gets much worse. Allowing Ukraine to turn into Syria will risk everything that has been achieved both by the Ukrainians and the West over the last month. It will subject the Ukrainian people to untold suffering. It will only push Russia closer to China. It will lead much of the developing world to blame the West should the fighting grow more desperate—already there are those accusing the West of being willing to “fight to the last Ukrainian”. The only winners will be in Beijing. The Biden team needs to lead.

Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.   


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Susan Torrens
3 months ago

So what are we going to do about a demented President and a Bimbo Bice President? There is a part of me that is furious with Jill Biden for supporting her husband in the run for the White House knowing full well that Joe is struggling with Altzheimers.

Hal
3 months ago

Putin should go sit on a toilet!!!!

FUK
3 months ago

The assumptions that go into the analyies of these talking head asshats is totally disconnected with reality. Not a one of them – this author included – have ever thought of this from the other side’s position.

The Russians are in fact quite close to their goal, which is a more defensible set of borders, control of the coast, and means to make certain Ukraine, which is in fact part of Russia, does not “go west.”

Nobody gets that. Why?

Stephanie Staker
3 months ago

While I am appalled at the destruction and murders committed in Ukraine, it really bothers me that the MSM, the politicians, and generally everyone who has lied to us, the public, about Covid-19 for over 2 years, it’s hard for me to get behind all the rhetoric. Putin is a monster and I don’t understand his war tactics at all. If he wants Ukraine, why is he destroying it and trying to kill her citizens? It makes no sense to me at all. Is he a mad man? Is he senile like our leader? I get that Putin has his gripes and worries but all the nations that border Russia worry about what he will do next – with good reason! I simply don’t know who is telling truth any more.

Dennis
3 months ago

Putin had been warning for some 15 years about NATO expansion….then he was supposed to sit by and let NATO envelop Ukraine as well? Putting ALL kinds of weaponry on his border and blocking Russias only access to winter ports? We wouldnt accept it and Russia should not allow it. Zelinsky is no hero, he is a corrupt scumbag leading a nation of corruption. Why Putin didnt just level the country is beyond me…….we did in Baghdad if anyone can recall……but Russia is “evil”? Do some research folks….seems AMAC has gone woke on this matter…….until a hint contained in this article.

Mike
3 months ago
Reply to  Dennis

Thanks Vlad.

Jerry
3 months ago

Don’t let Joe get involved, he doesn’t know where Ukraine is

Donald A Colongeli
3 months ago

ALL WE HEAR IS REPEATED INFORMATION, IT DOESNT SEEM AS THOUGH ANY ONE WE DEPEND ON TAKES ACTION AND GETS INVOLVED. IF THE FACIST LIBERALS CAN SPEW HATRED AND DESTROY OUR COUNTRY WE SHOULD ALSO BECOME PROACTIVE AND FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE. OUR COUNTRIES FUTURE IS AT STAKE. I HAVE TEXTED THE NRC AND INFORMED THEM IF THEY DONT STOP THE APPOINTMENT OF THIS PERSON FOR THE SUPREME COURT, I WILL NEVER SUPPORT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ANY LONGER.

Bob L.
3 months ago

The current conflict in Ukraine is just another violent chapter in the region’s history. The region, including Ukraine has long been and still is politically unstable, violently so. The citizens, men, women, and children have suffered greatly as a result throughout that history.

There’s a documentary that describes part of that history from the 20th century until recently.

“Ukraine On Fire”
rumble.com/vwxxi8-ukraine-on-fire.html

David
3 months ago

As long as there is an incompetent president in the white house, I don’t think there will be a competent resolve to this war. I predicted before Biden was elected, that if he gets elected he might lead this country into WW3, and I predicted gas prices would go up continuously until the end of his presidency, so far unfortunately I’ve been correct.I just wish this country would have realized that also.

Xtech
3 months ago
Reply to  David

I predicted the exact same scenario. As time goes on it becomes apparent that the West seemingly wants this war to continue. Why, is the question; is it to destroy Putin, a holdout on the NWO? American funded bio (weapons) labs? Cover Ukraine CORRUPTION? One thing is certain; SloJoe is a unmitigated DISASTER for the US, hopefully not eventually the entire world!
Let’s Go Brandon (and all of his puppet masters!)

Linda Baker
3 months ago
Reply to  Xtech

Did China and company ever think their installed liar in chief would be this big of a disaster?

Walter Plessinger
3 months ago

I’m seeing no end in sight to the war in Ukraine, nor do I see a Biden administration that is capable enough of leading. I will listen today for the results that come from the NATO meeting in Europe where Biden is at, and only then will I get more of a sense of where all this disruption is leading US, but I’m not very optimistic about the outcome. I believe we will hear the same ole same ole that we’ve been hearing for exactly one month now.

B.J. Cassady
3 months ago

Has the commander in cheese announced any goals in this war and believe me it is a war? As a vet, I believe the goals should be, Putin locked away after his war crimes trial, defeat in Ukraine, the USA or NATO (which has 50 times the economy of Russia, 10 times the troops, 5 times the planes and much larger navy) should do whatever is necessary in stopping this war. Imagine 1000 planes hitting the Russian forces, hitting the bases in Crimea and wherever the forces are staging their operations from. Return ALL the land back to Ukraine. If their are ethnic Russians living in Ukraine, allow them safe passage to Russia. Ukraine belongs to their people. Kick the invaders out. When done, make Russia pay for the rebuilding of Ukraine. Russia will be broke. Fair enough. As for our commander in cheese, he will be done in a few years and hopefully people will vote for someone with enough common sense to lead. Joe B is a good example for why we need term limits.

Phillip Ridenour
3 months ago
Reply to  B.J. Cassady

Imagine 1000 planes hitting Russian bases. Imagine Putin pushing the nuclear button. We cannot assume Putin is a rational person from the Western mold. He doesn’t see the world through the same rose colored lenses that Western people wear. If pushed hard enough and far enough he’ll be the proverbial cornered rat with nothing to lose.

Vietvet6769
3 months ago

This man really delusional, he is coach that he is the president of the New World Order..

Garye
3 months ago

More FAILURE from joebama and the marxist democrat party!
NOT respected AT ALL in America and the LAUGHING STOCK OF WEAKNESS in the World!
How absolutely pathetic these traitors are!!!
Throw them out !

CoNMTX
3 months ago

“…victory lap for Biden?” Is this Bozo now taking credit for this? What did he do besides hide in his mansion or his vacation mansion? It’s called Biden’s leadership failure in Ukraine. ALL his leadership has been a failure so what else could this be? The moron has been a failure for 40 years.

Garye
3 months ago
Reply to  CoNMTX

Slow joebama and his marxist democrat party a JOKE !

Frank
3 months ago

When are people going to understand that Biden’s a demented Puppet and not the leader a normal president is? Does anyone really believe this clown’s making the decisions because if you do I have a bridge to sell you? It’s Obama, Pelosi, Clinton, Schumer and liberals along with the United Nations that are Intentionally doing this for the start of their One World Order Government agenda. Better wake up and see what’s really going on. What other reason would the United Nations and Nato be so silent and not Intervein which they should have done by now. This is why nothing was done about the rigged election because this was in the planning.

Garye
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

When will people understand that the marxist democrat party is destroying America and THROW THEM OUT????

anna hubert
3 months ago

Biden’s leadership? now that is not funny

Owen Shrock
3 months ago

I’m sorry, but this entire article sounds like more propaganda by AMAC. I’m not sure what to believe anymore. The article talk’s early on about Moscow being pushed into an alliance with Beijing because the US didn’t help Moscow rebuild a modern, successful, and prosperous Russia?

Once again it’s America’s fault, After we defeated Communism we should have rebuilt them like we did with Germany and Japan after WW2.

The United States has made some bone head moves concerning which side to back during a conflict, such as when Ho Chi Minh first came to us wanting help in getting rid of French rule in Vietnam. When we refused to help him because he was a Communist, he turned to China. We all know how that one turned out.

Another example is when Chiang Kai-shek came to us wanting help fighting the Communist and Mao Tse-tung in during China’s Civil War shortly after WW2. Long story short, Chiang Kai-shek and his pro western forces were defeated and he along with his army and others fled to Taiwan. If only we would have helped him maybe we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today concerning China, and just maybe we would have had the outcome we’ve always wanted with China in the first place.

Here’s my point, Russia has never been our friend, even when our mutual survival depended on it during WW2…Russia was not in bed with us-so to speak-they were only friendly with us because they needed us to save their sorry @ss. Ever since WW2 Russia has been our major adversary and it wasn’t until we defeated them and China grew into their superpower status that our focus shifted away from them…as for us easing up on Russia because we’re pushing them towards China, the two countries have already made public their agreement with each other and I think the best thing we can do as a country and for the world is to REPLACE each and everyone of Bidens cabinet and anyone around him with new American First Conservative Leadership.

Sorry for my rant, I know I tend to get off subject. Russia deserves it’s bloody nose the Ukrainians are giving them, we need to support the Ukrainians with arms and supplies, but nothing else. As for everything else, it will all come out in the wash as soon as we get some real leadership in the Oval Office if we can last that long.

God Bless the USA

Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  Owen Shrock

If they would have listened to Patton, we wouldn’t be dealing with this because he wanted to take out Russia. We only help rebuild those we fought in war, and we didn’t fight Russia so why should we rebuild a communist country.

PaulE
3 months ago
Reply to  Owen Shrock

Very well said Owen. The thing you have to realize with a lot, but not all, of the articles that AMAC publishes here, is that they are generally written by opinion writers pushing a certain narrative. They are NOT articles written by subject matter experts, historians, scientists, or the like. As such, much of the content is superficial in nature and may be reflective of the author’s or the organization’s unintended or intended biases. At least that is what I’ve concluded over the years. Hope this helps.

Walter Plessinger
3 months ago
Reply to  Owen Shrock

I really liked the Asian history lesson, but liked even more the last part of your rant. Yes our only hope is to survive the next 3 years, and start this November getting rid of these weak Marxist “democrats” and replace them with America First representatives. Only then can we start the laundry, so to speak, so the dirt can come out in the wash.

Lauren R MacArthur
3 months ago
Reply to  Owen Shrock

Going back even further…IF Truman had let MacArthur go straight through to China as he wanted, a whole different story would be behind us now.

Bill on the Hill
3 months ago

The Biden administration is weak & feckless, western Europe is weak, with or without NATO. Putin knew this long before he decided to invade the Ukraine…Russia already knew full well in advance of invading the Ukraine on how his nation would be sanctioned, including the cutting off of the SWIFT banking system. Putin is now offering his oil & gas to his immediate neighbors with payment of that energy in the form of the Russian Ruble, i.e. he doesn’t need the federal reserve in any capacity whatsoever & not surprisingly neither does China as they quietly sit back & watch all that is unfolding. Several months before the invasion, both Russia & China had agreed to terms of payment for energy outside the Federal Reserve monopoly most nations adhere to.
The NWO Biden spoke of ( 2 ) days ago in actuality applies to America, Russia, India & yes, China…The vast majority of nations across the globe want no part of this NWO folks…
There is another politician that spoke of this NWO nonsense back in the early part of the ’90’s, none other than HW Bush himself. Political power & greed has no party affiliation boundaries & these wealthy elites have wanted this globalized form of government since at least the ’60’s if not the 1950’s. The world overall wants no part of it…
NATO will NEVER be allowed in Ukraine nor any other Russian satellite states without a full blown war over this, i.e. WW111…
I will leave a quote from this story that rings more true than false & end my comments with it:
” Furthermore, while alarmist, worries that the sort of sanctions inflicted on Russia will undermine the position of the dollar and the dominance of Western financial systems such as SWIFT are not entirely without merit. ”
Surely if the west loses the monopoly of the US dollar under the auspices of the Federal Reserve, this will begin a cascading of financial events most people are woefully unprepared for, including yours truly…
In closing, to think all that has occurred in the last ( 14 ) months under a clueless, old man suffering from dementia that got installed as a president under false pretenses by rigging an election for it to be so, brings us to this very moment in time…
Biden got his ” Wag the Dog ” distraction in Ukraine, whilst our southern border remains WIDE OPEN… :~(
Bill… :~)

Max
3 months ago

Correct.

Steve
3 months ago

True distractions from our own domestic issues. It seems most are complacent on carrying fire extinguishers as we are further losing “the big picture” – what is in the best interest of the USA.

Boz
3 months ago

Failure? He was chosen to “fail”. All of his “failures” push us one step closer to NWO. All of this is deliberate and intentional.

J C
3 months ago

Go to HELL biden. 50 years of Stupidity and Hate for the United States. You disgusting stumbling Lying rotting skin bag, along with your sick pathetic thieving family..

CoNMTX
3 months ago
Reply to  J C

Don’t sugar coat it J C, tell it like it is. Oh, that’s right, you did. Sadly, nothing but the absolute truth. The entire Biden family is owned by China. Except the parts owned by Russia and Soros. Biden would do anything to anyone for money and power. Sad excuse for a human being.

Jerry
3 months ago
Reply to  J C

Buck Fiden

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