How Biden Is Giving Ukraine To Putin
America is standing idle while a supposed partner is under siege — but what did you expect from a coward like Joe Biden?
As Barack Obama once colorfully put it: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.”
It’s a testament to the power-worshiping insanity of America’s D.C. journalist corps that this quote isn’t thrown back at Biden in every press conference — well, the few his handlers let him hold, anyway.
Back in 2020, it was all but mandatory to say that Joe Biden’s wheelhouse was foreign policy. His boosters talked up his history of traveling around the world schmoozing with leaders, building personal relationships that were supposed to re-establish a sense of normalcy after Trump.
Yeah, about that… his polling averages now match Trump’s for a reason.
Joe Biden’s administration has one and only one objective in this awful fight over Ukraine’s future: not being blamed for whatever goes wrong.
That’s all these craven hacks care about, period point blank — this holds true for any major policy issue. America’s political madness and march to political separation is driven by the fact everyone in D.C. plays politics with our very lives.
I actually have a bit of a personal stake in what happens in Ukraine — a cousin of mine lives in Kyiv with the family he married into. Back in grad school, I met folks from Ukraine who were studying in Oregon of all places, at the same time the Crimea and Donbas crises were breaking out.
So to watch Joe Biden and the compliant, nationalist, cowardly American press hang Ukraine out to dry like they are — well, after the absolutely awful betrayal of the people of Afghanistan and everyone who served there, it’s tragically predictable but equally enraging.
There is a simple reason Joe Biden and his mouthpieces have spent the last month warning of an impending Russian invasion of Ukraine while doing nothing to make it less likely: if Kyiv falls, they will be desperate to avoid being blamed.
This and no other reason is why since December Biden has been calling a Russian attack “imminent” for weeks before temporarily backing off this rhetoric at Ukraine’s request. It’s why he’s been encouraging Americans to leave Ukraine for weeks despite the serious danger to Kyiv itself only peaking the past couple weeks with Russia’s deployment of massive forces to Belarus.
Americans are given no meaningful education in foreign policy in school and the media contains little science, preferring nationalist myths, so it’s understandable most can’t read between the lines. But despite insisting America has Ukraine’s back, every one of Biden’s actions has in fact sent a clear message to Vladimir Putin:
America isn’t gonna do jack to protect Ukraine.
America’s self-absorbed, bigoted foreign policy wonks want to have everything both ways. They want to let Ukraine fight alone while getting credit for sending a few shipments of small arms that would suffice to do no more than make a potential insurgency marginally more deadly, and mostly to Ukrainian civilians whose homes would be the battleground in this fight.
In my brief military service, I trained for counterinsurgency operations. I can testify that there is no winning in an insurgency — victory generally means there’s not much left standing worth fighting over. Everyone loses.
You don’t have to accept Russia’s aggression in Ukraine to decry the duplicitous game Joe Biden is playing with, well, everyone. Americans disrespect allies and talk down to partners. The reason declassified American intelligence reports about Russia’s buildup and intentions keep being given to the press is simply that the Biden administration thinks this will insulate it against any consequences.
The problem is that Ukraine is not Afghanistan. The terrain, geopolitics, history — everything is different, except for one critical factor:
Joe Biden and the Democrats are absolutely terrified of what happens if they have another foreign policy debacle on their hands. And so they’re trying to narrate Putin’s potential actions ahead of time to look like Biden wasn’t caught with its pants down yet again.
Ironically, this is helping Putin gaslight everyone about his true intentions. Biden doesn’t care what happens so long as he doesn’t look like he’s lost control.
In American politics, everything is about the next election. Politicians and their allies will spin events and even tell bald-faced lies if they think they can get away with it — and they usually do, since no one will question their own team’s strategy in a meaningful way. America’s march to collapse is one of the decisive factors that will set the course of the near future for the entire world. Americans’ inability to clearly see their country for what it is damns not only them, but people everywhere on this Earth.
Biden is now encouraging all American citizens to leave Ukraine right away, not because this will make the crisis any less dangerous — Russia is unlikely to bomb major cities or try to occupy them — but because he is terrified of a Kabul repeat. He is deeply frightened of leaving Americans behind enemy lines twice in a year not because he cares about the, but because that would probably end his Presidency in abject disgrace.
This political terror has bound Biden’s hands — he won’t take the necessary steps to actually raise the costs of Russian action enough to make Putin think twice, just bluff at escalation by sending a few more soldiers to Europe that aren’t remotely sufficient to defend NATO member states.
If Putin was truly the megalomaniac nightmare for democracy Russia hating writers like Anne Applebaum of (where else?) The Atlantic insist, he could march the Russian Army right back to its Cold War positions in Germany over the course of a week and NATO couldn’t stop him short of going nuclear. Russia, sadly, has been on the cusp of the revolution in ground warfare that has taken place over the last twenty years, adopting new forms of military organization explicitly meant to fix problems that arose the last times Russia sent ground troops to fight in Georgia and Ukraine.
Three or even ten thousand American soldiers in Poland and Romania is nothing. Russia could crush NATO right now if Putin chose to bear the costs of the global war that would trigger —if he’s truly irrational, as American bigots insist any enemy of America is, NATO is already doomed.
The truth, though, is that Putin is. Russia has developed a science of warfare that makes no distinction between non-violent and violent conflict. Russia has clearly adopted the lessons of Clausewitz — war is politics, and the reverse is also true: politics is a form of war.
Where America’s leaders lay out red lines and bolster deterrence, Russian leaders play chess, using America’s predictable actions against it. In Ukraine Putin has placed Biden in an awful trap, and as a result of Biden’s desperation to maintain control of a situation where he really has little to none Putin is setting the tune for the cruel dance.
Already cracks in NATO have been clarified by Joe Biden himself. Truth be told, all of Biden’s public statements on Ukraine have a clear subtext: America will not defend its partner at the risk of a major war. If Russia attacks Ukraine without a direct overwhelming invasion, NATO won’t agree on what to do next.
Now consider this quote from BBC — Biden’s words in bold:
The US State Department urged Americans in Ukraine to leave immediately.
“American citizens should leave now,” Mr Biden told NBC News.
“We’re dealing with one of the largest armies in the world. It’s a very different situation and things could go crazy quickly.”
Asked whether there was a scenario that could prompt him to send troops to rescue fleeing Americans, Mr Biden replied: “There’s not. That’s a world war when Americans and Russia start shooting at one another. We’re in a very different world than we’ve ever been.”
Hold on now — spot the problem? The President of the United States has ruled out helping American citizens in Ukraine if it means American soldiers possibly getting in the way.
Folks, the one job of an American President is to protect American citizens against any threat. Biden just told Americans living in Ukraine that if they don’t move now they’re on their own — America’s military won’t protect them.
I can’t be the only one who sees how utterly devastating this message is!
American citizens facing aggression can’t count on the American military to help. Thousands were left behind in Afghanistan, and the same will happen in Ukraine if Russia actually goes for an all-out invasion like the President of the United States predicts he will.
And Joe Biden will let it happen! If you need further evidence this man should not be Commander in Chief for another instant, here it is. He is Donald Trump’s mirror, and the primary reason we can expect a second Trump term to begin in 2025.
That disaster could be averted, but probably won’t be, because leading Democrats don’t care — they’ll still have jobs and scared voters throwing money at them. American politics is a for-profit business and meaningful democracy is utterly beside the point.
You won’t hear this truth from the mainstream American press, though. The right wing nutjobs might say it, but if they do this basic will be discredited by the self-serving punditocracy — which is exactly what Team Biden is after. America’s evil Janus-faced political system wins whenever its domestic forever war forces Americans to accept the deeply anti-democratic functional collusion both parties have embraced.
No one should ever hope for war. And Russia does have legitimate security concerns over NATO, even if they are mostly a figment of Russian imagination, since NATO is too inept and bureaucratic to pose a true threat to much of anyone, even the Taliban.
But Biden is essentially encouraging Putin to attack while also telling Americans its their fault if they’re caught in the middle. Over the past few weeks he has made it abundantly clear that America will offer words and obsolete small arms, no real support. Biden is so afraid of Russia that he’ll even leave American citizens trapped in Kyiv to avoid a war.
The problem with sending signals like this in hopes of avoiding escalation is that it actually makes conflict more likely. Consider what Putin now knows about America based on Biden’s own words:
- America will not intervene to protect Ukraine or its own citizens from a major invasion
- A minor invasion or operation that involves only, say, massive aerial bombardment, won’t generate a united NATO response
- America will annoy Russia by sending more military forces to Eastern Europe, but not enough to stop an attack
- NATO membership will remain open to any country, including Ukraine, even if there is no viable path to joining anytime soon
To try and avert a war, all America has offered Russia is the possibility of a few mostly meaningless confidence gestures like mutual inspections of missile sites. Now, it’s always a bad idea to give in to an opponent’s demands straight away, so it makes sense that NATO wouldn’t budge on its membership rules.
But you can preserve NATO without taking actions that make Putin’s case about NATO for him. Biden’s dispatch of small numbers of troops just makes him look weak, because he’s letting Putin’s paranoia dictate how many go.
Yes, sending half the United States military to Eastern Europe would represent a major escalation. But when Russia is literally making the case that it can re-establish its Soviet sphere of influence over Eastern Europe, sending only few soldiers is the worst of both worlds — it looks like a buildup, justifying Russia’s fears, but also implies America won’t go to war to defend NATO allies.
Which it won’t.
Make no mistake — Joe Biden has communicated his intentions to Vladimir Putin loud and clear, if you know the language of diplomat-speech. America’s effort at deterrence is fake, geared towards a domestic audience. It’s all theater intended to keep the Democrats false hope of maintaining their House majority this November, and as usual, the jingoistic American media is lapping it up.
Ukraine has already been abandoned to Putin. Biden, in fact, appears to be almost hoping for a major invasion at this point. If diplomacy does succeed, it won’t be Biden’s efforts that gets the job done — and worse for his political future, Russia could easily drag this crisis out all year.
China has voiced support for Russia’s position, so Putin has a home for Russia’s natural gas exports and a lifeline in the event severe sanctions are put in place. Ukraine’s military is outmatched and its doctrine and training likely outmoded, focused on a static defense of the indefensible east.
Even the CIA is publishing maps of a possible attack that match up with what I’ve been assuming would happen all along if it goes down: a swift, brutal Russian campaign mostly waged with air power and artillery blast Ukraine’s army to pieces while anti-Kyiv demonstrations break out in towns and cities across the East.
If Russian forces go in, it probably won’t be clear it’s actually uniformed soldiers moving west and not insurgents at first. Russian regular units can stand off and inflict horrendous casualties on Ukraine’s military forces whose positions are going to be well mapped out and vulnerable to airstrikes. Mercenaries and separatists can test the integrity of the front line and locate more targets in small-scale operations that will nevertheless bleed Ukraine’s forces badly.
War is not about sending two armies to meet on some plain where they battle it ought. All combat is asymmetrical, soldiers do anything they can to survive while meeting their objectives, which necessarily involve seizing physical territory. Ukraine can’t defend Donbas and honestly shouldn’t try — too many lives will be lost for no good reason.
If Putin does choose to swallow all of Ukraine in the end, it is unlikely to happen all in a day with a rapid mechanized push into Kyiv. Myself, I wake up each morning expecting to hear of some atrocity that kills a bunch of Russians somewhere in Ukraine. This, whether an accident or false flag, is what Putin needs to justify an operation in Eastern Ukraine to his people that he’ll certainly hope leads to the fall of all Ukraine eventually.
The Biden Administration’s annoying attempt to split the world into autocracy and democracy zones is doomed to fail because real democracy isn’t a checklist of institutions, it’s about making leaders accountable to their people. And in matters of foreign policy, America’s leadership caste is almost as insulated from that as the cliques running Russia and China.
In reality, Putin has to sell what he does abroad to his people. In an autocracy, mass resistance is a persistent threat leaders fear. Same is true in a democracy, but there at least resistance is usually channeled into non-violent processes. Where people lack the freedom to discipline their leaders, which largely is the case in America thanks to its mad two party system, pressures out in unpredictable ways — like trucker convoys protesting Covid restrictions that are about to go away anyway because most governments have given up that fight too.
Putin’s rhetoric about Russians and Ukrainians being one people means he can’t launch an attack that kills tens of thousands of civilians unless it looks completely justified because violence is already widespread. That’s why an all-out invasion and march on Kyiv most likely comes only after extended fighting in the east and some sort of coup against Ukraine’s existing government.
Putin prefers his main forces invited in to stop violence. A direct invasion without obvious cause would harm his own position and risk the kind of insurgency neither Russia not Ukraine can afford but America would love to see bog down Putin indefinitely.
I’m sure people in the American intelligence and foreign policy communities are well aware of this. It’s only the American people who are kept in dark about the truth, lied to by craven hacks like Joe Biden.
When my dad was serving during Vietnam, he had the odd experience of being sent to Hawai’i to work on top-secret (at the time) electronic intelligence work. Pretty much by accident he saw raw casualty numbers coming into his station that wouldn’t be reported that way on the news — a scandal broken only years later by journalists of a generation not wholly captured by the two party doom loop.
America’s leaders lied to the American people about Vietnam. They lied about Iraq. It is only prudent to assume they are lying about Ukraine, too.
What Joe Biden would like to see happen in Ukraine is becoming clear. He and the clique of establishment Democrats surrounding him want Putin to do something that lets Biden play-act the role of tough guy.
They are paradoxically okay with a drawn-out Russia-Ukraine conflict characterized by brutal insurgent actions. Anything that might make Biden look like a tough statesman they’ll jump onto, abetted by a media that proclaimed American democracy was under attack only to see Americans fail to rally to the one party allegedly still committed to democracy.
Joe Biden is literally giving Ukraine away to Putin. He calculates that this, so long as the American people are prepared for it by a compliant media, will rebound to his advantage.
It’s this kind of short-term, D.C. insider thinking that has already killed America. A real solution to the Ukraine crisis requires compromise by both sides, most likely leading to autonomy for parts of Ukraine’s east that doesn’t give those regions the ability to control Kyiv’s foreign policy. Ukraine will have to become neutral — or be swallowed in Putin’s effort to rebuild as much of the Soviet Union as he can.
Is this fair? No. Is this an ideal outcome? Hardly.
But the gains Ukraine might realize from any conflict are as nothing compared to the damage it would cause. Ukraine probably won’t exist after a major war. And there is nothing short of actually standing up for Ukraine’s independence at the risk of a global war that will deter Putin now. Not when the balance of power is so skewed in his favor in a way it might never be again.
There is a good reason Joe Biden’s popularity now matches Trump’s at this stage in their respective administrations. He has failed, selling out American partners and allies just like former guy did.
America’s shame deepens. And its final fall beckons.
When the day comes, I certainly won’t shed any tears.