Antony Blinken sent out to explain the US position on the conflict in Ukraine to Sunday morning shows like “Face the Nation,” the picture is only getting murkier. The United States is winding around Russia with monetary sanctions like an anaconda to induce a breakdown in the Russian Federation. The goal is to cause enough domestic pain and politically force the people of Russia to remove President Vladimir Putin. It is a hazardous technique with a low probability of success. Putin is relatively popular with most Russians and exerts dictatorial control over the rest who show up to protest in the streets. It is not a nation that will allow BLM and Antifa to run roughshod over the shops looting and burning them to the ground.
Many politicians have expressed some form of dread for what will eventually come our way, with an anti-President like Joe Biden who does what he is told to do by Barack Obama via Ron Klain and Susan Rice. But when the phone stops ringing, that is the sign that Joe is on his own once again taking the fall for inept and corrupt Democrats.
Blinken is holding onto the hope that Ukrainian fighters will hold off the Russian military for a few more weeks. But Putin realizes this and sees the slipshod Ukrainian army hardening with the aid of the US and EU allies. His mathematical advantages, supply logistics and power structure will fail sooner than later. Putin’s plan is apparently to lay siege to Kyiv and sack the city like a medieval castle, then negotiate the surrender of Zelenskyy so that his head can be placed on a pike.
Russian generals promised Putin their plan would succeed in capturing Ukrainian strategic positions. Russian soldiers thought they would drive in and be greeted by locals as liberators like in 1945 Poland. Putin believes his propaganda calls Zelenskyy a contemporary Nazi government, even though there is an element of fascism hovering beneath the surface.
However, Russian military actions have been surprisingly careful. It demonstrates that Putin may have had a more realistic picture of what annexing Ukraine would entail. Simply exacerbating the time factor while other global tactics are put into motion. They have not drawn the Ukrainian military into a full-scale military confrontation. Russian missile batteries are irritating bombardments of cities and residents while allowing the safe passage of refugees and offering a form of peace with the mayors who comply with Russian demands.
Putin does not seem to want to capture all of Ukraine or vanquish Europe, as his opponents claim. His slow, deliberate pace should be troubling. If he is looking to divide Ukraine along an eastern border for ethnic Russians, Blinken must address this. If his required outcome is to ban Ukraine from joining NATO, Blinken must also address that.
The US and Russia have not held peace talks yet. Bringing Putin to the table requires a strategic military advantage. But Blinken thinks that President Zelenskyy is an excellent resistance to Russian hostility. President Biden has discussed arming Ukrainians with US equipment, which Zelenskyy has requested for years. Biden used leverage in his quid pro quo that masked his family’s business interests in the country.
Using Poland as a base of NATO operations will induce a Russian response. Blinken thinks that Poland is considering this on its own and that there is some line of demarcation between humanitarian aid and military intervention. The Ukrainian Air Force needs help and the army needs military gear. NATO has not offered a clear commitment to enter the conflict with Russia. Instead, Blinken favors supplying Ukraine with weapons at Zelenskyy’s demands.
He says that he wants to end this conflict in Ukraine and not start a world war. But providing F-16 and F-15 fighter jets is a step in that direction. Reagan joked that “we begin bombing in five minutes” in 1984. Biden may accidentally stumble into attacking Moscow, which is not a joke.