The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Olympics are over, so that means that the imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine is even more imminent! For weeks, the mainstream media has been busy publishing as many intelligence leaks as the pro-war Washington DC policy wonks can get out to the public. The invasion timetable keeps getting pushed out farther with each failed prediction. It is hard to see who is more desperate for war in eastern Europe, Biden or the press.
Biden, for his part, has bragged that Putin fears him.
No one seems to know when the toe-to-toe moment happened, but most are betting it was after Biden’s confrontation with Corn Pop and before he threatened to take Trump out behind the woodshed. Biden can say whatever he wants, but his actions have been far from aggressive with the Russian leader.
Biden has only sent a token contingent of American troops to bolster the region and has refused to impose pre-emptive sanctions on Putin for his buildup of arms and men on the border of Ukraine. President Zelenskyy blasted the President saying that sanctions placed on Russia after the artillery shells start falling in his country will do little good. It is not just international leaders who are attacking Biden’s sanction strategy.
Secretary Lloyd Austin argued this week that sanctions are not much of a deterrent to Putin because they do not directly impact Putin himself, only on the Russian people. Lloyd is right about the ineffectiveness of sanctions, but he has the reason all wrong.
Although Putin will feel little economic impact personally, he still must be concerned with many of his people suffering economically. If enough people start to turn on him, it could destabilize his power. That is why Putin has been working hard to make his country less susceptible to sanctions in general. A case in point is the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline. Russia has increased Europe’s dependence on its energy exports.
One reason Biden is reluctant to impose sanctions is because of this dependence. The President paused the sanctions on the pipeline last year. Europe will place a lot of pressure on Biden to keep the energy flowing regardless of Putin’s doing to Ukraine. Russia may indeed invade Ukraine, but it is unlikely to take what Biden will do in response when making that decision.