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In Ukraine, Biden surpasses Macron, Scholz and DeSantis

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In Ukraine, Biden surpasses Macron, Scholz and DeSantis

To the President of France, Emmanuel MacronAn advice:

If, as a report from The Wall Street Journalyou are convinced that the war in Ukraine is doomed to a bloody stalemate, and would like to encourage Ukraine to enter into “peace talks” with Moscow that would leave Russia in possession of large tracts of conquered territory, why not preach by example?

French President Emmanuel Macron listens to students visiting a high school.  (Stephane Mahe/Pool via AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron listens to students visiting a high school. (Stephane Mahe/Pool via AP)

Publicly suggest the return of Alsace in Germany as proof that you also believe that the territorial sovereignty It must be negotiable.

To the Chancellor Olaf Schoelz from Germany, another suggestion:

If you’re going to hint at the possibility of closer ties between Ukraine and NATO (but not full membership) as a way to push Ukraine into a diplomatic deal with Moscow, why not invite several Russian armored battalions in the vicinity of Berlin?

This would show that you too are willing to adjust the 1991 verdict to appease the Kremlin’s resentment, greed and paranoia.

These are absurd suggestions.

That’s the question.

Those who now claim that the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyit must be “realistic” or “pragmatic”“, that is, which should not amount to a complete withdrawal of Russia from all occupied Ukrainian territories, they are proposing a solution that they would never accept for their own countries under normal circumstances, let alone during a struggle for the national survival.

So, as the war in Ukraine enters its second year, I am grateful Joe Biden.

it seems

You can blame him all you want on many issues, especially his own gradualist approach regarding the armament of Ukraine, but on the most important issue of our time he is essentially right.

“You cannot appease the appetites of autocrats,” he said last week in Warsaw, Poland.

“You have to stand up to them.”

It is not a stale moral voice.

It is a voice of experience, foresight, military realism and political prudence.

Experience, because the world has come to know very well Vladimir Putin during his 23 years in power.

We know it does not respect the terms of agreements to which Russia is bound, from the Cold War-era INF Treaty to the more recent Minsk Accords.

We know it has launched unprovoked invasions in the past, and if left unchecked, it will do so again in the future.

Foresight, because a negotiated agreement would create more problems than it would solve.

Iran he would see that nuclear blackmail works.

China He would draw the lesson that if there are limits to what the US and our allies are willing to do for Ukraine (which is fighting for itself and shares a land border with NATO), there will be much sharper limits to that that we are willing to do. from Taiwan.

Russia he would have concluded that, however clumsy his invasion was, he had gained territory, frozen the conflict, and could attack Ukraine again in a few years.

Military realism, because the lesson of the first year of war is that Moscow can be beaten.

The Russian army was defeated in the battle for Kiev, in the counteroffensive near Kharkiv and in the fight for Kherson.

The Ukrainians have done all of this without the benefit of Western tanks, Predator drones or fighter planes.

Imagine how quickly you could make money if you had all three amounts right.

As for prudence, thinking openly about the need for any negotiations harms Ukrainian solidarity and morale, which are key factors for its survival and success.

The vast majority of Ukrainians want to take back all territory seized by Russia, including Crimea.

How can it be pragmatic or realistic to expect Zelensky to ignore the wishes of his own people, renounce his sacrifices and abandon the Ukrainians still living under Russian occupation?

Calls for negotiations also undermine public support for Ukraine in the United States.

When it comes to foreign policy, Americans pay more for big causes and high principles than for small causes and realpolitik.

Arming and funding Ukraine in its struggle for freedom and independence against an evil tyrant is a great cause.

Arming and funding it for the sake of a shaky ceasefire is a small cause.

This political fact should weigh heavily on the minds of Biden’s foreign policy team.

Public support for Ukraine is eroding, especially among Republicans and the most knowledgeable conservatives, including the governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, are shamefully hedging their bets.

Biden likes to say that the US will support Ukraine for as long as it takes.

But that promise could expire on Jan. 20, 2025, if he doesn’t win a second term.

He owes to his own heritage not to risk what is potentially his presidency’s most historic achievement in next year’s race.

So it makes no sense for the administration to slow arms deliveries to Ukraine or imply that Ukraine is unlikely to recapture Crimea.

Biden’s goal for 2023 must be clear and direct:

THE Ukrainian victory.

It can achieve this through the rapid delivery of breakthrough military equipment, combined with a diplomatic push in which we propose Ukraine join NATO if Russia does not withdraw.

Perhaps this could even give Putin his own exit ramp by surrender.

After a year of war, I am more confident than ever that Biden will make the right decision.

This is more than can be said Macron, Scholz and other pale shades of what passes for a statesman in the free world.

c.2023 The New York Times Society

Source: Clarin

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