Home World News A message to the Biden team in Ukraine: Speak less

A message to the Biden team in Ukraine: Speak less

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A message to the Biden team in Ukraine: Speak less

A message to the Biden team in Ukraine: Speak less

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Poland last week. Group photo by Alex Brandon

Growing up in Minnesota, I was a big fan of the local NHL team at the time, the North Stars, and they had a sportscaster, Al Shaver, who gave me my first lesson in politics and military strategy.

He ended his shows with this farewell:

“When you lose, speak a little. When you win, say a little. Good evening and good sport. “

Biden and his team need to control their political messages.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Biden and his team need to control their political messages. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden and it would be good for his team to accept Shaver’s wisdom.

Last week in Poland, standing near the Ukrainian border, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin got my attention – and certainly on Vladimir Putin– when he said that the purpose of the US war in Ukraine is not only to help Ukraine regain its sovereignty, but also to build a Russia ”weakened”.

“We want to see Russia weaken to the point where it can’t do the kinds of things it did by invading Ukraine,” he said.

“It’s lost a lot of military capacity. And the amount of troops it has, really. And we want them not to have the ability to recreate that capability very quickly.”

Please tell me that this statement is the result of a National Security Council meeting chaired by the president.

And that they have decided, after carefully weighing all the second and third-order consequences, that it is in our interest and within our power to degrade Russia’s military so much that it will no longer be able to reappear. of power.

Coming soon? Ever?

It is not clear, and that we can do it without risking a nuclear response from a Putin was humiliated.

Don’t hesitate:

I hope that this war will end as Russia’s military is deeply weakened and Putin loses power.

He wouldn’t tell it to the public if he was a leader, because it would get nothing from him and possibly cost him a lot.

The Bigmouths sunk ships, and they also laid the groundwork for over-reaching the war, advancing the mission, a disconnect between purpose and means, and big unexpected consequences.

It’s too much from the Biden team, and the messes need too much cleaning.

For example, shortly after Austin’s statement, a National Security Council spokesman said, according to CNN, that the secretary’s comments reflected U.S. goals, namely, “to make this invasion un strategic failure for Russia “.

Good test, but that was an artificial cleaning effort.

Forcing Russia to withdraw from Ukraine is not the same as declaring that we want it to be so weak that it can no longer do it anywhere; that was an unspecified goal of the war.

How do you know if this has been achieved?

And is it a continuous process?

Are we still slandering Russia?

In March, in a speech in Poland, Biden said that Putin, “a dictator, determined to rebuild an empire, will never erase a person’s love for freedom,” and then the president added :

“For God’s sake, this man can’t stay in power.”

Following that statement, the White House argued that Biden “was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change,” but instead indicated that Putin “could not be allowed to have power over their neighbors or the region.

Another clean-up word salad that just convinced me that the National Security Council has no meeting setting limits on where US participation in helping Ukraine will end and begin.

instead, people are free.

That’s not good.

Our goal started simple and should remain simple:

help Ukrainians fight when they want and help them negotiate when they feel the time is right, so that they can restore their sovereignty and we can reaffirm the principle that no country can lightly devour the neighboring country.

Adventure despite this will only create problems.

how is that

For starters, I don’t want the United States to be responsible for what happens to Russia if Putin is ousted.

Because one of three things is likely to result:

1) Putin was replaced by there is worse.

(2) Unrest broke out in Russia, a country with some 6,000 nuclear warheads.

As we saw in the Arab Spring, the opposite of autocracy is not always democracy, it is usually the chaos.

(3) Putin has been replaced for the better.

A better leader in Russia will make the whole world better.

I pray for that.

But for that person to have legitimacy in a post-Putin Russia, it’s important that he doesn’t appear installed.

That must be a Russian process.

If we get Gate n. 1 or Gate no. #2, you don’t want the Russian citizens or the world to hold the United States accountable for triggering prolonged instability in Russia.

Remember our fear of “loose nuclear bombs” in Russia after the collapse of communism in the 1990s?

Nor do we want Putin to separate us from our allies, who will not join a war whose purpose is not only to liberate Ukraine but also to oust Putin.

Without naming names, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu recently complained that some NATO allies really “want the war to continue. They want to weaken Russia.”

Note:

many countries in the world neutrals in this war because, as long as they sympathize with the Ukrainians, they really don’t want to see the US or NATO as a bully, even Putin.

If it is going to be a long war and Ukraine can reclaim all or almost all of its territory, it is important that it be imagined as Putin against the worldunlike Putin against the United States.

And let us be careful not to raise Ukraine’s expectations too high.

Small countries that suddenly gain the support of big powers can get drunk.

Many things have changed in Ukraine since the end of the Cold War, except one: its geography.

It is still, and always will be, a relatively small country on the border with Russia.

You will need to make some tough compromises before this conflict ends.

Let’s not make it even harder by adding unrealistic goals.

At the same time, beware of falling in love with a country you couldn’t find on a map with 10 trials last year.

Ukraine has a history of political corruption and thuggish oligarchs, but was progressing towards democratic reforms before the Russian invasion.

has not been Denmark in the last three months, though, God bless you, a lot of young people have really worked hard and I want to support them.

But I saw a play in 1982 that I couldn’t get out of my mind.

The Israelis fell in love with the Phalangist Christians in Lebanon, where they collaborated to drive the PLO out of Yasser Arafat from Beirut.

Together they would make Levante again but they overdid it.

This leads to all sorts of unintended consequences:

the Falangista leader was assassinated; Israel is stuck in the mud in Lebanon; and a pro-Iranian Shia militia emerged in southern Lebanon to fight the Israelis.

It was called “Hezbollah”. It now dominates Lebanese politics.

The Biden team did very well with their limited targets. Must stay there.

“The war in Ukraine provided an opportunity for the administration to showcase America’s unique assets to the world today:

its ability to building and maintaining a global alliance of nations to confront an act of authoritarian aggression; and second, the ability to hold a economic superweapon in response that only the dominance of the dollar in the global economy makes it possible, ”said Nader Mousavizadeh, founder and CEO of Macro Advisory Partners, a geostrategic consulting firm.

If the U.S. can continue to effectively deploy those two assets, he added, “it will improve our power is immense in the long run and in our position in the world and will send a very strong message of restraint Russia like China”.

In foreign affairs, success yields authority and credibility, and credibility and authority yield more success.

Only the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty and the suppression of Putin’s army will have great success with lasting dividends.

Al Shaver knew what he was talking about:

when you lose, speak a little. When you win, say a little. Everyone will see the result.

c.2022 The New York Times Company

Source: Clarin

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