Biden and Blinken (an appropriate surname) will now notch up their second humiliating defeat following the US rout in Afghanistan.
As I expected, Russia has invaded Ukraine because both Ukraine and the West refused to preclude its membership of NATO.
This has been a festering security issue for Russia since Ukraine applied for NATO membership in 2008 and George Bush Jnr supported its request.
Since Ukraine is a bulwark between Russia and NATO Europe, its refusal to commit to being a neutral country like Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Austria, and Cyprus (each of whom belong to the EU, but not NATO) looks now to have consigned it to being a client state of Russia like Belarus.
The US and NATO refused to commit to defending Ukraine yet let the issue of NATO membership fester for 14 years. Also, Ukraine never gave the two eastern provinces (parts of which broke away) the self-governing autonomy they were promised in the Minsk Agreements.
Biden and Blinken (an appropriate surname) will now notch up their second humiliating defeat following the US rout in Afghanistan. Ukraine could have become a Finland, but now is likely to end up being subjugated, or at least that half of it east of the Dnieper River.
All very sad and avoidable if Russia’s fundamental grievance over NATO expanding to its border had been addressed. Putin’s aspiration for Ukraine re-joining Mother Russia is for domestic consumption, not its prime concern which was always security related.
Thomas Friedman in a New York Times article titled “US not blameless in Putin’s war” quotes George Keenan, the architect of America’s successful containment of the Soviet Union, telling him that NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe (while refusing Russian membership) was a mistake because it provoked a post-communist Russia to feel besieged. Also, it amounted to overreach as NATO does not have the resources nor the intention to protect these states.
When Cuba wanted to join the Warsaw Pact 60 years ago, America attempted an invasion (Bay of Pigs) and then threatened Russia with WWIII if it did not withdraw its missiles and armed forces.
Now Russia is doing the same over Ukraine joining NATO, but Biden unlike Khrushchev did not heed the warning. The Democrats will pay a big electoral price on insisting Ukraine’s right to join NATO when they never had the intention of enforcing it.
Sanctions are a bad joke, Russia has huge foreign exchange reserves, a big budget surplus and can get anything it needs from or through China. The only thing that might move Putin is the seizure of properties that Russian oligarchs own in London.
I’m starting to warm to Donald Trump returning to the White House because he withdrew from foreign wars rather than nurturing them. He of course would further divide and diminish America, but that might distract it from more empty bluster in foreign affairs.