And it borders on deliberately done, since the principals—President Joe Biden (D), SecState Antony Blinken, NSA Director Jake Sullivan, SecDef Lloyd Austin, CJSC General Mark Milley, and everyone on those staffs—involved knew from the start that this would be the outcome of their decisions.
The failure is President Joe Biden’s (D) refusal to apply any serious counter—not even petty economic sanctions—to Russian President Vladimir Puten’s threats, now realized, to invade and conquer Ukraine.
(Sanction the Russian Army’s bank? Pssh. All the banks are Putin’s; this represents a minor irritant until the Army gets switched over to another bank. Sanction the VEB (Vnesheconombank, literally, external development bank, Russia’s major bank for foreign economic matters)? Again, Pssh. Russia has lots of foreign partners—right there in central and western Europe, given their response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine—with which to do business. No more buying Russian government bonds or other debt instruments? Meh. Enter Xi Jinping, even if that creates a longer-term risk for Putin.)
Don’t apply any sanctions now, Blinken kept bleating—deterrence doesn’t deter unless it’s applied after the behavior being deterred has occurred, he kept spouting. Never mind that deterrence, even applied with proper timing, doesn’t deter when it’s only empty chit chat, idle threats of a second-grader on the recess playground of “boy, oh boy, when I get you.”
Ukraine’s President Volodymr Zelensky was spot on:
We don’t need your sanctions after the bombardment will happen and after our country will be fired at, or after we will have no borders and after we will have no economy or part of our country will be occupied. Why would we need those sanctions then?
Europe—the EU and NATO—are crumbling in the face of Putin’s actions? Sure. But why should the US hold ourselves hostage to the timidity of an ally that’s been reneging on its military commitments and economic agreements for decades? Where is it written that our nation cannot act on our own initiative, on our own recognizance, in service to our own security interests?
And that’s just the sanctions, which take a long time to begin to have effect, and which effects are spotty, anyway, as nations and businesses seek to operate around, or outright violate, them. There’s also the deliberate withholding from Ukraine of modern arms and training in their use—that would only provoke Putin, Biden-Harris and his weak-kneed European counterparts wept. Arms did begin to trickle in—”hundreds of millions of dollars” of ammunition from the US, for instance, will last a few days at most in an actual fight—in the last month. But even here, Germany has been a deliberate roadblock, preventing British air shipments from traversing German airspace, and blocking arms shipments from Baltic nations when those arms were of German origin.
Here are the most likely sequelae from Biden-Harris’ timorous weakness in the face of Putin’s aggressiveness and now his invasion of Ukraine.
Biden-Harris has handed the Republic of China to People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping. This will be followed by Xi acting on his control of the South China Sea to further intimidate and suborn the other nations rimming the Sea. From that, Xi’s government will actively govern the sea lines of commerce that flow through the Sea.
From that, Japan and the Republic of Korea will be increasingly economically isolated from their Western trade partners and allies, and in an echo of the years leading into WWII, Japan and today the RoK will be vulnerable to Xi’s naked economic blockade—and so have their political independence at risk. The same control puts Australia’s economy—and so political autonomy—at risk.
Some 30%-40% of our own nation’s foreign trade passes through the South China Sea to our West Coast. Xi to Biden-Harris: “Nice economy you got there…..”
The fall of Ukraine to Putin, and Biden-Harris’ and EU mild acceptance of that, puts Europe in Putin’s crosshairs, beginning with Poland, the Baltic States, and the Balkans. He’s already been attacking, through cyber war, Poland and the Baltics. Putin’s avowed goal is to reconstitute the old Russian empire of the USSR and its client states.
One of those client states is East Germany, but never mind here—he’s getting the whole of Germany, this time, with his energy extortion. Yes, yes, Germany is talking about beginning to act on delaying Nordstream 2 certification. They’ll wind up proceeding. Putin will require it.
From all of that, economic relations between Europe and the US will weaken drastically. And the isolation of our nation will proceed apace.
What hath Biden-Harris wrought?