Putin orders troops to eastern Ukraine
Joe Biden’s foreign policy as president has two signature declamations:
- America is back – as the leader of NATO and as the leader of the free world. In his first speech to a global audience, Biden said:
“America is back, the transatlantic alliance is back I know that the past few years have strained and tested the transatlantic relationship. The United States is determined to reconnect with Europe, to consult with you, to regain our position as a trusted leader.
- At the Munich security conference a year ago — the same conference where Ukrainian President Zelensky this weekend advocated for his country’s freedom and independence from Russia — Biden said:
“We are in the midst of a fundamental debate about the future and direction of our world. We are at an inflection point between those who argue that, given all the challenges we face – from the fourth industrial revolution to a global pandemic – that autocracy is the best way forward, they argue, and those who understand that democracy is essential – essential to meeting these challenges.
Biden has been true to those fundamentals as he faces the prospect of a return to war in Europe after 75 years.
In the face of this crisis, NATO has never been stronger – or more united.
NATO military forces have intensified. Weapons are flowing into Ukraine to help repel a Russian invasion.
Differences over the scope and severity of sanctions in the event of a Russian invasion have been ironed out. The entire NATL is committed to protecting Ukraine’s rights to determine its future, including a future with NATO in the years to come.
The heart of this crisis is indeed perched on the fault line between authoritarianism and democracy.
Putin does not export Soviet Communism; it projects power. So of course he would attend a nuclear weapons test exercise on Saturday with the President of Belarus – who stayed in power by crushing the movement backing three women whose movement won the presidency in an election the last year.
The Cold War is back thirty years after the death of the Soviet Union.
We relive his impasse. The most chilling crisis of the Cold War involved the placement of nuclear missiles by the Soviet Union in Cuba, just 90 miles from Florida.
President Kennedy’s Ambassador to the UN, Adlai Stevenson, showed the photos of the U2 spy plane to the world at the UN Security Council. There was no doubt even as the leaders of the USSR lied about what they had done.
As we reach an era where private companies launch people into space, private satellite imaging companies, such as Maxar Technologies, have replaced CIA satellites and the Army’s spy planes. air.
Stationing 150,000 Russian troops around Ukraine, building pontoon bridges for tanks, is all there is to life.
Authoritarian Russia can hide at home, but nowhere else. At the Security Council last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken showed the evidence and gathered global opinion.
Twenty years ago, US Secretary of State Colin Powell also went to the Security Council with information that was woefully wrong. Saddam Hussein did not build or have weapons of mass destruction – which was the justification for the American (and allied, including Australia) invasion of Iraq.
Years later, Powell acknowledged the tragic mistake he had contributed to.
“It turned out, as we found out later, that many of the sources that the intelligence community attested to were wrong. He wiped my file, but you know, there’s nothing I can do to change that stain. Everything what I can say is that I did the best possible analysis.
Memories are long, and Blinken understood that perfectly at the UN last week when he presented the evidence against Russia:
“Now I am aware that some have questioned our information, recalling previous instances where the information was ultimately unconfirmed. But let me be clear: I am here today, not to start a war, but to prevent it. The information I have presented here is validated by what we have seen unfold in plain sight before our eyes for months.
Biden said over the weekend: “We are loudly calling out Russia’s plans, repeatedly, not because we want conflict, but because we are doing everything in our power to suppress any reason Russia could give to justify invading Ukraine and prevent them from moving”
But that’s probably not enough.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Cold War also embraced China. Today’s Cold War is no different.
For Putin and Chinese Xi, they see a weak America and a weak American president. One of Australia’s top defense and intelligence experts, ANU’s Hugh White, said these words last week about China and Taiwan:
“It’s always been a little hard to believe that America or China would really risk a war on the rocks and reefs of the South China Sea… To repeat, neither side wants a war.
So as the next Taiwan crisis unfolds, there will be strong pressure on both sides to talk and act as if they are ready to fight, hoping and expecting that it will bring them some relief. free win by knocking the other side back.
But chances are they’re both wrong about that. Both will face a disastrous choice between humiliation and war. In such situations, past rulers often chose war. This is how wars happen without either side wanting or intending them.
Replace “Ukraine” with “Taiwan” and “Russia” with “China” and it is crystal clear that the Cold War is fighting back.