Into the breach

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War and/or military conflict is the last thing President Joe Biden needs right now, but at the rate things are going, it might be inevitable. President Biden has spent his first year in office battling the Covid pandemic and lies that he did not legitimately win the election. Now, there seems to be a looming crisis with Russia making overtures toward Ukraine. While Putin denies that he has specific plans, the U.S. is preparing for the worst.

Washington Post reported that the U.S. has pulled diplomats from Kyiv out of an abundance of caution. While President Biden has continued to look for other options on the escalating conflict, he is simultaneously looking to protect U.S. lives. On Saturday, according to WaPo, President Biden sent a stern warning to Putin that the invasion of Ukraine would result in “swift and severe costs to Russia.” While a foreign policy aide to Putin, Yuri Ushakov, claims that “American hysteria” is overshadowing negotiations, President Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan issued a warning that Russia could invade Ukraine as early as this week. Speaking with Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” Sullivan said: “We cannot perfectly predict the day, but we have now been saying for some time that we are in the window.” According to Sullivan, the U.S. is prepared to join its allies in a response should Russia decide to move forward.

While Ushakov wants to blame the media for what is currently happening, it is telling that the State Department is removing people from Ukraine. While this is certainly the cautious approach, there would be no need to take that approach if the administration was confident in its negotiations with Russia. Obviously, it is difficult to believe Putin will act according to diplomacy when he wants something. All of this because Ukraine wants to join NATO. What possible harm could that membership bring to Russia? At the same time, the New York Times reported that Ukrainian president Volodymr Zelensky continues to play down the threat from Russia. President Zelensky’s hopes aside, the U.S. appears to be preparing for an attack.

According to Politico, the U.S. has deployed an additional 3,000 troops to Poland, and the U.S. is coordinating with allies “to immediately impose severe financial sanctions.” Further, all except what is referred to as a “core team” of diplomats have been removed from Kyiv. Politico further reported that the call between President Biden and Putin “is certainly not a sign that things are moving in the right direction.” Besides, President Biden knows he cannot trust Putin to keep any words he utters. It is best to be prepared for the worst.

   

Countries should be free to choose their involvement in organizations such as NATO for their own benefit. Membership puts them in a better position to protect their borders, their resources, and their citizens. Russia should not be able to stop Ukraine from joining an organization that makes them safer. The last thing President Biden needs is a war but defending the freedoms of allies is what we do, like it or not.

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