National Security

Putin Is Eating Biden’s Lunch

Jimmy Carter was tougher than this guy.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

It’s sad. A former KGB thug versus a hack senator/veep with creeping dementia. It’s like watching the 1967 Green Bay Packers play the Seattle Men’s Choir. And their next face-off promises to be a replay of the Munich Conference, with Ukraine as Czechoslovakia. Plus there is no Churchill in sight for years to come. Former Army general and Trump national security aide Keith Kellogg briefs us.

Kellogg: President Joe Biden spoke with Vladimir Putin earlier this month as the world braced for a possible Russian invasion into Ukraine. The meeting came toward the end of Biden’s first year in office – a year that saw him allow Russia to complete construction of the Nord Stream II pipeline, with adverse economic results for Ukraine, a mammoth national security debacle in Afghanistan, and unrelenting negative popular opinion polls on his leadership. When it comes to American national security, what does this mean going forward?

Putin is a strategic player. He has fine-tuned his national strategy chess game over the course of four U.S. presidencies. The chess match the former KGB agent is playing now with Biden will be the most dangerous the world has seen since the end of the Cold War.

The buildup of well over 100,000 Russian troops along the Ukrainian border, accompanied by mortars, tanks and missiles, is not by chance. It is designed to apply pressure not just on Ukraine but all of Europe and the United States as well.

Are you embarrassed that Joe Biden is our "president"?

As someone who has been involved with national strategy, it is imperative that any adviser to the president look through the lens of an adversary and ask what is driving their actions. What Putin wanted out of his conversation with Biden was predictable, and he got what he wanted. Biden said he was going to discuss with our major NATO allies “the future of Russia’s concerns relative to NATO and whether we can work out any accommodations as it relates to bringing down the temperature along the eastern front.”

Putin’s path to a checkmate is to force the Europeans’ hand and, seeing their inaction and his aggression, deal the final blow to diminish NATO. History is on his side, given how Europe acted during the Obama-Biden administration.

In 2014, when Russia invaded Crimea, Europe did not aggressively respond. Over time, any sanctions imposed had a lesser bite. As European nations see it, the economic lifeline Russia provides them through its gas pipeline is more important than defending NATO’s eastern flank with Ukraine. Putin’s move on Ukraine, should it happen and if there is no military response by European nations, would be the move that finally discredits the European alliance. Bringing Ukraine into NATO increases the potential of a global conflict because admission is a stated “red line” for Russia. Putin is looking long term, Biden is looking short term.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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