Biden and Macron Threaten Ukraine Intervention

Biden Threats to Putin Out in the Open in State of the Union Speech

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Metropolitan Pavel after his arrest in Kiev

Joe Biden has a lot to say in his State of the Union speech.  It was an unusually harsh speech, which Biden intended it to be. It either avoided or mostly avoided three domestic realities: the huge Border crisis and the inability to fund the ten million or so illegals that have crossed the border under Biden’s watch; the grotesque rise of antisemitism, fueled by the White House crude attempts to remove Netanyahu from power and punish Israelis for sundry non-crimes; many false statements about the economy which Americans understand better than Biden.  Put simply: a $20 hamburger at 5 Guys, that used to cost $5 is how Americans understand things.  When the Kelloggs CEO says “Let them eat cereal” people get it.

But the worst part of Biden’s speech was about Ukraine and Russia.  Biden went all out for Ukraine just as Ukraine is in the midst of slip slip sliding away.  Why?

Part of the reason is not what Biden said, but what Macron said.  The two are linked at the hip.

Macron said that the new red line is if Russia “approaches” either Odesa or Kiev.  If that happens, the unpopular French leader declared, France will send troops in to fight the Russians.

What Macron actually meant to say is that Washington will send in troops to fight the Russians.  Biden had that in his back pocket for some time now while he tried to do just about everything he could to kill Putin and blast the Russians.

None of it has shaken Russia in its effort to prevail on the Ukrainian battlefield. The open question is only one: at what point will Russia stop its advancing army?

For some time it has looked as if Russia’s objective was to “straighten” the borders of the Donbass and Zaphorizia areas, not more.  On this score Russia is very close to realizing that goal, if indeed that is how Russian would see the end game.

In that context the big prizes have been Bakhmut and Avdiivka.  Both figured as threats to Russia’s newly annexed territory, and militarily both were “bulges” from which Ukraine could launch attacks in future.  Russia has now eliminated those threats and it is knocking off the nearby settlements, villages and logistical hubs that could feed renewed battles for those cities. In the Bakhmut direction, Russia is closely approach Chasiv Yar, an important crossroads which served as a supply and rotation area for the Ukrainian army.  The Russians are slowly carrying out moves that will lead to the fall of this town.  These are important successes by Russia in Ukraine that we are seeing now, although there are other places along the line of contact, especially in the Bradley Square area and still further west along the Dnieper river at Krynky where the Russians are trying to chase away the Ukrainian army and marines. 

None of the above Russian targets suggest Russian plans to attack either Odessa or Kiev, although there is talk among Russian politicians about knocking off Odessa.  Odessa is a large city, and it would not make great military sense for the Russians to directly launch a full-blown ground attack. They could, perhaps, find a way to choke off the city, but even that would gobble up significant resources and require a heavy effort to sustain, but to what purpose?  Russians, including Putin, say Odessa is a Russian city: but that does not mean it can’t be a Russian city without launching any military operation.

Kiev is another matter.  It is the capital of the country.  Certainly it was once a Russian city.  The Czars had their winter palace there, because it was a lot warmer than St. Petersburg or Moscow.  In Kiev there is the 980-year-old Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery complex. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), which is aligned with the Moscow church, is headquartered here in Kiev. The Zelensky government has ordered the church out of its historical property and is seeking to ban the church because it is allegedly aligned with Moscow.  A number of priests have been arrested. 

What will Russia do?  It is unlikely the Russians will stop their advance so long as the US and NATO keep feeding weapons into Ukraine.  Furthermore, a key objective of the Russian side is to get NATO out of Ukraine.  This cannot be done by standing down and stopping their army.  It does mean either the current Ukrainian government negotiates with Russia, or it will be replaced somehow. Replacement could include attacking Kiev, but there are other possible scenarios such as a political revolt in Ukraine that overthrows the current government and offers peace terms to Russia.

If the upheaval is political, than neither Macron nor Biden can do much about it.  If the Russian army launches an offensive aimed at Kiev, then Macron and Biden likely will take steps to use US and French forces, perhaps others, in Ukraine.  There is little likelihood NATO would sanction such a move, but that does not matter.

Biden is hoping he won’t have to do that before the election, although he is so irrational on the subject that he might send in some US forces and challenge the Russians, figuring it will make him popular in the United States.  If he does that, he will touch off a war in Europe that could quickly mutate into World War III.

Biden’s harsh remarks are how he intends to carry on his presidential campaign.  The more public support he loses, the more dangerous he is. 

Stephen Bryen

Stephen Bryen is a former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense and is a leading expert in security strategy and technology. Bryen writes for Asia Times, American Thinker, Epoch Times, Newsweek, Washington Times, the Jewish Policy Center and others.

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