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Biden: Russia Must Not Win

by Oui Tue Feb 20th, 2024 at 07:15:05 PM EST

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27 nov 2014 -- Captain Oleksandr Olefirov, National Guard spokesperson:
"Mariupol is being defended by the personnel of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine - the Armed Forces of Ukraine, by the National Guard, border patrol personnel, as well as volunteer battalions."

From the sounds of it, the city seems like it's filled with Ukrainian troops. And indeed they are everywhere. On the land, on the sea and even underground:

Here the Ukrainian troops hide from the freezing temperatures outside. They sleep, eat and dry their clothes in this bunker. It is indeed very warm inside and the soldiers say they are happy with such accommodations, but complain there's no wi-fi.

Avdiivka: Hard Road to Liberation | 31 July 2019 |

Five years ago, the Ukrainian military was liberating Avdiivka, on the front line of Eastern Ukraine. After hours of fighting, the occupants had to retreat. As of today, even though Avdiivka is under the control of Ukraine, residential areas are still targeted by Russian-backed militants.


Russia calls on Mariupol to surrender | DW News |

Russia's president is calling on Ukraine's last remaining defenders in Mariupol to surrender. The fighting is focused on the Azovstal steel plant where civilians and soldiers are sheltered mostly underground. Russia claimed it would pause its offensive to allow civilians to evacuate, but Ukraine says the facility was under attack from Russian troops throughout the day.

Biden Says Putin Will Never Win His War Against Ukraine

Biden vows Russia will never win Ukraine as Putin fights on | Japan Times |

Putin, in his annual state of the nation address, accused the West of escalating the conflict and announced the Kremlin would suspend participation in the New START nuclear arms treaty with Washington.

The Russian president said increasingly stringent sanctions on the country "will not succeed" and vowed Russia would keep fighting to "systematically" achieve its aims.
Speaking hours later in the capital of NATO ally Poland, Biden pledged that "Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia -- never."

The 80-year-old leader had a day earlier made a surprise visit to Kyiv, his first since the invasion began, and just days before the war's one-year anniversary.

Surrounded by a flag-waving crowd outside Warsaw's Royal Castle, Biden responded directly to Putin's accusations, saying the West "is not plotting to attack Russia."

Biden says 'no possibility' that Putin will win war in Ukraine | 14 July 2023 |

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Russia's suspension of the New START treaty "deeply unfortunate and irresponsible." Upon taking office in 2021, Biden extended the nuclear treaty by five years. The State Department accused Russia last month of breaching the terms of the treaty by refusing to allow inspectors on its territory.

Biden also spoke at the Royal Castle in March 2022, one month into the war, when he called the invasion a strategic failure and surprised the world with an off-the-cuff remark suggesting he supports regime change in Russia.

"For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power," Biden said last year about Putin.

A White House official at the time quickly clarified that he meant Putin could not be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region and that the president was not encouraging regime change.

Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk shopping area kills dozens, local officials say | The Guardian - 25 Jan. 2024 |

Russian-installed mayor and governor say another 20 people were injured in attack on occupied city in eastern Ukraine

Izvestia: Liberation of Avdeyevka opens path for future Russian offensive, relieves Donetsk

The battle for Avdeyevka ended in a catastrophic loss for the Ukrainian armed forces. Since 2014, they had been reinforcing the strategic Donetsk suburb as a massive defense bulwark. In the face of a rapid advance by Russian units, however, the Ukrainian armed forces were unable to organize an orderly retreat and ended up abandoning the city in a chaotic rout.

Experts interviewed by Izvestia believe that the liberation of Avdeyevka will relieve Donetsk from the most intense Ukrainian shelling of the city, which had been originating from the suburb, while also laying the groundwork for a future Russian offensive.

Withdrawal from Avdiivka not to cause Ukraine's strategic defeat: Ukrainian expert | Xinhua News |

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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 22nd, 2024 at 10:26:43 PM EST
Nothing here for me to see ...

Covered Biden-Blinken for decades now ... US bullying and no diplomacy ... to scared to talk to adversaries and compromise. A book review ...

An examination of world affairs in the post-Trump years

Ward, an award-winning journalist specializing in national security, notes that foreign policy played only a modest role in the 2016 election, and Trump limited himself to the lowbrow jingoism that delighted his followers: portraying dictators as admirable leaders who get things done and immigrants as threats to the nation.

The author begins with a pertinent question: "How would Biden, a president who came of age in a time when America was the undisputed superpower, attempt to make it genuinely great again--respected and trusted by its allies, feared by its enemies, and no longer willing to kowtow to the despots that Trump seemed so enamored of?"

When he took office, the new president and his administration focused on "foreign policy for the middle class," negotiating a five-year extension of the nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia, thus making the world a little safer and suggesting the possibility of productive talks. [Russia Suspends New START treaty]

Soon after, Biden was forced to confront the disastrous situation in Afghanistan. An advocate of reduced involvement in Afghanistan ever since his years as Obama's vice president, he proceeded with the withdrawal.

    Middle East followed the Trump-Kushner one-sided pro-Zionist Abraham Accords ... ended negotiations to meet US obligations under Obama's nuclear treaty with Iran.

    Geneva talks go nowhere as coercive attitude of Biden administration are unwilling to negotiate a fair deal. Joe Biden: "Iran deal is dead."

    Doha agreement

    Afghan retreat ended in a bloodbath under civilians at the airport ...

Despite 20 years and more than $1 trillion of assistance, few had confidence in the Afghan army, but U.S. intelligence determined that it could resist for several years. Few officials foresaw such a rapid collapse, and Ward's cogent account of what followed makes for simultaneously illuminating and painful reading.

But memories of foreign debacles are short, and the administration addressed another massive problem when intelligence officials determined, six months before it occurred, that Russia was preparing to invade Ukraine. Readers know what happened next, so Ward's expert account of earnest diplomacy and consultation with allies lacks urgency, but history buffs will be fascinated nonetheless.

I believe Alex Ward has stayed inside the Hill Bubble and wrote-up the talk in the echo chamber of government elites ... starting to believe what officials are saying . No original thought of what the global community experiences.

Alex Ward too has an opinion on Dutch PM Mark Rutte succeeding Jens Stoltenberg as NATO chief.

Biden paves way for Mark Rutte to lead NATO -- and confront Putin

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 22nd, 2024 at 10:28:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How Foreign Policy Amateurs Endanger the World | Politico -  26 Oct. 2022 |

Derek Leebaert is a founding editor of the Harvard/MIT quarterly International Security, was in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and launched the Swiss management consultancy MAP AG. His last book, Grand Improvisation, won the biennial 2020 Truman Book Award.

The Biden administration recently unveiled a new national security strategy with grand aims for U.S. foreign policy: to win the global contest against autocracy, particularly an increasingly dangerous Russia and China. To succeed, according to policymakers, the U.S. will have to "shape what comes next.

[...]
America may have been temporarily chastened by failures in Afghanistan and Iraq, as it was after Vietnam. But there's no reason that fresh, exuberant ill-judgements on the scale pushed by Rice and Bundy won't again be made, and soon. After all, those deadly fiascos were just the worst blunders in decades of U.S. foreign policy miscalculation.

Why do such bad ideas get injected into the making of U.S. foreign policy, particularly with an ease rarely found in other advanced democracies?

Much is due to the political appointments system which the country uses to staff its government, including the national security apparatus. The White House has the responsibility to fill roughly 4,000 senior jobs throughout the federal departments and agencies. When it comes to roles concerning foreign policy and defense, such appointees from outside the executive branch often have more experience in academia, law firms or in business than on the front lines of world affairs. (The same method is applied to staffing at other departments, like Commerce and HUD -- except bad ideas at Commerce or Labor are unlikely to cause international catastrophe.)

This freewheeling approach imposes inexperience, compels urgency, courts risk and foments illusions of being able to manage the ethnic, ideological and political concerns of other nations.

"I didn't think it would be this tough," Rice concluded on Iraq, echoing Bundy who came to admit of Vietnam that "this damn war is much tougher" than he had anticipated. The system -- in which Rice and Bundy, among so many others, have flourished -- creates all the wrong incentives when devising foreign policy even as it raises the risk of being gamed by rivals overseas. Of course, not all appointees have such flaws, just like not all career officials have real foresight. But it's difficult to see why the outcomes of jousting with China, waging proxy war against Russia and courting a showdown with Iran would be any better than the results of past turmoil.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 22nd, 2024 at 10:30:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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