“When you were asked, ‘What’s the greatest geopolitical threat facing America,’ you said Russia,” former President Barack Obama said, mocking Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah during a 2012 presidential debate. “The Cold War’s been over for 20 years …”
People laughed at Romney’s “preposterous” notion then, including the former president, who added, “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.”
But nine years later, now that President Joe Biden has fallen under Russian scrutiny for his administration’s significant funding of Ukrainian forces, we can only wonder if we are indeed headed for a second Cold War.
In early March, the Department of Defense announced a $125 million package for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which includes “training, equipment, and advisory efforts to help Ukraine’s forces preserve the country’s territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve interoperability with NATO.”
The news release also reaffirmed “U.S. commitment to providing defensive lethal weapons to enable Ukraine to more effectively defend itself against Russian aggression.”
The announcement coincides with — and, in many ways, escalates — Biden’s recent undiplomatic labeling of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “killer” during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that tensions along the Ukrainian-Russian border have “escalated sharply in recent days,” leaving four Ukrainian soldiers dead and one seriously wounded in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Region.
It appears that Russia has fortified its defenses in the region, considering European monitors claim they’ve sighted new weaponry on Russia’s side.
The Times noted that the conflict between the two countries had been on a “low simmer” for months, so why the sudden, drastic turn of events?
Could the Defense Department’s funding of Ukrainian defense efforts have had something to do with this change?
Maybe this motion does more than help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression — it could also pinpoint the United States as an instigator in the conflict.
This is not a good development for Ukraine, or for anyone else involved. It looks like Biden may be pushing the European countries closer to another war.
What does this say about the future of U.S.-Russian relations? We have no strong leadership to deliver us from the clutches of another global conflict. In fact, it appears our “leader” is determined to provoke the Cold War’s second coming.
On Tuesday, The Hill reported, “Twenty-seven organizations, including a number of left-leaning groups, issued a statement on Tuesday urging President Biden to halt the use of ‘reckless’ rhetoric with Russian President Vladimir Putin and instead conduct ‘constructive bilateral talks.'”
Especially during times like these, both sides of the aisle must recognize that the president’s inflammatory language does nothing but further provoke Russian aggression.
Does Putin take Biden seriously as a leader or as a threat? Probably not. But that also leaves Russia open to attempting to reclaim its shared dominance on the world stage.
For Ukraine — and for America — this development does not look good.
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