“We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we cannot.” Abraham Lincoln
Donald Trump promised that the US would not get into another foreign war and that we would disengage from those that we had conducted for decades; that didn’t happen. Then Joe Biden promised that, and to his credit he withdrew from Afghanistan; very badly done, but he did it.
But Joe forgot the other part of the promise about not getting into another foreign war, and so here we are in a war in Ukraine, a country with whom we have no treaty alliance as they are not a member of NATO. In fact, although the US had previously pushed to have Ukraine in NATO, nearly all other members said no; they don’t even want Ukraine in the EU for various reasons, including that country’s persistent history of authoritarianism and corruption; per the New York Times recent reporting, Ukraine’s cabinet ministry announced the firings of several top Ukrainian officials in the biggest upheaval in President Zelensky’s government to date due to widespread corruption.
The fact is Europe doesn’t really want anything to do with this dispute between Russia and Ukraine as they are all too well aware that not only could their involvement escalate to a wider and more dangerous conflict, but historically for over 350 years Ukraine was simply a region of Russia, culturally and ethnically Russian, and only became “independent” with the dissolution of the Soviet Union a few decades ago. Further, Ukraine is far from a “democratic” country, and until 2014 was closely aligned with Russia, and like Russia, ruled by an authoritarian regime replete with oligarchs like their former Motherland. If not for US bullying, Europe would have remained neutral.
So what does this thug Zelensky, an authoritarian that has repressed all political opposition and his country’s press and media, have on Joe Biden that gets him to enter a proxy war, funding that regime with billions in arms and armaments, impose illegal sanctions on Russia causing horrendous harm to the EU economy with the loss of Russian energy, and risking an escalation that could lead to a nuclear war? There is no benefit to the US, indeed not even for our European allies and is a drain on the US economy when we can least afford it. If something doesn’t make any sense it doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to explain it; likely the reasons can be found on Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Now despite promising the American people that we will not provide the one thing that some so called “military experts” in the Senate say could turn the tide decisively in Ukraine’s favor, i.e. MBT (Main Battle Tanks), in the case of the US the Abrams M1, Biden flips over and now says we will, pledging 31 of these $10M behemoths. An odd number but apparently the rigid composition of a Ukrainian tank battalion. It has been learned that the US was pressuring its NATO allies, principally Germany and the UK, to provide MBT, but they insisted that the US lead the way or they would not contribute. It doesn’t look like there’s much consensus on the team.
Adding to the fumbling, we now learn that it will likely take considerable months for these tanks to be actually deployed in Ukraine. It’s not, as has been reported, a matter of not having the tanks; while the US Army actively deploys about 2,500 of these monsters, there are about 3,700 in storage. The issue is they have to be commissioned, an arduous process, shipped, and then there’s training on what is a highly technical and difficult weapon to operate and maintain. Further, they were designed to be a part of a far more flexible and nimble mechanized infantry force, a format that the Ukrainian military doesn’t deploy.
As our Department of Defense has repeatedly advised the administration, these tanks are not in and of themselves a panacea for military success, even when joined by German and UK MBT, and further that providing the Ukrainians a system that they can’t afford, successfully operate or sustain, and doesn’t fit their military model could be counterproductive. In short, we potentially have a situation of a square peg in the proverbial round hole, a very deep hole of billions in armaments that may have little actual military benefit, but potentially escalate a regional conflict into a world war.
It’s become painfully obvious that this administration is following the same pattern as previous ones in jumping down a rabbit hole with little to no thought as to where it leads or the consequences of becoming engaged in a conflict that’s virtually not only none of our business, but with no clear benefit for America but with enormous risk and ever increasing costs. There was no clear goal and therefore no real strategy to achieve a goal. What we hear from supporters of this administration’s policy, if indeed there even is something approaching one, is that if you criticize it, you are supporting Putin; that’s a typical reaction we have heard with Viet Nam, Afghanistan and Iraq as if dissent means support for the enemy rather than concern for our country. It appears that Ron Paul was right when he said that “The only thing we learn from history, I am afraid, is that we do not learn from history.”