Like Notre Dame playing Alabama bad.
From Biden’s press conference on Wednesday afternoon:
2 unforced errors in Biden's presser so far:
— Acknowledging "that's true" when a reporter said BBB and voting rights bills aren't going anywhere.
— Volunteering Russia would eventually beat Ukraine: “They’ll be able to prevail over time, but it’s going to be heavy [losses]."
— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) January 19, 2022
That’s gotta be comforting to read in Kiev.
Of course, given that Berlin isn’t exactly playing ball with her NATO allies at present and that the Russians vast cash reserves should effectively insulate them from any serious consequences due to sanctions, it’s hard to see why the Russian Federation — should they choose to invade Ukraine — would not go all the way to the Polish border and possibly into the Baltic States in order to undermine NATO’s resolve.
The Biden White House isn’t precisely exuding leadership at present. Even the think tanks in Washington have been wincing a great deal as the US State Department continues to commit one forced error after another — only to have them complicated by statements from a president who has clearly lost his edge.
At some point, the options are to either yield on Ukraine and shore up NATO — admitting Sweden, Ireland, Finland, Switzerland and Austria while sending American troops to Poland — or put the chips in the center, enforce the 1994 Budapest Agreement and get ready for a Third World War.
The options come down to this. If the United States is not prepared to bleed for Kiev in the way that the Russian Federation is prepared to bleed for Kiev, then the rest is academic if we are openly telling the Ukrainians they cannot win a protracted war in a nation of 40 million over a geographic area the size of Texas. Yet the Russians — if dismantling NATO is a policy objective — may not stop with the Ukraine knowing that this is their best moment. NATO’s hand grows stronger and Russia’s hand grows weaker every week that passes.
How many Americans — I wonder — are truly prepared to bleed for Vilnius, Riga, or Tallinn? How many Americans even know where these three capitals are on a map (and which capital belongs to which NATO ally)?
The Russians are betting on an answer. Under Biden, they might be right.