As with Obama, Biden’s Weakness Invites Russian Aggression
February 11, 2022
By Rep. Andy Biggs
President Joe Biden’s fecklessness as an international leader has destabilized the world and provided a pathway for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. His weak style and the resulting turmoil are classic traits of Democratic presidents who refuse to embody and promote America’s strength in the world.
In 2014, during the tenure of President Barack Obama, we were in strikingly similar trouble as we are today. Russian President Vladimir Putin was a strong leader trying to strike a balance between his oligarchical leaders and his own power. He used an invasion into Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula to distract from his own domestic troubles and asserted historical claims over Crimea that would appeal to the Russian people.
Obama, a relative novice on foreign matters, believed in the principles of liberal institutionalism, which emphasize reliance on multilateral institutions and discussion with foreign leaders in order to solve international crises. By 2014, he’d spent six years projecting American weakness on the international stage and defunding our military. Our weakness emboldened Putin.
He entered Crimea with claims that the region held cultural and historical significance to the Russian homeland. The predicate was Ukraine’s removal of its President, Viktor Yanukovych, who was markedly pro-Russian. Yanukovych’s ouster was seen as moving Ukraine closer to Europeanization, including participation in NATO, which is anathema to Russia.
The similarities between the Crimean invasion and Biden’s saber-rattling scenario we are watching now are striking. Don’t forget, Biden served eight years under Obama. The embarrassment he caused the Obama administration then pales in comparison to the embarrassment we’re enduring today.
Biden has emboldened our foreign adversaries through feckless capitulation to their objectives and by placing American interests last. Not coincidentally, the two immediate hot spots, Ukraine and China, are places that may have an extraordinary hold over Biden because of allegations of corruption against the Biden family in their financial ties to each nation.
The entire team that brought you the ignominious Afghanistan retreat (Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and the anti-American Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas) is telling us that an invasion is imminent, is sending thousands of U.S. troops to the region, and is readying thousands more for deployment.
And yet, the Democrats who wrongfully impeached President Donald Trump for his telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mishandled Biden’s January 27, 2022, call with Zelensky about Russia’s aggression. They even insulted Zelensky in an effort to clean up their own public relations mess. Biden’s team said Zelensky doesn’t speak English well enough to understand the word “imminent.” Zelensky speaks fluent English.
Unlike Trump, Biden won’t release a transcript of the call.
Zelensky insists that rhetoric from Biden is producing panic in Ukraine. As with the Crimean invasion, Biden has proven to be as weak, indecisive, and incompetent on foreign affairs as Obama was. A big difference from the 2014 Russian invasion is the hold Russia has on the U.S. and Europe, particularly Germany. By killing American energy independence and green-lighting Russia’s gas pipeline to Germany, America and Europe have become more dependent on the good graces of Russian oil. An escalation of the situation in Ukraine can put NATO nations in domestic trouble because of a new reliance on Russian oil.
In the meantime, most people don’t see the national security interest in that region of the world that would justify a costly conflict that would put America’s soldiers in harm’s way.
That’s why the Constitution demands that a president who is directing American resources and military into action should bring the case to Congress to obtain a declaration of war from the people’s representatives. He cannot rely on the constitutionally dubious War Powers Act, which is meant to cover immediate defensive needs to protect the U.S. homeland and our allies.
A president who is effectively bullying our putative ally, Ukraine, is marching us into a potentially long-term conflict without authority. And that is the most striking similarity to the 2014 Russian invasion of Crimea.