Biden and Western weakness will hand Ukraine over to Russia

Bumper sticker that reads, in Ukranian, “Putin is a d*ckhead.”

By John Ruberry

“History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.” Ronald Reagan.

Contrary to the lessons that are almost certainly taught in American universities by leftist professors, large military budgets are not a precursor to war. In reality history teaches us something different.

As the Ottoman Empire declined in the 19th and 20th centuries, the Turks were faced with numerous rebellions and wars. They were on the losing side in nearly all of them, as ethnic groups and nations saw their opportunities, and for the most part, took them. One of those opportunistic states was the Austro-Hungarian Empire, itself in decline. Its annexation of Bosnia, nominally still part of the Ottoman Empire, in 1908 nearly caused a war in the Balkans. But a few years later there were two conflicts, the First Balkan War and the Second Balkan War, which, along with the assassination of the heir apparent of Austria-Hungary in Bosnia in 1914, and to be fair some other European disputes, set the table for World War I. 

The First World War brought us World War II, arguably the same conflict with a two-decade intermission, which led to the Cold War, then the collapse of communism, with eventually, former KGB agent Vladimir Putin becoming the de facto president-for-life of Russia.

Do you see where weakness leads us?

Last year, with the inauguration of Joe Biden, an emphasis on wokeness and diversity was pushed by our military leaders, instead of more important things, such as defending America and confronting enemies. Far worse for the appearance of American military strength was the rapid fall of Afghanistan. As bad as the fall of Saigon was for the image of the USA, the South Vietnamese were able to hold off the communists for two years after the departure of American combat troops. Afghanistan fell before Joe Biden’s pullout date. 

Which brings us back to Putin. 

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. As soon as this week, Russian troops, including some in Putin’s client-state of Belarus, could invade the rest of Ukraine. While I am not an advocate of sending troops to Ukraine, now that is, if Biden had sent a tripwire contingent of American and NATO ally troops to Ukraine last summer, that very well may have been enough to scare off Putin. We have troops in South Korea that aren’t sizable enough to defeat the North Koreans, but an invasion from the north would almost certainly lead to a national outrage and call for a swift response to avenge American casualties and to protect South Korea. There are NATO troops in the Baltic States, and yes, Estonia, Lativa, and Lithuania are members of NATO, which are serving a similar role

For those calling for an economic boycott of Russia. Good luck with that. The best way to punish Russia in the pocketbook is to stop buying Russian oil and natural gas, the latter is a crucial energy source for western Europe. That will not happen. 

Biden projected weakness early in his presidency by waiving sanctions against the Russian company building the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 originate in Vyborg, Russia. It’s important to remember that between the world wars, Vyborg was part of Finland, but the Soviet Union seized it in the Winter War of 1939-1940

As for fossil fuels in America, Biden is instead hitching his shaky wagon to Green New Deal follies. 

Humiliating defeats don’t necessarily lead to more debacles. The first major World War II battle between American forces and the Nazis was the Battle of Kasserine Pass in North Africa, it was a fiasco for the Allies. 

What happened next?

The American commander, General Lloyd Fredendall, was sent stateside and was replaced by General George S. Patton.

After the Afghanistan rout, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, still has his job. 

Was anyone fired after the fall of Kabul? I don’t believe so. 

Worse, Putin likely sees Biden as not only weak, but as someone suffering from cognitive decline. At the very least, Biden and his top aides, were indecisive as Afghanistan collapsed, according to recently declassified documents.

Which brings us back to that Reagan quote. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The NDAA…still a joke, just 25 Billion dollars less funny

The National Defense Authorization Act for FY22 just passed this week. While there are some nice changes, like a 2.7% pay increase (sadly offset by rampant inflation) and some additional baby leave, there is a lot that is left to be desired.

Now, given looming war with China and Russia, our gaps in hypersonic technology, space, bioweapons, and cyber, and our poorly maintained “battle” fleet that seems to barely limp along from extended deployment to extended deployment, you would think anyone writing the executive summary of this bill would want to reassure the public that its going to make us stronger and ready for war with the hopes of deterring it to make peace.

And well, you’d be wrong. Here’s the highlighted portion of page one of the summary:

The FY22 NDAA builds on previous attempts to close the pay gap by authorizing support for a 2.7 percent pay increase for our service men and women in uniform, makes historic and sweeping
changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice to combat sexual assault in the military,
authorizes record funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, contains
measures to ensure our military is diverse and inclusive, and makes key investments to
address the threat of climate change and bolster energy resiliency across the Department
of Defense, and takes full advantage of our diverse talent pool to meet the complex national
security challenges of today and tomorrow.

House Armed Service Committee NDAA FY22 executive summary

What the heck is this? HBCUs? Diversity? Climate Change? Seriously?

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have got to be laughing at this.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about getting research money to HBCUs to support weapons and tactics development. Why not? It would be awesome to see an HBCU open a cyber center, or contribute to space warfare, or some other highly technical area. That would have long reaching benefits, encouraging young black kids to aspire to be great engineers and scientists. There is a lot to love with ideas like that, and its a win-win for the Department of Defense.

But how is that the highlight? Defense is about combating our enemies and helping our policy makers negotiate peace from the best possible position. Think about World War 2. Could we have negotiated a lasting peace with Hitler or the Japanese Emperor without being in a position of strength? I’d argue that half of the reason Hitler rose to power in the first place was that he saw weakness and pushed against it. The same could be said for Putin today as he gazes at Ukraine, challenging the US and its NATO allies to do something.

Nothing in those opening paragraphs radiate strength. As you dig through the document, the increases in equipment are buried, but they are paltry. We’re getting 13 additional ships, if they can be built on time. We really need another actual shipyard, yet that piece of vital infrastructure isn’t in the bill, since it would compete with companies that already have a lock on shipbuilding (and the Congress-people on their payroll to prove it). If you need proof of how bad it is, just check our CDR Salamander’s blog.

From CDR Salamander

But most disingenuous is that military personnel are going down in numbers. Yup. Hidden away in the actual text is a decrease in manpower:

With regard to military end strength, the number of Army soldiers would drop by 900 (to 485,000) compared to this year’s levels and the Marine Corps would cut its troop numbers by 2,700 (to 178,500). That’s in line with White House end strength plans. The Navy’s end strength total would drop by about 900 (to 346,920), about 700 more sailors than the White House requested. The Air Force would see a decrease of about 4,200 personnel (to 329,220), about 1,000 more airmen than the administration requested.

From Military Times

If we’re already not doing a good enough job keeping up with China, how on earth will we do that with less people, specifically less people in the Navy and Air Force, the services that will take the brunt of any Pacific conflict?

This year’s NDAA is a joke. It’s laser locked on social justice issues while missing all the important items needed for any future conflict. Sadly, it’ll likely take a war where we lose thousands of service members before Congress will shelve the pet programs and get serious about winning.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. If you liked this article, please consider supporting the author by buying his book on Amazon, also available as an audiobook on Audible.