Ukraine 2022

Reflexive blaming of Biden and the Democrats can keep you from understanding what’s really happening. It may be actually the reverse of what you think.

Trump wanted to be friends with Putin, and gave him lots of advantages. Even before Trump was in office, his team told the Russians that they would reduce the sanctions that the Obama administration had put on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine. Trump reduced American support for NATO, our first line of defense against Russian aggression in Europe, wanted the European allies to increase their funding for NATO (maybe a good idea), and raised questions about his commitment to support NATO. He reduced troops in Europe. Trump deferred to Putin and Russia in many ways. In return, Putin did not confront Trump in Ukraine, because he did not see Trump (and by extension, NATO) as a threat, and he did not want to weaken Trump’s power or expose him to criticism.

Now, the Biden administration has reaffirmed America’s support for the NATO, increased troops in Europe, strengthened sanctions, and generally confronted Russia. Putin now feels threatened and wants to create a buffer zone in case of a NATO invasion that he fears. It is the “strength” of the Biden administration policies that have motivated Putin to take this action.

Trump also wanted to make friends with other rivals like China and North Korea. He released Iran from the nuclear deal, and ended sanctions on Iran, thereby allowing them to restart and advance their development of nuclear weapons.

Perhaps Trump in the far future will be viewed as “the Great Peacemaker”.

(C) Bruce Merchant 2022

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