Democratic Senator Bob Menendez recently said in an interview on CNN that if Putin goes into Ukraine, he will go beyond the country’s borders to seize other territories. One reason for this is Biden’s failed efforts to deescalate the situation in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin does not see the President’s Administration as a credible deterrent to acting in Ukraine. It does not take a degree in international relations to see why. There are too many data points available for a simple common sense analysis pointing to the conclusion that the United States will fail to act.
The haphazard withdrawal from Afghanistan and the inept arming of the Taliban by stupidly leaving behind billions of dollars worth of military hardware highlighted Biden’s willingness to sacrifice allies for political expediency. It would be hard for Putin to believe anything that Biden would say regarding any partner, given that he viewed a 20-year engagement as disposable.
Furthermore, Biden’s speech where he green-lighted a ‘minor incursion’ into Ukraine sent precisely the wrong type of message. Diplomacy relies on clear messaging. Mixed messages sow confusion, resulting in state actors making bad choices on incomplete information. Putin most certainly enjoyed the ensuing chaos among the US and its allies from Biden’s comments.
The other issue for the Administration is not just what they are affirmatively doing wrong, but how Biden is perceived domestically. The “Let’s Go Brandon!” a meme going viral is an expression of the unpopularity of the President at home. Joe Biden’s approval rating is underwater at an abysmal 41.7 percent at this writing. It continues to trend downward.
Finally, Biden being corrected by Ukraine President Zelensky about the likelihood of an invasion not being imminent is not a good look for the Administration. Ukraine is a tiny country geographically and economically and has a history of corruption. If Zelensky is not afraid to stand up to the President publicly, what do you think Putin would be willing to do?
Biden is extremely weak both at home and internationally. Putin has possibly calculated that he can do what he wishes to Ukraine and beyond.