Although Nancy Pelosi’s trip is taking all the headlines in foreign policy, there are still wars going on in Eastern Europe. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drags on with both sides making small gains in different areas. Washingtonians, who thought they would be big political winners from all of this, are now nervous about where it could lead.
The White House decided to throw Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s President, under the bus. This revelation was made by Thomas Friedman, a Chinese-loving stenographer at The New York Times.
The article is mostly about Pelosi, Taiwan, and shows that there is “deep distrust” between the White House, Zelensky, and the US, leading to concern among US officials. The article also mentions the fact that “corruption” in Ukraine was a contributing factor to the nation’s failures during wartime.
Wow. The White House just threw Zelensky under the bus and ran him over, via NYT stenographer.
— Jordan Schachtel @ dossier.substack.com (@JordanSchachtel) August 2, 2022
This is how I see it. As has been the case in Washington in Iraq and Afghanistan, Washington’s smart set has failed to anticipate the reality on the ground. The White House decided to sanction Russia and arm Ukraine in the early days of the invasion, believing that Vladamir Putin would suffer too many losses and then get bored and return home. Within weeks of the invasion, proclamations were issued to indicate that Russia was on the brink of collapse in Ukraine. After Kyiv was secured, foreign policy establishment hubris reached a fever pitch.
However, this has not happened. Perhaps because Putin doesn’t feel he has enough to lose by backing down, Russia has instead consolidated its east position and settled in for a long war against attrition. Despite the ruble not falling as expected, Russia has yet to feel the economic consequences.
Concerning Zelensky’s leadership, it is not surprising that the war has gotten to a more stalemate. Ukraine is a smaller and weaker country than Russia, so the valorous fight for its defense has been exemplary. It was a huge victory to stop Putin from occupying Kyiv and other areas further west. While the West continues to import lower-tier weaponry from the West, it is necessary to have soldiers in order to use that weaponry. Ukraine does not have the manpower or resources to remove Russia from its borders.
This is unacceptable for a White House which was counting on Putin’s embarrassment to be a major political issue in 2024. Russia is not cooperating, so someone must be taken under the bus. These leaks that Biden is losing faith and trust in Zelensky are coming to you from this place. Although you won’t hear it from the president, the White House will make excuses for what might happen if things don’t improve in a year.
It wasn’t because Biden had miscalculated or set unrealistic expectations. It was Zelensky not being competent enough. It is all so convenient, right?