Joe Biden has been traveling the country and the world blaming Vladimir Putin for everything from the war in Ukraine to high gas and food prices. The truth of the matter is that if Biden wishes to pick someone to blame, he need go no further than the man staring back at him when he shaves.
It has been clear for many years that Putin is a bad actor and will do almost anything to increase his power and Russian territory and influence. He has written about his desire to reestablish the lost USSR territories, which means he has long-term eyes on Ukraine, the Baltic states, Poland, Hungary and others. Any serious student of history and current affairs will realize the man is dangerous and that U.S. foreign policy must have a goal of containing his expansionist adventurism. Ways of doing this include having our own stronger military deterrent, showing resolve to intervene if necessary, and economic warfare to limit Putin’s capabilities. Competent diplomats would confess that such things are best done behind the scenes through quiet actions and talks, not through public, often idle, threats and chest beating.
History is informative. In 2008, while the mortgage financial crisis was consuming the nation and Bush was busy elsewhere, Putin saw an opportunity and attacked and invaded Georgia, hearing only mild “who cares” type opposition from the U.S., the U.N., and others. In 2014, seeing his coffers bursting with cash due to windfall profits from oil sales at historically high prices, seeing the U.S. and Europe effectively disarm by lowering defense budgets and responding stupidly and ineffectively to threats like ISIS, Putin, once again, perceived an opportunity and moved with little opposition to steal Crimea.
Then, in 2017, Donald Trump arrived.
In almost every way Trump applied a brake to Putin’s ambitions. First he announced an end to ISIS and proceeded to quickly wipe them out, letting the world know that this president was different. Second, he immediately began rebuilding and increasing the readiness of the military, causing both Putin and China to wait a bit before undertaking new adventures. Thirdly, and probably most important, Trump undertook to fulfill the original purpose of the Department of Energy, which was created in 1977 to reduce or eliminate dependence on foreign oil. His success in creating an oil/gas exporting nation, while good economically for the U.S. and its allies, was deadly to Putin. His windfall profits from high oil prices dried up so that making war was no longer an easy financial choice. Plus Trump was now sending weapons to Ukraine instead of the blankets sent by Obama.
When Biden was elected, he immediately began releasing the brakes. His announced war on American energy, along with actions like the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, sparked the rise of worldwide oil prices, which once again began to fill Putin’s petrodollar coffers. Biden’s actions in Afghanistan sent the clear message that the U.S. and its military were now being led by the worst kind of unprincipled leaders and strategists, highly unlikely to stand up to opponents. Biden made it clear that he favored reductions in military spending. Naturally, Putin, once more, seized opportunity and attacked Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine rages on with little chance of ending soon, costing tens of thousands of lives. There is no doubt the most evil player in the tragedy is Putin. However, to carry out his plans Putin needs money and opportunity. Biden has supplied both. When one considers that Biden supplies billions to Ukrainians for their defense while simultaneously allowing vast petrodollars through increased oil prices to feed Russian aggression, it is clear that, in a very real sense, this is Biden’s war.
Could Biden do anything effective to help stop Putin? Absolutely! He could stop his war on American energy, lower oil prices drastically and begin starving Putin’s petrodollar economy and his ability to continue the war. It would not be easy or quick, but it would be an important part of an effective strategy. Will Biden do it? Absolutely not! He, his team and most Democrats are wedded to the mythology of climate change. No matter the cost, the war on American energy, effective or not, must continue. To them, it is more important than war, prosperity, the food supply, or even American sovereignty. .