January 26, 2022

YES: Afghanistan Taught Putin That Biden ‘Is a Guy Who Can Be Pushed Around.’

“I believe that our response in 2014 was too slow and too incremental. And it’s confirmed by the lessons that I learned, and that I believe others in the national security community learned, to better address Russia’s ongoing aggression… I believe one of the lessons I learned is that it would have been appropriate and necessary to provide Ukraine with what it needed to defend its territory.”

That tough appraisal is from Celeste Wallander, President Biden’s nominee to be assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. From 2013 to 2017, Wallander served on the National Security Council as special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia and Central Asia.

In other words, not even the people who thought up the Obama-era response to Putin thought it was tough or effective, and no one is willing to argue it amounted to an effective deterrent. The Russian dictator likely already thought Biden was all bark and minimal bite. And then he watched the debacle of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Even worse — or better for an opportunistic thug like Putin — Afghanistan showed that Biden will commit the kind of f***-ups that create the situation where he can be pushed around.

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