Do you have the bad feeling that America and the rest of the world are simply waiting for President Putin of Russia to make up his mind to invade Ukraine or not? Is America and NATO that helpless as Putin seems to think? Is there not something more America could do as the leader of NATO to deter Russia. Is the threat of financial sanctions on Russia all we are willing to do to help Ukraine?
It seems so. Putin seems oblivious to the threat of sanctions since the Chinese will help soften the blow, assuming Biden follows through with his threat. Early on, Biden gave Putin assurances that NATO troops nor American troops would come to save Ukrainian armed forces, which are so outnumbered. No doubt, when Putin heard this, it was like, then, why not invade to reclaim what was once part of the USSR before 1990. The Ukrainian armed forces are not much of a threat and will probably collapse within a week's time. Biden's promise not to use American troops to save Ukraine was a real blunder and stupid card to play. It only emboldened Putin more.
The military aid sent to Ukraine from the USA, while is important and pose some threat, the numbers are way too few to scare off the 130,000 Russian troops. Sending a few thousand American elite forces to Poland and Romania, which border it, is a hollow gesture. Does Biden think Russia will try to retake either NATO member? Putin is not stupid since it would invoke all of NATO to get involved. SO, again, Biden's minimal troop deployment is window dressing and posturing, it means nothing as long as Russian troops remain in Ukraine. Other NATO members have provide some token deployments, while nice, it is symbolic only against the numbers opposing them. And Germany, sending only helmets! They still have not confirmed the gas line will be shut down as Biden declared it would be.
Putin knows it is now or never. Biden and NATO are unwilling to go to war with Russia. That is clear. The threat of sanctions can be averted through countries like China who will buy their oil and gas. Being cutoff from the international banking system could be a real problem for Putin, but the temptation to occupy Ukraine again, to restore Russia's greatness, is just to luring since there is pathetic opposition.
Early on, Biden should never have said American troops would never be sent to Ukraine. Also, American troops should have been sent to protect the US Embassy, in a symbolic move that could deter Putin. He knows if American troops are killed, all bets are off when it comes to sending more there. Putin doesn't want to take it that far. Biden should have said that America stands with Ukraine regardless of what other NATO members choose to do. That would deter Putin. More heavy weapons should have been sent, not just Javelin antitank missiles. The Ukrainians begged for modern anti-air missile defenses, none were sent. America could have sent M1 tanks and cruise missiles, predator drones. All of this would signal to Putin that, just maybe, America would come to Ukraine's defense if invaded.
War is a poker game many times. Showing the enemy your hand and what you are willing to appease a bully, only emboldens. It shows weakness. Biden and others, have all tried to appease Putin with things Putin could care less about. To him, strategic arms etc., can be done AFTER he retakes Ukraine. He is sure Biden will just love to negotiate over them. This is a modern-day 1938 Munich, in which Britain and France tried to appease Hitler not to invade Czechoslovakia after he had massed Nazi troops along its border. In the end, an accord was done but it meant nothing to Hitler because he invaded a year later! Putin is taking a play out of Hitler's methods.
Russia continues to stall by having faux discussions that only agree to disagree. Nothing more. Americans in Ukraine have been advised to leave while there is still peace. The American embassy is down to a skeleton staff and Russia has ordered its embassy staff to leave Ukraine. It is pretty clear conflict has been chosen by Putin. If he backed down now, it would show he is weak.
Had Biden shown strength through more substantial military aid and that there is always a possibility that US troops would deploy to the Ukraine, things might be different now. Putin's demands were extortion on the West. He knew it before he even asked. The extortion was the troop buildup that was menacing. Even though Biden knows all about Putin, he still tried to appease him, knowing full well, Putin respects strength. Biden only showed Putin that America is a reluctant world power when it comes to using it mighty military assets.
The world will now fear Russia and have even more less respect for America. The first blow was the Biden's debacle in Afghanistan's end. Now, America is being tested in Ukraine and later it will China over Taiwan. Just wait until that happens, what will Biden do? The template for his foreign policy is showing and would America really, really, go defend Taiwan? Taiwan is not part of NATO either.
I think China knows the answer now.