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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Joe Biden: between confrontation and support

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He must support Ukraine without risking nuclear conflict and show responsibility without making himself vulnerable: the war is also exacerbating the Joe Biden crisis.

Without detours to World War III, that is not expected of Joe Biden. © Jim Watson/​AFP/​Getty Images

Regardless of what you think of the current US president, the world can be happy that his name is not Donald Trump. Last week, at a dinner with major Republican donors, the former incumbent gave an insight into his thoughts on the war in the Ukraine it would end like this: American fighter jets would simply have to “bomb Russia to the ground”, but, of course, well camouflaged, with Chinese flags. “And then,” Trump continued, “we said it wasn’t us, it was China, and then they started fighting each other and we sat and watched.” The guests present are said to have laughed, as if sure he was only joking. But when do you know that with Trump?

With no detours into World War III, that’s not to be expected from Joe Biden. Since the Russian attack on Ukraine, the US president has been trying to find the right balance between confrontation and assistance. And that’s no easy feat given Moscow’s nuclear weapons threats on the one hand and pressure to act on the other.

It is becoming increasingly clear that neither diplomacy nor economic sanctions will work Russia so far to withdraw their troops. Until now, they have been held back mainly by military defense in the form of the Ukraine, which is desperately defending itself. They ask for support more and more urgently, and they are getting it, although with a clear upper limit: the fact that NATO countries send troops instead of just weapons and ammunition is a clear no, also and especially from the US. USA

Not only because of the inhibition threshold of a foreseeable and possibly growing nuclear conflict with Russia. The operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which several thousand US soldiers died, are deeply etched in public memory. The fact that Biden opposed sending US troops to Afghanistan when he was vice president served him little politically later: he inherited the decision to withdraw from Trump, but the fact that it was so chaotic and dangerous is something that will fail him. associated with his government as one of the Washington Post leaked army report stated. And shortly beforehand, Biden had also assured the public that there was no fear of the Taliban seizing power anytime soon, which, when later proven wrong, hit his already fluctuating approval ratings. That he USA warned their citizens in Ukraine so early that they would not be rescued if war broke out can also be seen as a safeguard against another Kabul-like disaster.

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