Saturday, May 25, 2024

Biden promised Sanctions Would Cripple Russia. So How is That Working Out?

The Ukraine war, which is a major Achilles Heel issue for Joe Biden if Republicans choose to exploit it, continues to drag on with seemingly no end in sight, at least from an American perspective.

However, those with intimate knowledge of the war have been sounding the alarm for months because Ukraine is losing.

The reality on the ground is that Ukraine is running out of troops and armaments to continue the effort. Since the war began, the average age of a Ukrainian soldier has risen from 30 to 43. Since the Russian population is three times the size of Ukraine, it means the Ukraine military must maintain a three to one kill ratio to have any chance of success.

How could something so fundamentally obvious and important have been overlooked as war planners in the U.S. considered different outcomes? How did the Ukraine military ever stand a chance of victory on the battlefield without the benefit of air superiority? At a minimum, this would have meant transferring a significant number of fourth generation fighter aircraft to Ukraine, but the idea was ruled out since it could be a provocation that might quickly escalate the conflict into WW3.

A Huge Miscalculation

Certainly, as Russia was amassing troops at Ukraine’s border in 2022, the Pentagon had to know all this, which leads to the question of why the U.S. committed $100 billion to a war effort that had very little chance of ending in victory?

We’re left with two possibilities: either a successful outcome wasn’t the government’s primary motivation, or they actually believed sanctions would work.

In decades past, the idea the government would fund a war it knew was doomed to fail would be preposterous, but since Joe Biden’s government-for-sale ideology has been exposed, it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. In fact, during an ongoing investigation into American funds used to build a condo on top of a Jewish gravesite in Uman, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Embassy let this gem slip:

“Funds authorized by American lawmakers to support Ukraine’s armament are not directly allocated to Ukraine.” A “significant portion” of the aid authorized for the war effort is “utilized in the United States for the construction of new weapons or to replenish those dispatched to Kyiv from U.S. reserves.” The spokesperson continued. “An analysis” found that “nearly 90 percent” of aid authorized by the U.S. “is benefiting American interests.”

Neocons on both sides of the aisle love this kind of thing. A lot of money changing hands between foreign governments and defense contractors with little accountability.

Sanctions were Supposed to Cripple Russia

But let’s say for the sake of argument Biden was on the up and up, and he really believed sanctions would bring Russia to its knees. “Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war,” Biden said in remarks from the White House in 2022. “And now he and his country will bear the consequences.”

Biden claimed that the sanctions would “impose severe costs on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time. We have purposefully designed these sanctions to maximize the long-term impact on Russia — and to minimize the impact on the United States and our allies.”

Biden followed up the initial round of sanctions, which prevented American interests from doing business in Donetsk and Luhansk, with more sanctions that impacted Russia’s industrial base, financial institutions, technology industry and export business. In all, Biden slapped Russia with at least 100 new sanctions since the invasion of Ukraine started, bringing the total number of designations to 742.

So, how has all of that worked out?

Short answer: Not good.

According to Russia’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, in an article in the Russian News Agency TASS, Russia’s 2023 GDP will likely reach 4% after revisions.

“Economic results were positive regarding the country’s GDP dynamics in general as well,” said Mishustin. “Growth totaled 3.5% for the year, according to preliminary calculations of the Economic Development Ministry. As more data is provided among other things in the services sector, there is also potential for upgrading the estimate to 4%.”

Expanding further, Mishustin said that the increase in GDP was attributed to increased consumer demand and investment demand.

There are a variety of reasons for the failure of U.S. sanctions, but the primary causes are the miscalculation of Russian resourcefulness and a booming defense industry. As a major oil exporter, Russia has found creative ways to sell its energy products in the international marketplace, establishing strong relationships with China, India and Turkey among others. Incredibly, Russia is still selling some natural gas to European countries, including Belgium and Spain.

The Fallout of the Sanctions Debacle

One of the telltale signs of cognitive impairment is an inability to engage in second-level thought. In other words, while someone with early onset dementia may be able to understand the refrigerator is broken, they no longer have the critical thinking skills required to solve the problem. The inability of Joe Biden to reason through unintended consequences will result in negative outcomes we will endure for years.

When the leader of a country is persuaded to give up weapons of mass destruction, but then is hung in a rebellion, what message does that send to the next dictator considering such a move? When America flexes its economic muscles by imposing sanctions on another country, rest assured, every other government with an adversarial relationship with the U.S. takes notice.

You may not see it in the headlines, but Russia, China, Iran and others are working feverishly to dislodge the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and frankly, they have compelling arguments. A country that is blessed with the designation of having the world’s reserve currency has a responsibility to handle its fiscal affairs sensibly and avoid weaponizing its advantageous position.

The United States has done neither. We irresponsibly print money with reckless abandon, which devalues the holdings of governments and institutions worldwide. We use the dollar to punish our enemies, which may be morally self-righteous but is self-destructive practically.

While Russian advances in Ukraine are front page news in their daily headlines, expect to hear less and less about the mess in Kyiv in our leftist publications. Democrats will try to push Ukraine off the front page, at least until after the election, when a peace treaty will eventually be signed that gives Russia the exact provinces they demanded before the war began.

Let’s hope Republicans are perceptive enough to expose this deep Biden vulnerability because the entire Ukraine war is proving to be a sham.