PAUL MIRENGOF. April 17. 2021

As I contended here, when it came to Russia, Donald Trump spoke softly but carried a stick. He didn’t attack Vladimir Putin personally, but he punished Russian misconduct to some extent and took meaningful measures to thwart Russian expansionism.

So far, Joe Biden has adopted the opposite approach. He calls Putin “a killer,” but does not meaningfully punish Russia, even as it amasses large forces on the border of Ukraine. Instead, Biden is returning, in large measure, to the failed “Russia reset” policy of Barack Obama.

Picking up on the stick analogy, the Republican National Committee finds that, on Russia, “Biden speaks loudly and carries a twig.” That’s about right.

In a memo, the RNC points out:

Yesterday, the Biden administration announced a sanctions package on Russia in response to the Solar Winds attack. It falls well short of imposing real costs on Russia. President Biden even invited Putin to a summit to “de-escalate” tensions while Putin conducted the largest military build-up on the border of Ukraine since 2014. Biden has exhibited clear weaknesses and Putin will seek to exploit them.

The memo goes on to cite chapter and verse on the weakness of Biden’s approach to Russia. The entire document is well worth reading. Here are a few key excerpts (footnotes omitted):

President Biden began his administration by caving to Russian demands to renew the New START treaty for 5 years, giving up the leverage built by the Trump administration to limit Russia’s entire nuclear force, and compel Russia to limit other weapons, including hypersonics. As former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated, under New START “[o]nly 45 percent of Russia’s nuclear arsenal is subject to numerical limits…[while] that agreement restricts 92 percent of America’s arsenal.”

President Biden has refused to impose any sanctions on any new entities over Nordstream 2, circumventing the intent of Congress in recent bipartisan mandatory sanctions legislation, the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act, enacted as part of the NDAA. President Biden’s refusal to impose such sanctions before the pipeline is set to be completed this summer will isolate Ukraine and give Putin a new economic lifeline in Europe, which Putin could use to fund even more destabilizing activities.

* The Biden administration has sat idly by as Russia has mobilized thousands of troops on the border of Ukraine—more than there were ahead of Russia’s invasion and eventual annexation of Crimea in 2014. Even worse, just yesterday the Biden administration canceled the deployment of two warships to the Black Sea with Turkey amid concerns over a Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s borders. During the Trump administration, the U.S. provided anti-tank weapons to Ukraine and tripled the size of the European Deterrence Initiative to counter Russia, and Putin never attempted such a buildup.

(Emphasis added)

What about the sanctions Biden has just imposed on Russia?

* The Republican Study Committee (RSC) has advocated for imposing sanctions on Russian sovereign debt since June 2020 when it released it National Security Strategy: Strengthening America & Countering Global Threats. However, the sanctions imposed today by the Department of the Treasury on Russian sovereign debt include a number of exceptions that lack real teeth. OFAC has announced that such sanctions will continue to apply only to those “participating in the primary market” and will not restrict the buying of Russian Eurobonds on the secondary market.

* Furthermore, President Biden’s decision to again forego sanctions on new entities involved in the Nordstream 2 project, illustrates that while talking tough the Biden administration intends to return to
the risk-averse approach that characterized President Obama’s Russia reset policy., Biden claimed Nordstream 2 is “a complicated issue affecting our allies in Europe.” It’s not complicated, Biden simply does not want to stand up to Russia.

(Emphasis added)

The memo also documents the Trump’s administration’s consistently tough approach to Russia, even as Democrats and their media allies were trying to paint Trump as beholden to, and conspiring with, Putin. Democrats wasted millions in taxpayer dollars promoting that narrative for no reason other than to undermine the president.

The Russia collusion canard might be the biggest lie in American political history. Its falsity was always apparent to anyone paying attention. The weakness of Biden’s Russia policy as compared to Trump’s only confirms the blatant dishonesty of Democrats and the media.


  • This article is as rare as rocking horse shit. An article by a Trump fanatic who is also anti-putler. Apart from the absurd attempt to deny collusion in 2016, the article makes some valid points.
    However, from a Ukrainian perspective, neither Biden or Trump are suitable US presidents. Only when someone of the calibre of Marco Rubio is in power will things change.

    Liked by 5 people

  • onlyfactsplease

    A Reagan would have called Pew-tin a killer – and then some – and concurrently would have carried a big stick. What we have now is a socialist mummy who forgets what he just said as he utters the next sentence. A shipment of weaponry, destined for Ukraine, should have been on the way last week already. A phone call and name-calling are not what the doctor ordered when dealing with this Ruskie mafia disease. At least we now have a new round of sanctions that are a bit more than a slap on the wrist but which are still not hammering the mafiosi hard enough.
    The Trumpet did little on his own to add to the US initiative when creating sanctions to punish mafia land. I think that he is getting more credit in this article than is due. Certainly, we have many times wondered at some of the lackluster measures that had been taken in this regard, over the course of Trump’s years as president and had gotten downright angered by his buddy-buddy attitude to the little shit nugget. If it hadn’t been for our Congress, we would have been on European level of basically ass-kissing the mafioso killer.

    “The fact that the situation in eastern Ukraine in particular [sic] has yet to disintegrate into worse bloodshed has made the absence of a coherent, effective US sanctions policy toward Russia less problematic to this point than it might have been.
    “Put another way: the Trump administration has been able to get by without a real Russia sanctions policy or approach, but this was neither inevitable nor the most sensible way to govern.”

    Indeed, it was not only Trump that made things difficult for our Congress when dealing with the rogue nation mafia land but our European “allies” too.
    “Many in Congress have come to the conclusion that tougher sanctions on Russia are in order. Their activism can serve as a useful check on the Trump administration but, ideally, should not undermine unity with key U.S. allies.”
    “Making matters even more politically fraught are Trump’s reluctance to offer meaningful criticism of Russian malign activities, his professed skepticism about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and his frequent attacks on the U.S. intelligence community, key U.S. allies, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the European Union (EU).”
    Here, I agree with Trump’s criticism of NATO, the EU and some “key allies”. The rest was humbug on his part.

    Now, we have 2021 and mafia land has gotten more aggressive if we should take the newest round of sword rattling seriously. The mafia troop buildup is thus far unprecedented since 2014 and in light of its much more boxed-in feeling … with the dwarf’s falling popularity, the Crimean water crisis and an old and weak president in the Whitehouse … we have a wholly new situation at hand that could easily get out of control. And, we have a mostly scared EU/NATO who still think that appeasing the little pissant is the right thing to do. If Biden also shows any weakness now, only time will tell how far the rodent is willing to take this. The chinks giving him the boot in regards to creating a dollar alternative put a large blemish on the sewer rat’s plans but we can’t rely solely on something this shaky to help contain this disease. Let us hope that Congress at least will keep a sharp focus on this newest development.

    Liked by 5 people

  • All I will say, the author is right about Biden, but Nord Stream 2 was nearly completed on Trump’s watch. He could have stopped Nord stream in it’s tracks, before a pipe was laid. Why didn’t he?

    Liked by 2 people

  • Bunch of crap.
    The ONLY thing Trump did to Putin was resist NSII.
    All of the sanctions enacted during his presidency were initiated by Congress and he opposed them all. When forced to sign because he no choice he acted like it was his idea.
    As for Javelins, he made a sale and nothing more. 350 odd missiles and 50 launchers are a help but mainly just a symbolic gesture.
    Lets never forget his meeting with Putin with only the two leaders, one translator and no record what’s so ever of what was discussed.
    Then Trump just gave away Kurdish controlled eastern Syria. And what did Mister Deal Maker get for this huge concession?
    Did he get Putin to agree pull out of Donbas. Cut loose Maduro in Venezuela?
    No, he gave it way for free. Sold out the only real ally aside from Israel, the US has in the middle east. There are literally thousands of Americans alive to day because the Kurds bled for us to defeat ISIS.
    And Trump just kicked them under the bus for no gain what-so-ever.
    Trump was serious about fighting ISIS and can be commended for it. Plus he actually enforced Obama’s Red Line of the use of chemical weapons. but that is the extent of his “Tough guy ” image. Little of which applies to Putin.

    Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.