Facing Russia, the United States was hampered by its own red line

Joe Biden during a speech about Ukraine at the White House on March 16th. He is adjacent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left), Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley.

World-leading military forces have become wary of even allergies to ideas of external operations. This is the American paradox, confirmed by the war in Ukraine. Russia’s aggression has certainly tightened the ranks of the Atlantic Alliance, as shown by Joe Biden’s visit to Brussels on Thursday, March 24. The American workforce in Europe has increased from 80,000 to 100,000 soldiers. However, NATO does not envision any stance other than defense beyond the delivery of weapons to Ukrainians in order to avoid the spread of conflict.

Not surprisingly, the Biden administration rejects proposals for withdrawal or indifference, claiming a leading role in international mobilization to sanction Russia and support Kyiv. However, this paradox of constrained power, fueled primarily by tragic military adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, is an important factor in the continuation of the war in Ukraine.

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The United States has long wondered about the tension between its strategic interests and its universal mission as a leader in Western nations. At the end of November 1995, Bill Clinton gave a solemn speech at the White House. This resonates strongly today and justifies the country’s military participation in the implementation of the Dayton Agreement. Just signed between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, they ended a three-and-a-half-year war in central Europe, killing 100,000 people. The United States has long refused to be involved, fearing a deadlock. On that November day, Bill Clinton attempted a complex synthesis. “America can’t and shouldn’t be a global policeman. Not all wars can always be stopped, but some can. »» In September 2013, Barack Obama used this very formula to justify his refusal to sanction the Syrian administration’s use of chemical weapons. “America is not a policeman in the world. »»

Retired role

Kyiv is far from Washington, which establishes China on the horizon of foreign policy. For now, Ukraine dominates the attention of the American media and allies. His martyrdom mobilizes the government and moves the ranks of parliament. The White House finds that it is under multiple, sometimes contradictory pressures between the price of the pump and the price of omission. How to project force without using it? Recognizing this challenge, Joe Biden is investing. He will attend NATO’s extraordinary summit on Thursday, the G7 leaders’ summit, and finally the European Union summit. “Eat your grains, eat your spinach”, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki warned about this special diplomatic day. Europe’s dependence on Russia and the growing Western sanctions will be central to the debate. The next day, Friday, Joe Biden travels to Poland, where he meets American soldiers specifically stationed there.

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