Biden - Putin is going in!
Something you don’t need to spell things out
Zelensky yesterday was trying to calm the nation advising that war is not going to happen as he is working flat out on diplomacy. His message of calm and reassurance was totally understandable and in the national interest given the threat.
But you can understand now why Ukrainians are upset as Biden then let’s the cat put of the bag by suggesting he thinks “Putin goes in”.
Even worse he then reveals to everyone, but more particularly Putin, disunity in NATO over sanctions and whether a minor incursion rather than an invasion would rally allies to agree to sanctions. Reminds me a bit of Rybakov’s comment yesterday at Valdai that there would not be a “large scale” war in Europe. If you are Russian define large scale when the Soviet Union lost 20 million subjects in/around WW2 - and nearly half of them in Belarus and Ukraine, and half of them killed by their own side, Stalin.
Desperate efforts by the WH press office to clarify after the event that any breach of Ukraine’s borders would constitute an invasion and trigger devastating sanctions could not really make up for the damage done.
If Putin was not going in, likely he is now.
But I have to say that Biden was just saying what DC contacts have been telling me since November that on balance Putin is likely to invade. The stars are just aligning for him.
It’s good that a POTUS tells the truth - think we had seen the opposite most of the time under Trump. But sometimes for the greater good being somewhat selective with the truth serves the end goal. This was one of those occasions Joe.
And Biden’s team had been doing a stellar job in recent weeks in presenting a United NATO front to Putin. That effort has been significantly put back now because of the gaffes made by the boss last night. Let’s hope they can recover from here.
But as it stands war risks have now been starkly revealed, and Europe is entering a really worrying time. As various people have highlighted Europe faces the biggest risk of major conflict since the Balkan wars in the mid 90s. And the biggest risk of Russia - NATO clashes since the end of the Cold War.