America Must Assert its Leadership in the World
President Joe Biden has a formidable task. In the span of a week, America’s commander in chief must demonstrate to European allies and global enemies that the USA not only is a team player but more importantly he is the team captain with a clear vision of the goal, that he is the leader of the free world – as the job description states.
The President’s itinerary has defined the demands. At the G7 meeting he must lead in developing a workable solution for the free world in a post-pandemic world. There are economic, commercial, political and health considerations to take into account equitably for all.
At the NATO session, the United States must show its commitment to the concept of collective security developed in 1949. Since then the alliance has served as a barricade against Moscow’s expansionism, which wasn’t a fairy tale then nor is it now. But its purpose isn’t merely to designate the line in the sand but also to assure countries, such as Ukraine and Georgia, that they will be protected from continued Russian aggression and threats. Kyiv and Tbilisi must be allowed immediate accession to the alliance without the meaningless Membership Action Plan, which only satisfies Moscow’s demands and not the needs of the remaining captive nations of Russian subjugation.
NATO, the United States and the free world must cease formulating their policies from Russia’s vantage point, whose interests and mission are diametrically opposed to the bloc.
If NATO is to be relevant and succeed in the future it must do what it did at its outset – stand up to Russia and protect the endangered countries. The United States must insist on it and exhibit its commitment to the mission and goal – and budget.
As for President Biden’s meeting with the Russian leader, it’s dangerous and not needed. Moscow is not America’s adversary – it’s the enemy. Meetings, summits, negotiations and diplomatic pleasantries are not necessary. Russia has not done anything – ever – to endear itself to the United States. Truthfully, it has always sought to undermine, subvert and destroy America. Without a clear agenda and objective – such as stop destabilizing the United States and evacuate Russian troops from Ukraine including Crimea – commiserating in Geneva in the Spring with a dictator is a waste of time and effort.
Kurt Volker, President Obama’s point man on Ukraine, observed recently that the face-to-face encounter is riskier for Biden than it is for Putin. Volker continued, saying that “any outcome that seems reassuring and benign on the surface actually works in Putin’s favor.” If the two leaders smile, shake hands and say good bye without an understanding of severe sanctions and consequences for Moscow’s continued aggression against Ukraine and subversion of the United States, Volker said, that would “send a signal globally that the authoritarians can get away with aggressive acts at home and abroad.” Russia and others would then be given a carte blanche to do whatever they wish.
Putin must see Biden “is negotiating from a position of strength,” Volker opined.
If not, then Putin and Moscow – as well as North Korea and Islamic terrorists – will continue to ride roughshod over the world. Not a good lasting impression for the world about President Biden.