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September 30, 2021

Tough on Russia? Not Pussycat Joe

Trump was right: No post-Cold War president was tougher on Russia, and certainly not Biden.

No post-Cold War president was tougher on Russia than Donald Trump, which even the Leftmedia has eventually admitted — albeit quietly because it so loudly pushed the bogus Trump-Russia collusion hoax.

A prime example comes from NPR’s Scott Horsley, who back in mid-2018 conceded that Trump’s claim “‘there’s never been a president as tough on Russia as I have been’ … might sound like hyperbole, but in this case, there’s actually some basis for the president’s boast.” Horsley went on to list several ways in which Trump actively and aggressively countered Vladimir Putin’s ambitions, including raising U.S. funding for the European Deterrence Initiative by 41% from spending under Barack Obama. Trump also countered Russia’s efforts to expand its gas and oil exports into Europe by sanctioning the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Horsley’s news was promptly ignored by a media bent on defeating Trump at all costs.

Earlier this year, veteran political analyst Byron York also listed a litany of examples, given to him by a Republican lawmaker in 2018, of how Trump got tough on Russia: “1) Bombed Syria, Russia’s main client, and unleashed the U.S. military in Syria, including against Russians; 2) Armed Ukraine; 3) Weakened the Iran nuclear deal, and would likely soon end it [which Trump later did]; 4) Browbeat NATO allies to increase defense spending; 5) Approved $130 billion in new defense spending; 6) Added low-yield nukes to the U.S. arsenal; 7) Started research and development on a new missile after Russia deployed a missile that did not comply with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty; 8) Shut down Russia’s consulate in San Francisco; and 9) Pumped more U.S. oil and gas, making the U.S. more energy independent.”

Meanwhile, Joe “Tough Guy” Biden, who promised he would make Putin “pay a price” for having interfered in the 2016 election, has hardly been tough on Moscow. In fact, compared to Trump’s actions, one could make the argument that Biden is Putin’s pussycat. Rather than acting tough, Biden has sought to take the egg-shell walk with Putin, dropping Trump’s Nord Stream 2 sanctions even as he killed the U.S. Keystone XL Pipeline. In other words, not only has Biden made the U.S. less energy independent, he has increased Europe’s dependence on Russia.

When addressing the UN last week, Biden never even mentioned Russia, and now we come to find out the likely reason — the Biden administration wanted to use Russian bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as part of an “over-the-horizon” plan to counter terrorism in Afghanistan. “The problem with stationing U.S. forces on Russian military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan,” notes political analyst Jim Geraghty, “is that it would make U.S. counterterrorism operations in the region dependent upon Russian cooperation. Vladimir Putin or his successor would be able to pull the plug at any time, giving him enormous leverage over America’s ability to respond to terrorist threats in Afghanistan and the surrounding region. Running U.S. counterterrorism operations from Russian bases also seems like a really good way to ensure that Russian intelligence knows everything that the U.S. is doing on those bases.”

So much for making Putin “pay a price.” Indeed, it now appears that the U.S. will be quite literally paying a price for use of Russia’s military bases, thanks entirely to Biden’s Afghanistan retreat and surrender. There may be no one laughing harder right now than Putin.

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