Yes, Deterrence Works Against Russian Leaders

 

POTUS DIMEFIL@susanquinn rightly raised concern about the collapse of our deterrence capability against the world’s bad actors. This was entirely avoidable. We know that military deterrence backed by the full spectrum of instruments of national power DID stop Putin from making any further territorial advances so long as President Trump was in office. This makes the Russia hoax and the rest of the long resistance by the deep state, abetted by Lyin’ Paul Ryan and Mendacious McConnell, and the 2020 Big Steal, again abetted by the deep state (including frontman AG Barr) and the RepubliCAN’Ts, all the more outrageous.

To review, the instruments of national power can be organized as DIMEFIL:

Diplomatic: Trump and Pompeo encouraged and cajoled foreign governments to stand up for themselves, to take their own security seriously, contrary to Mattis and the rest of the bad actors treating foreign governments as charity cases with fragile feelings.

Informational” President Trump’s amazing early speech in Poland, marked both Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany as evil regimes overcome by Poland’s patriotic people of faith.

In 1920, in the Miracle of Vistula, Poland stopped the Soviet army bent on European conquest.  (Applause.)  Then, 19 years later in 1939, you were invaded yet again, this time by Nazi Germany from the west and the Soviet Union from the east.  That’s trouble.  That’s tough.

Under a double occupation the Polish people endured evils beyond description: the Katyn forest massacre, the occupations, the Holocaust, the Warsaw Ghetto and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the destruction of this beautiful capital city, and the deaths of nearly one in five Polish people.  A vibrant Jewish population — the largest in Europe — was reduced to almost nothing after the Nazis systematically murdered millions of Poland’s Jewish citizens, along with countless others, during that brutal occupation.

In the summer of 1944, the Nazi and Soviet armies were preparing for a terrible and bloody battle right here in Warsaw. Amid that hell on earth, the citizens of Poland rose up to defend their homeland.  I am deeply honored to be joined on stage today by veterans and heroes of the Warsaw Uprising.  (Applause.)

This directly contradicted Putin’s earlier narrative of Russia as purely good in World War II. From 2005:

Very soon, on May 9, we shall celebrate the 60th anniversary of victory. This day can be justly called the day of civilisation’s triumph over fascism. Our common victory enabled us to defend the principles of freedom, independence and equality between all peoples and nations.

It is clear for us that this victory was not achieved through arms alone but was won also through the strong spirit of all the peoples who were united at that time within a single state. Their unity emerged victorious over inhumanity, genocide and the ambitions of one nation to impose its will on others.

Military: President Trump gave real lethal aid to Ukraine, armor vehicle killing weapons. He moved U.S. troops into Poland, pushing deterrence forward, and had more exercises in the Balkin states. He pushed NATO members to increase their own defense spending, making the whole alliance more credible.

Economic: President Trump exited bad trade agreements and pushed through new agreements that were better for American workers, not the billionaires behind the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and too many conservative think tanks and publications. He relentlessly drove real wage growth across all demographics, making our country stronger, less internally brittle. Trump drove domestic oil and gas production up and made export easier, helping domestic agriculture, manufacturing, and small businesses by driving down this critical cost. His energy policy was directly harmful to Putin and the theocracy in Iran, as it dried up their primary source of income. Putin could not bankroll a war without petrodollars, and Trump could regenerate U.S. military readiness without doing economic harm to America because of the economic expansion his actions caused.

Financial: Trump and Secretary Munchin used our dominance in the international financial system to punish anyone around the world who continued to finance Nord Stream 2, a strategic move by Russia and Germany to put Ukraine and the rest of the states between them under threat from the two big players. They also stabilized the Korea/China/Japan theater with credible sanctions containing the latest Kim. Finally, they took away Russia’s best play in the Middle East by reimposing real costs on anyone who did business with the Iranian theocrats.

Intelligence: President Trump mostly limited the malign influence of our own utterly corrupted, politicized intelligence “community,” a set of agencies better at interfering in our own elections and national politics than at providing actionable early information about other countries.

Law Enforcement: President Trump pressed for investigations of U.S. persons engaged with corruption in Ukraine and elsewhere. Such corruption greatly weakened Ukrainian society and made our own people rightly cynical about our own institutions. This anti-corruption initiative was such a great threat to the Democrats, their deep state wing, and the RepubliCAN’Ts that they launched another Big Lie, corrupting our constitution further with a fraudulent impeachment proceeding.

DIMEFIL works for or against us, depending on the hand on the helm of the ship of state. Within days and weeks of Inauguration Day 2022, the pResident Biden regime undid all the good President Trump, a real American president, enabled through four years of relentless opposition to the left and RepubliCAN’Ts. Of course, we knew this would happen, and every sentient real American voter knew what was coming, however much they now proclaim they are “shocked, shocked!” We further know that Mendacious McConnell and Misleading McCarthy see this calamity as nothing more than a financial and political power opportunity for them and their cohorts in congressional collusion. Any Republican primary nominee who is not calling this out and pledging to join other new candidates in driving the old corrupt cliques out of leadership is a fool or a CONservative.

Published in Foreign Policy
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 22 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Clifford A. Brown: Intelligence: President Trump mostly limited the malign influence of our own utterly corrupted, politicized intelligence “community,” a set of agencies better at interfering in our own elections and national politics than at providing actionable early information about other countries.

    I’ve seen talk inside and out of the intelligence community that Biden did great by releasing information since November. This was supposed to be good because it showed Putin’s given reason for an invasion to be a lie and the world now knows. I’m wondering why that’s a win. Putin still invaded. He wasn’t deterred.

    Also, I don’t know what was shown to China but instead of working with us, the Chinese told the Russians what we told them.

    • #1
  2. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    This was supposed to be good because it showed Putin’s given reason for an invasion to be a lie and the world now knows

    Does Biden lie to the American people?

    • #2
  3. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    This was supposed to be good because it showed Putin’s given reason for an invasion to be a lie and the world now knows

    Does Biden lie to the American people?

    Does Biden move and breathe? 

    • #3
  4. Chris Williamson Member
    Chris Williamson
    @ChrisWilliamson

    You lost me at “the 2020 Big Steal.”

    • #4
  5. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Chris Williamson (View Comment):

    You lost me at “the 2020 Big Steal.”

    Then you’re not keeping up.

    • #5
  6. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Chris Williamson (View Comment):

    You lost me at “the 2020 Big Steal.”

    You were lost when you wandered in. 

    • #6
  7. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Democrat administrations abhor “deterrence” or anything that smells of “toxic masculinity”.

    • #7
  8. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I disagree with this post.

    My own judgment is that Putin backed off with respect to Ukraine during the Trump administration because Trump was wise enough not to press the issue of NATO expansion.  To me, this appears to have been an unofficial, quiet reversal of the Bush ’43 policy announced in 2008, and continued by Obama.  Biden re-reversed it, and went back to the plan for eventual Ukrainian NATO membership.  NATO officially announced this in June 2021.

    If we’re going to lay blame, using the aggressive arguments of the OP, then we should blame Trump too.  He could have pressed for Ukrainian NATO membership.  He didn’t.  He could have adequately armed Ukraine.  He didn’t.  This assumes, of course, that we somehow could have provided sufficient aid to Ukraine to allow it to mount a successful defense against Russia, which I doubt.  But the OP seems to think that this is possible, as it blames Biden for failing to do so, and if the OP is right about this, then it’s Trump’s fault, too.  He had four years to see to it that Ukraine could defend itself, and he failed. 

    This line of reasoning applies if you accept the fundamentally neocon argument that defending Ukraine is our problem, which I personally reject.  I simply think that it’s not our problem, and that we have no practical interest that warrants involvement.

    • #8
  9. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I disagree with this post.

    My own judgment is that Putin backed off with respect to Ukraine during the Trump administration because Trump was wise enough not to press the issue of NATO expansion. To me, this appears to have been an unofficial, quiet reversal of the Bush ’43 policy announced in 2008, and continued by Obama. Biden re-reversed it, and went back to the plan for eventual Ukrainian NATO membership. NATO officially announced this in June 2021.

    If we’re going to lay blame, using the aggressive arguments of the OP, then we should blame Trump too. He could have pressed for Ukrainian NATO membership. He didn’t. He could have adequately armed Ukraine. He didn’t. This assumes, of course, that we somehow could have provided sufficient aid to Ukraine to allow it to mount a successful defense against Russia, which I doubt. But the OP seems to think that this is possible, as it blames Biden for failing to do so, and if the OP is right about this, then it’s Trump’s fault, too. He had four years to see to it that Ukraine could defend itself, and he failed.

    This line of reasoning applies if you accept the fundamentally neocon argument that defending Ukraine is our problem, which I personally reject. I simply think that it’s not our problem, and that we have no practical interest that warrants involvement.

    You did not mention the different deterrence posture presented by Trump. That is key to the deterrence effect.

    • #9
  10. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Chris Williamson (View Comment):

    You lost me at “the 2020 Big Steal.”

    • #10
  11. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Chris Williamson (View Comment):

    You lost me at “the 2020 Big Steal.”

    You were lost when you wandered in.

    Now, now now… that was un-called-for.  And nicely done. 

    [golf clap]

    • #11
  12. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Jerry

    [snip]

    I’ll be honest, I stopped reading after the letter “y”.  It’s just better that way.

    • #12
  13. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    If we’re going to lay blame, using the aggressive arguments of the OP, then we should blame Trump too.  He could have pressed for Ukrainian NATO membership.  He didn’t.  He could have adequately armed Ukraine.  He didn’t.  This assumes, of course, that we somehow could have provided sufficient aid to Ukraine to allow it to mount a successful defense against Russia, which I doubt.  But the OP seems to think that this is possible, as it blames Biden for failing to do so, and if the OP is right about this, then it’s Trump’s fault, too.  He had four years to see to it that Ukraine could defend itself, and he failed. 

     

    You need to think more on this. There are nuances to processes associated with the concept of what can contribute to deterrence. They go well beyond just providing military resources. Trump did more than just avoiding provocation. Biden’s action on the energy front have enhanced Putin’s aggressive opportunities while Trump acted in an opposite direction on energy. Trump kept China busy defending Chinese positions in world trade whereas Biden has relieved China of any concerns there. This allows an easier path for China to support Putin. And a large one is Biden’s provocative acts related to the relationship between Ukraine and Western Europe and NATO. And how can Biden present a strong deterrence while he is weakening America across the board.

    • #13
  14. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I disagree with this post.

    My own judgment is that Putin backed off with respect to Ukraine during the Trump administration because Trump was wise enough not to press the issue of NATO expansion. To me, this appears to have been an unofficial, quiet reversal of the Bush ’43 policy announced in 2008, and continued by Obama. Biden re-reversed it, and went back to the plan for eventual Ukrainian NATO membership. NATO officially announced this in June 2021.

    If we’re going to lay blame, using the aggressive arguments of the OP, then we should blame Trump too. He could have pressed for Ukrainian NATO membership. He didn’t. He could have adequately armed Ukraine. He didn’t. This assumes, of course, that we somehow could have provided sufficient aid to Ukraine to allow it to mount a successful defense against Russia, which I doubt. But the OP seems to think that this is possible, as it blames Biden for failing to do so, and if the OP is right about this, then it’s Trump’s fault, too. He had four years to see to it that Ukraine could defend itself, and he failed.

    This line of reasoning applies if you accept the fundamentally neocon argument that defending Ukraine is our problem, which I personally reject. I simply think that it’s not our problem, and that we have no practical interest that warrants involvement.

    You did not mention the different deterrence posture presented by Trump. That is key to the deterrence effect.

    Also, how was Trump supposed to deal with Ukraine ? When it was Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine !!!!! Impeach, Impeach, Impeach !!!!

     

    Come On Man !

    • #14
  15. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I disagree with this post.

    My own judgment is that Putin backed off with respect to Ukraine during the Trump administration because Trump was wise enough not to press the issue of NATO expansion. To me, this appears to have been an unofficial, quiet reversal of the Bush ’43 policy announced in 2008, and continued by Obama. Biden re-reversed it, and went back to the plan for eventual Ukrainian NATO membership. NATO officially announced this in June 2021.

    If we’re going to lay blame, using the aggressive arguments of the OP, then we should blame Trump too. He could have pressed for Ukrainian NATO membership. He didn’t. He could have adequately armed Ukraine. He didn’t. This assumes, of course, that we somehow could have provided sufficient aid to Ukraine to allow it to mount a successful defense against Russia, which I doubt. But the OP seems to think that this is possible, as it blames Biden for failing to do so, and if the OP is right about this, then it’s Trump’s fault, too. He had four years to see to it that Ukraine could defend itself, and he failed.

    This line of reasoning applies if you accept the fundamentally neocon argument that defending Ukraine is our problem, which I personally reject. I simply think that it’s not our problem, and that we have no practical interest that warrants involvement.

    You did not mention the different deterrence posture presented by Trump. That is key to the deterrence effect.

    Also, how was Trump supposed to deal with Ukraine ? When it was Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine !!!!! Impeach, Impeach, Impeach !!!!

     

    Come On Man !

    Well, yes. Trump was trying to get a grip on the corruption within Ukraine, particularly as it involved American politicians and business people. We had already committed large sums that appeared to disappear to who knows where. Trump was done in by a Republican Congress during his first two years.

    • #15
  16. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I disagree with this post.

    My own judgment is that Putin backed off with respect to Ukraine during the Trump administration because Trump was wise enough not to press the issue of NATO expansion. To me, this appears to have been an unofficial, quiet reversal of the Bush ’43 policy announced in 2008, and continued by Obama. Biden re-reversed it, and went back to the plan for eventual Ukrainian NATO membership. NATO officially announced this in June 2021.

    If we’re going to lay blame, using the aggressive arguments of the OP, then we should blame Trump too. He could have pressed for Ukrainian NATO membership. He didn’t. He could have adequately armed Ukraine. He didn’t. This assumes, of course, that we somehow could have provided sufficient aid to Ukraine to allow it to mount a successful defense against Russia, which I doubt. But the OP seems to think that this is possible, as it blames Biden for failing to do so, and if the OP is right about this, then it’s Trump’s fault, too. He had four years to see to it that Ukraine could defend itself, and he failed.

    This line of reasoning applies if you accept the fundamentally neocon argument that defending Ukraine is our problem, which I personally reject. I simply think that it’s not our problem, and that we have no practical interest that warrants involvement.

    You did not mention the different deterrence posture presented by Trump. That is key to the deterrence effect.

    Also, how was Trump supposed to deal with Ukraine ? When it was Ukraine Ukraine Ukraine !!!!! Impeach, Impeach, Impeach !!!!

     

    Come On Man !

    A bit of fun from Twitter.

    • #16
  17. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    If we’re going to lay blame, using the aggressive arguments of the OP, then we should blame Trump too. He could have pressed for Ukrainian NATO membership. He didn’t. He could have adequately armed Ukraine. He didn’t. This assumes, of course, that we somehow could have provided sufficient aid to Ukraine to allow it to mount a successful defense against Russia, which I doubt. But the OP seems to think that this is possible, as it blames Biden for failing to do so, and if the OP is right about this, then it’s Trump’s fault, too. He had four years to see to it that Ukraine could defend itself, and he failed.

     

    You need to think more on this. There are nuances to processes associated with the concept of what can contribute to deterrence. They go well beyond just providing military resources. Trump did more than just avoiding provocation. Biden’s action on the energy front have enhanced Putin’s aggressive opportunities while Trump acted in an opposite direction on energy. Trump kept China busy defending Chinese positions in world trade whereas Biden has relieved China of any concerns there. This allows an easier path for China to support Putin. And a large one is Biden’s provocative acts related to the relationship between Ukraine and Western Europe and NATO. And how can Biden present a strong deterrence while he is weakening America across the board.

    Yes, there is such a contrast between strong, proactive actions and our current administration’s flaccid reactions.

    • #17
  18. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Chris Williamson (View Comment):

    You lost me at “the 2020 Big Steal.”

    You don’t need to accept the Big Steal for the rest of the article to be true.

    • #18
  19. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Intelligence: President Trump mostly limited the malign influence of our own utterly corrupted, politicized intelligence “community,” a set of agencies better at interfering in our own elections and national politics than at providing actionable early information about other countries.

    I’ve seen talk inside and out of the intelligence community that Biden did great by releasing information since November. This was supposed to be good because it showed Putin’s given reason for an invasion to be a lie and the world now knows. I’m wondering why that’s a win. Putin still invaded. He wasn’t deterred.

    Also, I don’t know what was shown to China but instead of working with us, the Chinese told the Russians what we told them.

    Excellent points. I or other R> need to do DIMEFIL with Biden regime.

    • #19
  20. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I disagree with this post.

    My own judgment is that Putin backed off with respect to Ukraine during the Trump administration because Trump was wise enough not to press the issue of NATO expansion. To me, this appears to have been an unofficial, quiet reversal of the Bush ’43 policy announced in 2008, and continued by Obama. Biden re-reversed it, and went back to the plan for eventual Ukrainian NATO membership. NATO officially announced this in June 2021.

    If we’re going to lay blame, using the aggressive arguments of the OP, then we should blame Trump too. He could have pressed for Ukrainian NATO membership. He didn’t. He could have adequately armed Ukraine. He didn’t. This assumes, of course, that we somehow could have provided sufficient aid to Ukraine to allow it to mount a successful defense against Russia, which I doubt. But the OP seems to think that this is possible, as it blames Biden for failing to do so, and if the OP is right about this, then it’s Trump’s fault, too. He had four years to see to it that Ukraine could defend itself, and he failed.

    This line of reasoning applies if you accept the fundamentally neocon argument that defending Ukraine is our problem, which I personally reject. I simply think that it’s not our problem, and that we have no practical interest that warrants involvement.

    You are lost in the single dimension of M.

    Now read the rest of the post again 

    • #20
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I disagree with this post.

    My own judgment is that Putin backed off with respect to Ukraine during the Trump administration because Trump was wise enough not to press the issue of NATO expansion.

    What do you make of Trump sending additional troops into Poland? 

     

     

    To me, this appears to have been an unofficial, quiet reversal of the Bush ’43 policy announced in 2008, and continued by Obama. Biden re-reversed it, and went back to the plan for eventual Ukrainian NATO membership. NATO officially announced this in June 2021.

    If we’re going to lay blame, using the aggressive arguments of the OP, then we should blame Trump too. He could have pressed for Ukrainian NATO membership. He didn’t. He could have adequately armed Ukraine. He didn’t. This assumes, of course, that we somehow could have provided sufficient aid to Ukraine to allow it to mount a successful defense against Russia, which I doubt. But the OP seems to think that this is possible, as it blames Biden for failing to do so, and if the OP is right about this, then it’s Trump’s fault, too. He had four years to see to it that Ukraine could defend itself, and he failed.

    This line of reasoning applies if you accept the fundamentally neocon argument that defending Ukraine is our problem, which I personally reject. I simply think that it’s not our problem, and that we have no practical interest that warrants involvement.

     

    • #21
  22. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I disagree with this post.

    My own judgment is that Putin backed off with respect to Ukraine during the Trump administration because Trump was wise enough not to press the issue of NATO expansion. To me, this appears to have been an unofficial, quiet reversal of the Bush ’43 policy announced in 2008, and continued by Obama. Biden re-reversed it, and went back to the plan for eventual Ukrainian NATO membership. NATO officially announced this in June 2021

    If we’re going to lay blame, using the aggressive arguments of the OP, then we should blame Trump too. He could have pressed for Ukrainian NATO membership. He didn’t. He could have adequately armed Ukraine. He didn’t. This assumes, of course, that we somehow could have provided sufficient aid to Ukraine to allow it to mount a successful defense against Russia, which I doubt. But the OP seems to think that this is possible, as it blames Biden for failing to do so, and if the OP is right about this, then it’s Trump’s fault, too. He had four years to see to it that Ukraine could defend itself, and he failed.

    This line of reasoning applies if you accept the fundamentally neocon argument that defending Ukraine is our problem, which I personally reject. I simply think that it’s not our problem, and that we have no practical interest that warrants involvement.

    I serious don’t understand your objection.  You seem to be arguing both sides at once.  Trump declined to press the eastward expansion of NATO, which you regard as a correct policy and then you argue he could have pressed for NATO membership for Ukraine.  Which I know from other posts you don’t support and see as provocative.  Part of the Diplomatic process of deterrence is not being needlessly provocative or pressing for things that you don’t really intend to do. 

    Additionally providing lethal aid to Ukraine is quite different from arming them to a point to allow them to defeat the Russians; however, given how they are doing it appears he may have almost allowed them to do just that.   I believe we actually sold them the Javelins under Trump, so what weaponry they received was a partial function of what weaponry they could afford and thought they  would need.  Trump actually played this part fairly well, since it isn’t in our interest that Russia take Ukraine, but we don’t want to be involved in actively defending it either.  Selling them arms would appear to be a good way of balancing these interests.

    The real thrust of Trump’s deterrence, with respect to Ukraine, was Economic and Financial.  His expansion of US oil and gas and allowing for export had a twin effect of being good for the American worker and economy and bad for Russia, and Iran.  This hampered  Russia’s ability to fund military operations.  Additional sanctioning the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, kept Russia from threatening Ukraine because he need a reliable way to export gas to Germany.  There is a reason he waited until Nord Stream 2 was completed before pursuing military action.  

    Defending Ukraine may not be our problem; however, curbing Russia’s territorial ambitions is almost certainly in our interest and to the extent that can be accomplished by keeping them from annexing Ukraine with a policy of deterrence which would have limited the cost in both money and lives could have been worthwhile.   Additional the US benefits from a stable global order and wars in Europe don’t contribute to that.   More broadly speaking losing deterrence is inherently dangerous.  This threatens US interests much more than just in Ukraine.  

    But we had to get rid of Trump of course because he was icky, had mean tweets, and was bad for business for the Democrats and swampy Republicans.  We made a fundamentally unserious choice to elect a foolish, senile, corrupt old man.  We are now going to reap the whirlwind because of it.

    • #22
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.