President Biden is living up to his advance billing as a foreign policy and defense expert in dealing with the Ukraine crisis. Operating within severe military, diplomatic and geopolitical constraints, Biden has fashioned a coherent strategy that may yet dissuade Russia from invading. Consider all the things Biden has gotten right. First, he has recognized the limits of intervention. Second, he has coordinated closely with NATO allies. Third, he has moved troops forward to reassure frontline allies. Fourth, he has refused to make concessions to Russian demands that might be interpreted as reflecting weakness. Fifth, he has been transparent in his use of intelligence. Sixth, he has used said intelligence skillfully to undercut Moscow’s self-serving propaganda. Seventh, he has leveraged Western economic strength to deter aggression. And eighth, he has assembled an experienced security team that tells a convincing story. If Putin nonetheless invades Ukraine, it won’t be Biden’s fault, because the president has made the right choice at each turn in the current crisis. I have written a commentary here.
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