As Russia invades Ukraine, amasses troops on the Polish border and threatens to use nuclear weapons, some reflections on President Joe Biden’s rejection of the Army’s findings on the bug out in Afghanistan are in order. One of the most important characteristics of effective leaders, whether in government, business or the military, is a firm grasp of reality. The best decision makers look at the facts whether they like them or not and act on them. Leaders who think they can alter reality by simply ignoring it or, worse yet, rejecting it have started down a one-way street to disaster. Such is the case with Biden.
Reality is clear. At home, Biden’s socialist policies have resulted in an unprecedented level of inflation, empty grocery store shelves, a tyrannical response to the COVID pandemic, supply-chain tie-ups and thirty members of his own party giving up their seats in Congress rather than run on his record. Yet, with his leftist house of cards collapsing all around him, Biden continues to ignore reality and claim things are going great. Americans are standing outside in the rain getting soaked while Biden sits in the Oval Office claiming it’s a bright, sunshiny day.
As bad as Biden’s rejection of domestic realities is, it pales in comparison to his rejection of the Army’s findings on the Afghanistan debacle. Why? Because his rejection of the Army’s report may have even worse consequences in the long run than his failed socialist agenda. While Biden may have learned nothing from the Army’s findings, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping certainly did. The most important fact they learned is Biden is a weak, feckless president who lacks the foresight, vision and courage to stand up to their expansionist plans.
Yes, Russia could use nuclear weapons
“Nuclear war is part of our strategic culture. Yes, we would start one if our homeland, our way of life, was threatened, absolutely. Why wouldn’t we?”
That’s what a retired Russian diplomat told me on the sidelines of a Track 2 dialogue among US, Russian and Chinese experts back in 2012. And to be honest, for several years, I didn’t believe him. I took his comments as bragging, atomic machismo, if you will.
The context of the conversation was a response to a question to my Russian colleague on the subject of Moscow’s nuclear weapons doctrine and thinking. Russia for several years has believed in the concept of escalating nuclear tensions to de-escalate tensions, or what defense scholars call “escalate to de-escalate.”