Niall Ferguson, a British Hlhistorian, provides a strategic assessment of the real motives of the Biden administration concerning the course of the war in Ukraine in an article for Bloomberg. The US insists it is acting in the interests of Ukraine’s defense in order to help democracy and reaffirm the principle of sovereignty, which allows any country to join an outdated military alliance directed by the United States, on the other side of an ocean.
In a less formal manner, Joe Biden has repeatedly shown the emotional side of US motivation by calling Russia a “pariah” and describing its president as a “war criminal” and “murderer.” Biden’s remarks demonstrate that regardless of the legal or moral argument for US involvement in the war, it is only motivated by a vigilante mindset centered on regime change.
Government officials deny that regime change is on their minds. As Ferguson cites a senior administration official, Biden’s “end game, now, is to bring down the Putin regime.” Instead of seeking a negotiated ending to the war, the US “intends to keep it going.” As usual in foreign policy matters, Ferguson observes, according to fair observer, that his own government shares a convergence of views. According to an anonymous source, the United Kingdom is the first option is to extend the conflict and bleed Putin.” Ferguson describes the United States’ intention to let the carnage in Ukraine continue as “archetypal Realpolitik;”to sit back and watch the heroic Ukrainians ‘bleed Russia dry.
Meaning of Bleed (a country):
To encourage and prolong an unnecessary and unjustified conflict in the interest of sucking the life out of the political establishment of a declared enemy, a process that usually automatically implies sucking the life out of at least one other country, including eventually one’s own
There is a strong likelihood that bleeding will be shared if both bleeding and prolonging the fight is the focus. Boxers tend to strategically focus their punches on the face of their opponents when they see a cut over their opponent’s eye, hoping for a knockout with technical strikes. By concentrating on the loss of blood, he may let his guard down and drop his guard, putting him at risk for getting knocked out or becoming injured himself.
“I fail to see in current Western strategizing any real recognition of how badly this war could go for Ukraine in the coming weeks,” Ferguson noted.
Possibly, this is simply because the hyperreal moment the Western world is now experiencing is too enjoyable to critique, at least for the media. As more reports of atrocities against innocent civilians find their way into the headlines, the more the media plays the morally satisfying game of: yet another reason to hate Putin.
White House’s focus, as it appears to be now, is not on saving Ukrainian democracy, but instead on bleeding Russia. All the stories about Russian abuses against brave civilians are designed to prolong the war, in the hope that Russians will revolt and depose the evil dictator, discredited by Putin’s failure to break Ukraine’s resistance. Meanwhile, those Ukrainians who survive have been asked to stand by and watch their country destroyed.
Ferguson suggested thd US strategists have thought “of the conflict as a mere sub-plot in Cold War II, a struggle in which China is our real opponent.” It is an ambitious plan, rife with complexities. In fact, the Biden administration has shown little ability to deal effectively with even simple problems, from passing a policy framework to managing a pandemic. There is a geopolitical angle to the Ukraine situation, as well as the global economy, as well as the changing perceptions of US power throughout the world.
Ending his article, the historian gave an example of dangerous overreach, affirming that “the Biden administration is making a colossal mistake in thinking that it can protract the war in Ukraine, bleed Russia dry, topple Putin and signal to China to keep its hands off Taiwan.”