Biden’s Plan To Boost The U.S. Alliance With Europe

This week, President Joe Biden traveled to Europe as part of an overarching trip to several European countries to unite them as allies with the United States. He departed Washington D.C. on Wednesday to go to Brussels to deliver a message about NATO unity during this time of war in Eastern Europe. As stated multiple times by both the president and other White House officials, Biden is prioritizing, “reaffirming the U.S.’s iron-clad commitment to the (NATO) alliance,” and reaffirming the U.S. position as a global leader. He plans to attend a NATO leaders summit, a European Union Summit, and a G7 meeting to focus on defense efforts throughout the ongoing crisis, as well as more ways to penalize Russia for this egregious invasion.

President Biden has reiterated the importance of meeting with allied European leaders face to face to deliver his message, and he will even stop in Poland after the summit meetings to show support for the millions of Ukrainian refugees that Poland has taken in. He will offer even more support and aid from the U.S. to Poland and to the refugees while potentially meeting with some of the refugees to speak with them directly. He wants to deliver a message of defiance against Russian imperialism, a message of unity for the Ukrainian people, and a show of solidarity amongst NATO allies for preserving freedom and peace in Europe. Joe Biden has consistently delivered a message of unity throughout his entire presidency, but he is no longer just talking about uniting America and opposing political parties. He is now clearly working to unite America’s allies firmly against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the potential risk of it escalating into a major war in the future. 

While this trip is undeniably important, it has been referred to as “one of the highest-stakes presidential trips in recent history” by reporters. This trip is not solely about protecting the freedom and lives of the people of Ukraine, but it is also about the risk of war breaking out in Europe entirely depending on how Russia progresses over the course of this invasion. And if war were to spread through more of Europe, it would be inevitable that the U.S. would get involved as part of their agreement with their NATO allies. With Putin constantly bringing his nuclear arsenal into the picture, this trip comes at an immensely dangerous and uncertain time. The stakes are even higher because, as Putin has frequently pointed out, Russia has the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons of any country in the world, and he repeatedly hinted at using them on any nation that tries to stand in his way.

As Joe Biden departed on this trip to Europe, he was asked about the threat of chemical warfare during this crisis and he made it clear that he thinks it is “a very real threat.” Biden stated, “​​Now Putin’s back is against the wall. He wasn’t anticipating the extent or the strength of our unity. And the more his back is against the wall, the greater the severity of the tactics he may employ.” The longer the invasion sits at a stalemate and the more foreign leaders unite against him, there is increasing fear that he will revert to more intensive warfare, and some are fearing the worst.  At the G7 summit, it was reported that leaders began discussing their plan of action if chemical warfare or nuclear capabilities come into play as this conflict progresses, proving once again why this trip is so incredibly high stakes. 

But again, this trip is not just about fears and threats, but also about the strength that comes with unity. Biden has made uniting divides a top priority NATO has become the glue that binds America’s European allies together, and has shown why NATO may be even more important now than ever before. On Tuesday, national security advisor Jake Sullivan said, “For the past few months, the West has been united. The president is traveling to Europe to ensure we stay united, to cement our collective resolve, to send a powerful message that we are prepared and committed to this for as long as it takes.” By strengthening our alliances and proving himself as a competent global leader, he is reinstating America’s image in the eyes of the world after Trump undeniably soiled it. It’s incredible how the strength in the world’s solidarity with Ukraine has significantly slowed Russia’s invasion and effectively combatted their attacks. Unity is something that Biden’s predecessor, Trump, had absolutely no concept of. After Trump’s unstable leadership nearly destroyed our relationships with our NATO allies, Biden has been taking the opportunity to build back those relationships and strengthen them amid this crisis. 

Biden’s visit to Poland continues his narrative of uniting the west, seeing as he will be going to Warsaw to stand in solidarity with the two million Ukrainian refugees that Poland has taken in. Not only does Joe Biden want to increase aid to Poland to help the refugees there, he wants to ensure that Poland is protected militarily against any Russian aggression. National Security advisor Sullivan stated, “Poland has taken the brunt of the humanitarian impact outside of Ukraine in terms of the refugee flows. Poland is where the U.S. has surged a significant number of forces to be able to help defend and shore up the eastern flank. Poland has to contend not just with the war in Ukraine, but with Russia’s military deployments to Belarus, which have fundamentally changed the security equation there.” Defending Poland and other outlying allied nations has been at the forefront of the conversation about military action since the invasion began.

Polish leaders have recently proposed an “international peacekeeping force” in Ukraine that would help move Ukrainian refugees into Poland safely and open routes out of major cities that are being blockaded, such as Mauripol. This is just one of many ideas that have been floated around during the summits that Biden has attended during his trip to Europe, as leaders develop a “menu” of options they can use for many different scenarios or outcomes. World leaders agree that they need to be prepared for nearly anything, and they most definitely need to be prepared for worst case scenarios as well given how incredibly unstable Putin is currently. Overall, Biden has been stepping up to prove his foreign policy credentials throughout this crisis as a whole and his trip to Europe has only proved that. He is doing as much as he can to combat Putin and Russia’s aggression without direct military involvement given the unique circumstances. 

 

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Rather than provide an exhaustive history of the decade long conflict between the West and Russia in Ukraine, this report serves to orient the reader as to why this conflagration no longer serves the purposes of democracy, human rights or freedom if it ever did. The greatest interests served by the continuing tragedy in Ukraine are the interests of the defense industries, investment firms and US hegemony. Ironically, as the United States becomes more entangled in Ukraine, governance under President Zelensky becomes increasingly less democratic and the United States becomes less and less powerful as a global hegemon. 

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