According to a report from the Daily Beast, Republican complaints over President Joe Biden's handling of the growing threat that Russia may invade Ukraine are being dismissed by intel experts and authorities in the region who are explaining the measured moves by the Democratic president are exactly what are needed at this point.
As the report from the Beast's Shannon Vavra notes, Republicans have launched a two-pronged attack on Biden, saying he should speed up evacuations and that he is not being tough enough with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.
In a letter to the State Department, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), as well as several other Republicans, urged Secretary of State Tony Blinken "to reverse course on the administration’s stated plan of not running military evacuations of Americans should they get caught in Moscow’s crosshairs in Ukraine."
According to the report, the Republicans complained, "This response is a failure of the Commander-in-Chief to keep his law-bound requirements to safeguard American citizens traveling and living abroad and a failure of the Department of State’s leadership to de-escalate conflict or plan and execute a coordinated evacuation effectively.”
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) has headed up the personal attacks on Biden, complaining about the president, "He talked tough but Putin doesn’t respect statements, he only respects strength."
Taking those accusations into account, intel experts who spoke with the Beast sided with the president.
Writing, "The GOP’s latest launchpad for haranguing Biden—the evacuation debacle—isn’t the one-two punch Republicans might think it is. And it isn’t cut and dried, experts say," Vavra spoke with former Ukraine ambassador Bill Taylor who suggested, as the Beast reporter put it, "The decision to announce there are no plans for military evacuation might actually be quite prudent. The driving force behind the move might be to avoid getting troops accidentally involved in an all-out war with the Russian military."
As Taylor explained, "There’s value in what the president said, which is he doesn’t want to put troops in possible contact [or] conflict with Russian troops and so he wants everybody to get out so he doesn’t have to send troops in."
Doug London, formerly with the CIA, agreed.
“If you start sending in American C-17s [for evacuations] the Russians are going to say we’re using it to disguise our ‘invasion plans’ and say ‘We’ve got to act before the Americans,’” London explained before adding, "You don’t use U.S. forces because, any time you use and put U.S. forces on the ground, there’s a chance for engagement. You don’t go from 0 to 60… It’s a powder keg. Why would you serve this up to the Russians?”
"Intelligence analysts are applauding Biden’s efforts to call out Russia’s internal planning publicly in an attempt to destabilize their plotting efforts," Vavra added. "The administration’s work to rally the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other allies in the face of Russian aggression has also been getting high marks as well."
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