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OPINION: Blinken announces new sanctions against Russia, where will this end?



ukraine tanks scaled
The Biden administration marked the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine by announcing hard hitting sanctions against Russian oligarchs, government officials and entities on Friday. These sanctions are being touted as a major tool in the Biden administration’s ongoing effort to bring Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war to an end.

However, if Putin is as determined as U.S. intelligence officials contend, will these sanctions against Russia’s defense and technology industries squeeze Moscow into backing off of its war effort? Or will it drag the west into a far more dangerous war.

I guess only time will tell, but one thing is certain, Biden’s failed foreign policy is what has led us to this point. I spent seven years of my life traveling to and from the war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. I watched as failed foreign policy actions instituted by politicians – far from the ground war –  in Washington D.C. led to wasted taxpayer dollars and more importantly, the death of our troops overseas. I watched those failures continue from the Bush administration onto the Biden Administration’s chaotic and failed Afghanistan withdrawal.  For those of us old enough to remember what happened after September 11, 2001, our fight against al-Qaeda was supposed to be swift, strategic and short. The U.S. was intent on wiping out the terrorist organization that brought our nation to its knees, even if for a short time.

The CIA and U.S. Special Forces targeted al-Qaeda and the Taliban valiantly. But failed foreign policy and war time mission creep set in. Instead of a short war, it turned into America’s longest war. Year after year, I watched our military leadership brief Congress on how we were winning the war.  I often wondered while sitting on the front lines of the battlefield with our troops if any American believed what they were hearing. I know I didn’t and neither did our troops.

For the most part, our troops weren’t allowed to do their jobs. Their hands were tied behind their backs with ridiculous rules of engagement and the goals of the war kept shifting based on what D.C. lawmakers and White House officials deemed appropriate.

It is the same mess I’m witnessing with Ukraine.

Why was Putin so aggressive? Why did Putin believe he could invade? It was America’s  blunder in Afghanistan, I believe, under the Biden administration, that gave Putin the green light.

Biden’s decision to withdraw so hastily made the U.S. vulnerable on the world stage and the biggest target of our adversaries. Our adversaries smelled weakness and have taken full advantage of it, to our nation’s detriment.

Like many war correspondents, I questioned everything while I was overseas. In fact, I still do.

Let’s take Blinken’s sanctions against Russia, for example.

Blinken noted in his speech that the sanctions against Russia will target “over 60 individuals and entities complicit in the administration of Russia’s government-wide operations and policies of aggression toward Ukraine and in the illegitimate administration of occupied Ukrainian territories for the benefit of the Russian Federation. These targets include government ministers, governors, and high-level officials in Russia, as well as six individuals and three entities operating in parts of Ukraine occupied by Russia, facilitating grain theft, and governing on behalf of Russia.” He is also targeting Russian oil production that is circumventing current U.S. sanctions.

He says the sanctions will also target technology entities inside China. This will be necessary in an effort to hold Putin accountable, he said.  But this, in and of itself, isn’t just pulling us into a deeper conflict with Russia but with Beijing as well.

Are we prepared for this? Will we be prepared if China invades Taiwan? How will we respond? These are all possibilities and all questions we should be asking because instead of de-escalating the war in Biden’s recent visit to Ukraine, he went on the offensive.

Moreover, the Biden administration has an abysmal track record of holding Beijing accountable. Just take COVID-19 as one example, the White House failed miserably at investigating the origins of the outbreak, which is believed to have occurred in the Wuhan laboratory. In the end China has never had to answer for their actions in lying to the world and leading to the death of millions of people.

From the moment Biden entered office, his administration’s poor foreign policy decisions have resulted in an extremely dangerous global domino effects that have empowered our adversaries and put our allies in jeopardy.  I believe it is the reason Putin seized the moment to invade Ukraine.

But not all is lost, at least not yet.

For one, Putin wasn’t planning on the fortitude of the Ukrainian people or for that matter, the more than $103 billion U.S. tax dollars in equipment and resources that continue to flow into the region. Those resources, including lethal aid, continue to hold Putin back.

These actions are a blessing for the Ukrainians, but America is taking a gamble that this proxy war could escalate. This is the dangerous unknown, a chance that the war will reach a point of no return for the American people.

How far will Putin go to win this war in the end and how far are we prepared to go to stop it? If he is truly as maniacal as the U.S. intelligence assessments suggest he is, should we be prepared for the fact that he is willing to use a tactical nuclear weapon before being defeated?

The answer is yes, but the White House has yet to address this with the American people.

Secretary Blinken made clear in his statement Friday that “President Putin started this illegal war, and he has the power to end it.” Maybe so, but the administration has already made it clear that they will not give Putin any room to save face and his narcissistic personality might not let him be the better man.

So everything from stringent sanctions to supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine is a gamble.

Yes, Ukraine should be lauded for fighting for its own sovereignty and freedom from Russia. And yes, we did make a commitment to Ukraine in the 1994 Trilateral Statement that said if it disarmed its nuclear infrastructure we would help defend the nation against aggressors.

I believe we should stand by those commitments but we also need to put Americans and our nation first. Our leaders need to take responsibility for their own failings.

There should be no doubt, as well, that U.S. citizens shouldn’t be the only ones supporting the effort in Ukraine. The billions in U.S. tax dollars shouldn’t be given without condition and full accountability.

We should expect Russia to react aggressively toward these sanctions but it is how the U.S. will respond that will determine our future, particularly if those charged with these major decisions have prepared for the worst.

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC

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Biden Administration Proposes Rule to Fortify Federal Bureaucracy Against Republican Presidency



Joe Biden

In a strategic move, the Biden administration has unveiled a proposed rule aimed at reinforcing the left-leaning federal bureaucracy, potentially hindering future conservative policy implementations by Republican presidents. This move has raised concerns about the efficacy of democratic elections when a deep-seated bureaucracy remains largely unchanged, regardless of electoral outcomes.

Key points of the situation include:

Presidential Appointees vs. Career Bureaucrats: Of the 2.2 million federal civil workers, only 4,000 are presidential appointees. The vast majority, made up of career bureaucrats, continue in their roles from one administration to the next. This continuity is facilitated by rules that make it exceedingly difficult to discipline or replace them, resulting in a bureaucracy that tends to lean left politically.

Union Political Affiliation: A striking 95% of unionized federal employees who donate to political candidates support Democrats, according to Open Secrets, with only 5% favoring Republicans. This significant political skew among federal workers raises questions about the potential for political bias in the execution of government policies.

Obstructionism and Challenges for GOP Presidents: Some career bureaucrats have been accused of obstructing Republican presidents’ agendas, leading to policy delays and challenges. For example, during the Trump administration, career lawyers in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division declined to challenge Yale University’s discrimination against Asian American applicants, prompting Trump to seek legal counsel from other divisions. The case was subsequently dropped when Joe Biden took office.

Biden’s Countermeasures: President Biden has taken steps to protect the bureaucracy’s status quo. In October 2020, Trump issued an executive order aiming to reclassify federal workers who make policy as at-will employees, but Biden canceled it upon taking office.

Proposed Rule and Congressional Actions: The rule unveiled by the Biden administration seeks to further impede a president’s ability to reinstate Trump’s order. Additionally, some Democrats in Congress are pushing to eliminate the president’s authority to reclassify jobs entirely. This has been referred to as an attempt to “Trump-proof the federal workforce.”

Republican Candidates’ Pledge: GOP candidates such as President Donald J Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis have pledged to address this issue. According to reports from Fox News, Ramaswamy has gone further, advocating for the elimination of half or more of civil service positions, emphasizing the need for accountability.

Debate on the Merit of the Civil Service: While Democrats and their media allies argue that civil service protects merit over patronage, critics contend that the system has evolved into a form of job security for federal workers with minimal accountability. Federal employees often receive higher salaries and more substantial benefits than their private-sector counterparts.

In summary, the Biden administration’s proposed rule and broader actions to protect the federal bureaucracy have sparked a debate over the role of career bureaucrats in shaping government policy.

Republican candidates are vowing to address these concerns, highlighting the need for accountability and ensuring that government agencies work in alignment with the elected president’s agenda. This ongoing debate raises important questions about the relationship between the bureaucracy and the democratic process in the United States.

Information in this article was retrieved from Fox News.

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