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GOP lawmaker slams Biden’s ‘soft power’ diplomatic approach to Russian aggression

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Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., Blamed the Biden administration’s “soft power” approach as the reason deterrence “failed” in Ukraine, pointing to diplomacy and the threat of sanctions Saturday in ” Journal Editorial Report”.

Mike Gallagher: We had a hearing with the commander of European Command this week, and it wasn’t satisfactory. The administration could not provide coherent answers about why we have not yet found out how to accept the Slovaks’ offer to supply the S-300 air defense system. It’s kind of the same story we saw with the Polish MiG-29 fiasco. The Pentagon has been caught off guard and can’t figure out with a sense of urgency how to make this work. So even though there is bipartisan support for arming the Ukrainians, I still think the administration is not moving fast enough. I still think we can do more to help Zelenskyy and put him in the strongest possible position in the future, and the administration continues to be driven by fear of provoking Putin. This is really what has guided their efforts from the beginning. And I think that’s why we’re somewhat behind.


After observing this quite closely and more specifically, what we have seen from the administration is that at the same time they are reluctant to act any faster. And at the same time, the war is still going on, and it could escalate in ways we don’t expect. They brag about the success of their approach. There are anonymous Pentagon officials bragging about the success of the so-called integrated deterrence. Integrated deterrence is the intellectual foundation of their future national defense strategy. It’s basically a buzzword in the jargon, college slang meant to cover up what they’re actually trying to do, which is to cut out conventional hard power. The reason why deterrence, in fact, failed in Ukraine, despite the fact that they say it succeeded, is because we relied only on soft power, in particular the threat of sanctions and hashtag diplomacy. And we signal with every step that we were unwilling to use hard power. This is a recipe for failure in the future.


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