One of the few things Theodore Roosevelt got right: Talk softly and carry a big stick. The current administration is doing the exact opposite. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
Before the NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels this week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin took a side trip to Georgia and Ukraine.
Purpose: Assure these nations that America has their back and encourage their hopes of future admission to NATO. Austin, said the Pentagon, would tell both nations there is an “open door to NATO.”
“Ukraine … has a right to decide its own future foreign policy,” said Austin in Kiev, “and we expect that they will be able to do that without any outside interference.” He went on:
“No third country has a veto over NATO’s membership decisions. Ukraine … has a right to decide its own future foreign policy, and we expect that they will be able to do that without any outside interference.”
The U.S. apparently backed up Austin’s words by sending B-1B bombers over the Black Sea. Said the Russian Defense Ministry:
“Russian fighter crews identified the air targets as two B-1B supersonic strategic bombers accompanied by two KC-135 tanker aircraft of the US Air Force and escorted them over the Black Sea.”
Why are we sending nuclear-capable bombers over the Black Sea?
Why are we holding out to Kiev and Tbilisi hope that they will be invited to join NATO and receive a U.S.-NATO Article V war guarantee to have the U.S. fight alongside them if there is another crisis with Russia such as occurred in South Ossetia and Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014?