Like virtually everything the Biden administration does, its policy towards Russia is marked by contradiction, hypocrisy, and assertions of power it can’t or won’t back up. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:
Biden administration diplomats are wandering Europe warning about a potential invasion of Ukraine. It makes one wonder if the Biden crowd – it is unclear who, if anyone, is in charge of the administration these days – is hoping for a fight over Ukraine. Perhaps “a splendid little war,” as the Spanish-American War was called, would provide a patriotic bump in public approval.
Washington cites an apparently ominous Russian military buildup near Ukraine. This sounds like a repeat of Russian maneuvers in the Spring, which caused enormous wailing and gnashing of teeth within the Beltway but came to nothing. However, based on information the administration refuses to share with the American people – apparently reports indicating deployments of elite units at night – US officials are worried about potential unspecified military action. Ukraine first dismissed the claim but flip-flopped a few days ago without explanation. Presumably the administration shared with Kyiv whatever it continues to withhold from its own public.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken opined that the US didn’t “have clarity over Moscow’s intentions,” even as his subordinates were inflaming the war scare. He added: “Our concern is that Russia may make the serious mistake of attempting to rehash what it undertook in 2014, when it amassed forces along the border, crossed into sovereign Ukrainian territory and did so claiming falsely that it was provoked.” Alas, this mysterious assessment communicates little. Then Moscow seized Crimea, historically Russian and location of Sevastopol naval base, and supported ethnic-Russian separatists in the Donbass region. What would it mean to “rehash” these events?