Hoping for realists in the Biden administration is hoping for too much. Settle for someone who has even a nodding acquaintance with reality. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:
US foreign policy endangers Americans without delivering any benefits
Sometimes it seems that when it comes to international relations Russian president Vladimir Putin might be the only head of state who is capable of any rational proposals. His recent negotiating positions conveyed initially by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov to step back from the brink of war between his country and the United States over Ukraine are largely eminently sensible and would defuse the possibility that Eastern Europe might become a future Sarajevo incident that would ignite a nuclear war. Per Putin, “We need long-term legally binding guarantees even if we know they cannot be trusted, as the US frequently withdraws from treaties that become uninteresting to them. But…something [more is needed], not just verbal assurances.”
Putin and President Biden discussed the Russian proposals and other issues in a phone conversation on December 30th, in which Biden called for diplomacy, and both he and Putin reportedly took steps to defuse the possible confrontation. In the phone call the two presidents agreed to initiate bilateral negotiations described as “strategic stability dialogue” relating to “mutual security guarantees” which have now begun on Sunday, January 9th, in Geneva. That will be followed by an exploratory meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on Wednesday and another meeting with the Organization for Security and Cooperation on Thursday.
Pat Buchanan, who is somewhat skeptical about Russian overreach, has summed up the Putin position, which he refers to as an ultimatum, as “Get off our front porch. Get out of our front yard. And stay out of our backyard.” Putin has demanded that NATO cease expansion into Eastern Europe, which threatens only Russia, while also scaling back planned missile emplacements in those former Warsaw Pact states that are already members of the alliance. He also has called on the US to reduce harassing incursions by warships and strategic bombers along the Russian border and to cease efforts to insert military bases in the five ‘Stans along the Russian federation’s southern border. In other words, Russia believes that it should not have hostile military forces gathering along its borders, that it should have some kind of legally guaranteed and internationally endorsed strategic security zone such as the United States enjoys behind two oceans with friendly governments to north and south.