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Biden administration out of touch with reality

By LI YANG | China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-26 08:01

Photo taken on June 22, 2022 shows the White House and a stop sign in Washington, DC, the United States. [Photo/Xinhua]

During their meeting at the White House on Thursday, US President Joe Biden told visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that the United States will continue to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia for as long as it takes to defeat Russia and hold it accountable for "human rights abuses" and "war crimes".

Two days after that, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, one of former US president Donald Trump's rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, spoke against the Biden administration's support for Ukraine as well as Ukraine being admitted as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

DeSantis stressed that Ukraine becoming a member of NATO is not in the interests of the US, saying, "All that would do (is) add more obligations to us, so if you're adding more obligations, then what are (the) benefits that we're getting in return?" The Florida governor does not believe the US should write Ukraine a blank check "unless it's (Kyiv) using leverage to bring the conflict to a conclusion", saying that the Russia-Ukraine conflict is not a priority for the US.

Although DeSantis' identity as a potential Republican presidential candidate must be taken into consideration when it comes to his stance on the Ukraine crisis, what he said has at least hit the nail on the head on two critical issues.

Since the US cannot wipe out Russia, it has to learn to co-exist with it, and vice versa. DeSantis is correct in pointing out that if Ukraine joins NATO with the support of the US, it will not be the end of the tensions, but a beginning for a new round of proxy conflict between the US and Russia, and that will necessarily add more obligations to the US and further worsen the security situation in Europe.

As such, as he noted, the Biden administration must also give serious thought to the question of how the conflict should be brought to a conclusion. The military support that the US is providing Kyiv is actually pushing the situation to develop in the wrong direction that serves no party's interest.

The blank check it has written for Kyiv will become a moral burden the US will have to shoulder in the future as the Ukrainians by no means want to see their blood shed simply to serve the US in its rivalry with Russia.

Biden should heed DeSantis' words, even if they come from one of his potential competitors in the upcoming presidential election. It is high time his administration carried out a thorough and objective evaluation of the US' gains and possible losses from the Ukraine crisis.

The US should know that its priority should be the same as that of the rest of the world, that is, bringing the conflict to an end as soon as possible. The US will only bolster its claim to be the leader of the "free world" by playing its due role in helping to restore peace and order in the region at an early date. And that should be done with vision, flexibility and wisdom, rather than missiles, tanks and drones.

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