“Putin wants us to turn it into a proxy war,” said Fiona Hill, a former Russia adviser to the two presidents now at the Brookings Institution. “Putin is still telling people outside of Europe that this is just a repeat of the Cold War, there is nothing to be concerned about here. This is not a proxy war. It was a colonial takeover.”
Michael A. McFaul, a former ambassador to Russia now at Stanford University, says there’s a difference between secretly helping Ukrainian forces target Russian forces and flaunting them. “Yes, Putin knows that we are providing intelligence to Ukraine,” he said. “But being outspoken will help him say publicly that Russia is at war with the US and NATO in Ukraine, not just with the Ukrainians. That doesn’t serve our interests.”
Angela Stent, a former national intelligence officer on Russia and author of a book on America’s relationship with Putin, says being too open about what the United States is doing in Ukraine could undermine efforts. force to turn China, India, and other countries against Russia. . “For global public opinion, it’s not a good idea,” she said. “They should do whatever they do, but not talk about it.”
Mr. McFaul said he also believes it weakens Ukrainians, making them look like they are dependent on Americans, a concern Mr. Biden is said to have shared in phone calls with security officials. his security. Reported by Thomas L. Friedman, a columnist for the Times column.
But others argue that the administration has been too cautious in letting Russia set the rules of the conflict – or rather Washington’s conjecture about what would push Russia into escalation. No one in Washington really knows the line that shouldn’t be crossed with Putin, and instead the US is simply making assumptions. “Are we having a conversation about red lines with ourselves?” Frederick W. Kagan, a military scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, asked. “Because I think we’re more right.”
As a result, he added, it was too slow to deliver what Ukraine really needed. “They’ve done a great job of making things relatively timely,” Kagan said of the Biden administration. “But there seems to be a definite drag on the timeliness of our support driven by the kind of parsing and self-negotiation that is a problem.”
The bill that Mr. Biden signed on Monday reflects the historical echoes and reversals of the current war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lease Act initially in 1941 to help the British fend off Nazi invaders during World War II, and it was later expanded to help allies other – including the Soviet Union.