Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 15, 2021

Three Recent Failures In Foreign Policy Coordination - Why Is Jake Sullivan Creating Such A Mess?

This was fun to watch.

U.S. Navy ships were supposed to sail into the Black Sea "in a show of support for Ukraine" and to "send a specific message to Moscow" due to "concerns about mounting tensions between Ukraine and Russia."

Moscow then let it be known that it was not amused about the obviously preplanned provocation: "We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast. It will be for their own good."

Next the U.S. Navy put its tail between its legs "due to concerns about escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine."

So the U.S. wanted to send ships due to "concerns about mounting tensions between Ukraine and Russia" and then pulled them back due to "concerns about escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine".

Here is the trail:

CNN April 9 - US considering sending warships to Black Sea amid Russia-Ukraine tensions

The United States is considering sending warships into the Black Sea in the next few weeks in a show of support for Ukraine amid Russia's increased military presence on Ukraine's eastern border, a US defense official told CNN Thursday.

The US Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea, but a deployment of warships now would send a specific message to Moscow that the US is closely watching, the official said.
...
The Biden administration and the international community have expressed concerns about mounting tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

MEE April 9 - US notified Turkey about warship deployment in the Black Sea, Ankara says

The United States has notified Turkey that it intends to deploy two warships to the Black Sea amid rising tensions with Russia, Turkish foreign ministry sources said on Friday.

Washington made the notification just over two weeks ago, as required under the Montreux Convention on passage through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits.

The warships will stay in the Black Sea until 5 May.

Reuters April 13 - Russia warns Black Sea-bound US warships to stay away from Crimea

Moscow warned the United States on Tuesday to keep its warships away from the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula, calling their deployment in the Black Sea a provocation.
...
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was cited by Russian news agencies on Tuesday as warning U.S. warships in the Black Sea to keep their distance, saying the risk of unspecified incidents was very high.

"There is absolutely nothing for American ships to be doing near our shores, this is purely a provocative action. Provocative in the direct sense of the word: they are testing our strength, playing on our nerves. They will not succeed," Ryabkov was cited as saying.

"We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast. It will be for their own good."

Politico April 15 - U.S. drops plans to send destroyers into the Black Sea due to concerns over Russia

The Pentagon has scrapped a potential Black Sea transit by two Navy destroyers this week due to concerns about escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the plans.
...
The tentative transit, first reported by CNN, was not unusual or designed to send any particular new signal, as the U.S. Navy typically conducts eight or nine such movements per year, the person said.

But after new fighting erupted in Eastern Europe between Ukrainian soldiers and Russian-backed separatists, officials decided not to undertake the transit to avoid needlessly escalating the situation, the person said.

Then came the next funny thing.

Biden asked Putin for a summit in a third country. The Russians then said lets first see how you behave. Next Biden puts 'tough sanction' on Russia for things that it likely did not even do. Result - no summit.

Then there was this silly story about Russia (Iran, China) paying bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers but with no soldiers getting killed. That obvious nonsense was officially buried today:

U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops

[O]n Thursday, the Biden administration announced that U.S. intelligence only had “low to moderate” confidence in the story after all. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven—and possibly untrue.

But just yesterday the Biden administration used the very same false bounty claim to justify the sanctions on Russia:

The sanctions will be among what President Biden’s aides say are “seen and unseen” steps in response to the hacking, known as SolarWinds; to the C.I.A.’s assessment that Russia offered to pay bounties to militants in Afghanistan to kill American troops; and to Russia’s yearslong effort to interfere in United States elections, according to American officials and others who have been briefed on the actions.

All three, the ship sending and pullback, the attempt to get a summit with Putin to then issue shortsighted and dangerous sanctions, and the contradicting 'Russian bounty' tale point to badly coordinated policy planning.

Isn't Jake Sullivan, Biden's National Security Advisor, supposed to plan and coordinate such steps?

So far he has been a creating a total mess.

Posted by b on April 15, 2021 at 17:48 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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The strongest reason not to take covid vaccines is that the more people refuse to take them, the harder it will be to institute a system of vaccine passports.

That is reasoning based on the collective good, not selfishness.

Posted by: lysias | Apr 18 2021 0:26 utc | 201

The strongest reason not to take covid vaccines is that the more people refuse to take them, the harder it will be to institute a system of vaccine passports.

That is reasoning based on the collective good, not selfishness.

Posted by: lysias | Apr 18 2021 0:26 utc | 202

The strongest reason not to take covid vaccines is that the more people refuse to take them, the harder it will be to institute a system of vaccine passports.

That is reasoning based on the collective good, not selfishness.

Posted by: lysias | Apr 18 2021 0:26 utc | 203

The strongest reason not to take covid vaccines is that the more people refuse to take them, the harder it will be to institute a system of vaccine passports.

That is reasoning based on the collective good, not selfishness.

Posted by: lysias | Apr 18 2021 0:26 utc | 204

Mr. Lysias

Stupid.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 18 2021 0:38 utc | 205

suzan @ 201

I am the daughter of two scientists of the old school type — not bought out by special interests, which left a mark on all of us children

Whatever that means. Clearly you have faith in Big Pharma, the most hated industry in the US. Addicted to profit by neglecting research while abusing the patent system, fomenting the opioid crisis, buying political gain, etc., etc.

My decision to accept the offer of the Pfizer jab was grounded in a risk-based assessment. I am in my 60s. The data now shows that for personal safety this is the best decision

Which data would that be?

I would much rather have a mild fever for a day than be hospitalized ect. as is common for a cohort of my age group who contract this disease

Common? I don't think so. I'd much rather have a mild fever with covid than take an experimental injection, but anecdotal evidence is useless(my father contracted covid last winter, had a brief mild fever, then nothing, he was 97, now 98 and vaccinated). Go figure.

Second, this is also about us as a collective. Immunity to this virus cannot be achieved without mass vaccination

That too, is unknown, but in any case, you'll likely be taking another jab in a year, and probably one every year thereafter.

Just because powers beyond our control seek to harm us, this does not justify not protecting oneself and one’s community because it would be seen as “succumbing” to their rule. This is what is called an error of pride, misconceived arrogance, when in reality what they do is theirs not ours

You ARE succumbing to their rule, and your reasoning IMHO is inadequate, but thanks for your answer anyway, and all the best to you.

Posted by: john | Apr 18 2021 12:19 utc | 206

Pzifer, i.e. another jab in 6 months and then maybe every year... that is to say, for the happy few whose country can afford it, i.e. less than 10% of the world population.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/15/pfizer-ceo-says-third-covid-vaccine-dose-likely-needed-within-12-months.html

Posted by: Mina | Apr 18 2021 12:34 utc | 207

"Does April 16, 2031 exist?"

It May!

Posted by: RuPaul Simon LeGree | Apr 19 2021 18:45 utc | 208

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