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Ex-DoD Officer: Biden's 'Schizophrenic' Security Strategy Fraught With Risk of Igniting WW3

© AP Photo / Czarek SokolowskiU.S. soldiers stands next to a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery. (File)
U.S. soldiers stands next to a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.10.2022
The White House's new National Security Strategy (NSS) targets Russia and China as the US' major "threats" while also claiming that it does not seek conflict or a new Cold War. The 48-page document has already been branded as "strikingly schizophrenic" by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.
"What is most striking is that it calls for the US to pursue a policy based on peaceful international cooperation while at the same time pursuing a policy of military confrontation with Russia and China in opposition to US national security interests," said David T. Pyne, an EMP Task Force scholar and former US Department of Defense officer.

"I am convinced that if the Biden administration truly wanted to restore international peace and stability it could do so very quickly by calling for an immediate ceasefire and pressuring Ukraine to accept it by cutting off all military aid so long as Russia honored the cease-fire agreement," he surmised.

According to Pyne, Washington had an opportunity to facilitate European security and build a predictable and stable relationship with Russia. He referred to Russia's draft security agreements, handed over to the US and NATO in December 2021. The documents envisaged NATO's non-expansion, Ukraine's non-admission to the military bloc, non-deployment of offensive weapon systems near Russia's borders, and the return of NATO's European capabilities and infrastructure to 1997 levels.
Nonetheless, "the Biden administration rejected it out of hand even though accepting part or all of it likely would have averted Russia’s perceived need for its special military operation in Ukraine to forcibly restore Ukraine’s pre-February 2014 coup neutral buffer state status," the former Pentagon officer highlighted.
When Russia and Ukraine came up with mutual preliminary peace accords in late March 2022 in Istanbul, the Biden administration did not support the initiative; quite the contrary, it encouraged Kiev to prolong the armed conflict by pledging millions worth of weapons. "The Biden administration seems content with continuing to fight its proxy war in Ukraine for many months if not years," Pyne underscored.
Remarkably, the classified National Defense Strategy and Nuclear Posture Review – two documents that are typically published after the NSS – were sent to Capitol Hill in March. According to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, the Biden administration intentionally held back the NSS due to Russia's ongoing special military operation in Ukraine, which kicked off on February 24.
Judging from the NSS's "lines of effort," the Biden administration never sought to facilitate a peaceful settlement between Russia and Ukraine, but instead wanted to instrumentalize the conflict to weaken Moscow.
Likewise, the doctrine names China as “the only competitor with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to advance that objective." Thus, the White House's doctrine places emphasis on modernizing the US military in order to deter two major nuclear powers within a decade.

Even though Biden has repeatedly stated he opposes fighting a direct war with Russia, his "NSS concept of confrontation seems to be focused on potential military confrontation with Russia in Ukraine and with China in Taiwan," according to the EMP Task Force scholar.

Official residence of the U.S. President, the White House in Washington D.C. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.10.2022
New US Security Strategy: No Cold War But China and Russia Still Main Threats
The White House's actions related to Ukraine speak volumes about Washington's intentions. Overall, the US has sent Ukraine $16.8 billion in weapons and other aid since February 24. For comparison's sake, the US had committed $2.5 billion in support of Ukraine’s military forces between 2014 and 2021, according to the White House September 2021 statement.

The Biden administration's "foolish decisions to increase US military assistance to Ukraine and fight a proxy war against Russia in opposition to US national security interests" are fraught with the risk of escalating "to an unnecessary Third World War between NATO and Russia," said Pyne.

The ex-DoD officer suggested that "the other pressing national threat likely to materialize by the end of next year is a Chinese air and naval blockade of Taiwan" as well as a potential takeover by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of the island, which Biden has stated four times he will defend militarily.
"The fact is that the US has been engaged in a Second Cold War with Russia and China for some time now whether the Biden administration is willing to admit it or not, certainly since the US imposed economic sanctions on Russia in 2014 following Russia’s reunification with Crimea," Pyne said.
According to the military expert, Sullivan's assertions to the press that the US doesn't want to see the world just through the prism of strategic competition, nor have that competition become a Cold War or confrontation with others is nothing but "empty words."
© AFP 2023 / STEFANI REYNOLDSUS President Joe Biden disembarks Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 10, 2022
US President Joe Biden disembarks Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 10, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.10.2022
US President Joe Biden disembarks Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 10, 2022

'Biden is Afraid of Looking Weak'

"The Biden NSS talks about the importance of diplomacy and establishing a more inclusive and prosperous world and yet they continue to rule it out with regards to Russia, which is a nuclear superpower on par with the US," said Pyne. "It is unclear how they can talk about an inclusive world when they refuse to even consider Russia’s legitimate security concerns in Ukraine."
"Similarly, the NSS states the importance of working cooperatively with other nations to ensure energy security and fight food insecurity, but the Biden administration’s policy in sanctioning Russia is responsible for causing food and energy insecurity in the first place," continued the former Pentagon officer.
On top of this, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken hailed the unprecedented attack on Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines as "a tremendous opportunity" for the EU to end its dependence on Russian natural gas, despite the fact that thousands of EU citizens may end up freezing this winter, according to Pyne.
These obvious contradictions lead Pyne to conclude that the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft's assessment of the document as "strikingly schizophrenic" is right.
US President Joe Biden speaks about the soul of the nation, outside of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 1, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.09.2022
Biden's Approval Rating Takes a Hit
Likewise, it seems unclear what political benefits President Joe Biden and his entourage could gain from escalating tensions with both Russia and China, according to the military expert.
Probably, Joe Biden is "afraid of looking weak on Russia before the November congressional elections by trying to mediate a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine as former President Donald Trump has wisely called on him to do," Pyne presumed.
However, the crux of the matter is that the incumbent US president does not look stronger by fanning the flames of the conflict, which he could have prevented and helped bring to an end in the first place, according to the former Pentagon officer. "I think that Biden is almost universally perceived as a weak President and his popular support has decreased to less than 43% in the advance of next month’s mid-term congressional elections," he remarked.

"The only things Biden has gotten right is declaring before the [special military operation] began that the US would not send any military forces to defend Ukraine from Russian attack and limiting the capabilities of the weapon systems the US has provided to Ukraine by excluding, for example, US fighter jets and main battle tanks and short-range ballistic missiles," he noted.

FILE - Ukrainian servicemen prepare to fire at Russian positions from a U.S.-supplied M777 howitzer - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.09.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
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Lasting Peace and Spheres of Influence

According to Pyne, it is "very important for the US to return to pursuing a policy of peaceful co-existence with Moscow and Beijing and to stop sending military forces to interfere in Russia’s sphere of influence in the former Soviet republics, other than the Baltic states, which are NATO members, and China’s sphere of influence which includes Taiwan and the South China Sea."
"I have made a number of peace proposals in which I called for the US, Russia and China to negotiate a sphere of influence agreement which formalizes their respective spheres of influence," the former Pentagon officer emphasized. "The US should sign a trilateral sphere of influence agreement with Russia and China (…) to establish clear redlines/boundaries to our respective spheres to prevent future conflicts and incentivize US leaders to stop deploying America’s military forces into Russia’s and China’s spheres of influence to provoke them to ally against and potentially attack us."
Pyne outlined his vision of comprehensive peace agreements with Russia and China in his January 15, 2022 article for the National Interest. Earlier, in October 2021, the EMP Task Force scholar called upon Biden to give peace a chance and consider Yalta 2.0, warning against taking on Russia and China simultaneously. "Much like the 1945 Yalta Agreement, a global sphere of influence between the United States, Russia, and China might have similar success for the entire world," he wrote.
Interestingly, the concept outlined by Pyne in some sense echoes the idea of the "Big Three" voiced by former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in his November 2016 interview with MSNBC.
When it comes to the most immediate steps, Pyne believes that it is very important that the Biden administration do everything possible to avoid unnecessary conflicts with Russia and China "while at the same time re-affirming its commitment to defend its NATO and Pacific Treaty allies, which Ukraine and Taiwan are not."

"Lastly, I think it is very important that Biden provide the same strategic clarity to China on Taiwan that he provided to Russia on Ukraine, which is that the US will not defend Taiwan militarily," Pyne concluded.

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