Time Magazine interviewed US President Joe Biden on May 28. The dialogue content [President Joe Biden 2024 TIME Interview Transcript: READ] was released just before he departed for the D-Day anniversary event in Normandy. 

Early in that interview he was asked by the interviewer:

“…what is the endgame in Ukraine and what does peace look like there?”

His answer:

“Peace looks like making sure Russia never, never, never, never occupies Ukraine. That's what peace looks like. And it doesn't mean NATO [italic emphasis added], …it means we have a relationship with them like we do with other countries, where we supply weapons so they can defend themselves in the future.”  He clarifies this statement with; “…I am not prepared to support the NATOization of Ukraine.” 


Really?  How does that mesh with the opinion of almost every other NATO member?

It seems the United States, now, is right up there with Hungary in support of Ukraine NATO membership, even after “peace” is somehow established.  Why? 

In the interview, President Biden makes a somewhat stumbling reference to his observing corruption in Ukraine when he spent time there as a Senator and as Vice President – but, his time as VP ended in Jan 2017.  Since 2017, a lot has happened in Ukraine.  President Zelensky was elected in May 2019 and the Russian invasion roared in 2022.  A lot of headlines have covered the removal of Ukrainian public officials for corruption – they’re cleaning house, even during the war.

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Notice that while describing what peace in Ukraine looks like, President Biden says:

“…Russia never (4 times) … occupies Ukraine.”  What are the chances that President Biden can actually deliver on “never, never, never, never…”? 

Biden declares the relationship with Ukraine would be; “…we supply the weapons so they can defend themselves in the future.”  Does he mean like we did (more accurately: did not) for the four months or so until early May? – and that was with him as president and a Democratic majority in the Senate.  What are the chances of the US supplying weapons for Ukraine if we get a Republican president (yes; you know who) and an (R) majority in both the House and Senate starting in January 2025?


It’s very possible Biden could be sipping something in retirement in Delaware and Ukraine would be left with counting on European charity and a Putin peace promise – whatever that’s worth – until the world witnesses the end of “as long as it takes” and “never, never, never, never.”

The best way, if not the only way, to really secure peace in Ukraine’s future is to get them on a rapid, defined path to membership in NATO. Ukraine would be among the strongest, most experienced and most highly motivated members of NATO. Ukraine has asked to be, deserves to be and should be in NATO; as has been virtually promised, repeatedly, “when conditions are met” and all members vote “yes.”


This gets us back to the “why?”

If Biden’s reluctance to support Ukraine’s membership in NATO is due to guidance he’s accepting from his timid National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, then it’s time (past time) for Sullivan to be asked to retire. Since this is an opinion submission, my opinion is that an excellent replacement for that position would be the highly qualified, clear-thinking team of Mark Toth and Jonathan Sweet.

The NATO July 9-11 summit will be in Washington, DC.  The dice are rolling.  They could, with sound leadership, come up double sixes.  Or, we (the West) can get it wrong enough that they eventually come up snake eyes.

The views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily of Kyiv Post.

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