Ric Grenell to Newsmax: Lack of Diplomacy on Ukraine Shows Blinken's Weakness
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Tuesday, 25 January 2022 02:20 PM
The Biden administration has quickly dismissed a diplomatic solution to Russia's threat to Ukraine, and that shows that Secretary of State Antony Blinken is "in over his head" and Russian President Vladimir Putin has already won, Ric Grenell, the former ambassador to Germany, said Tuesday on Newsmax.
"We're in the same problem, where Washington immediately goes to military solutions before really doing some serious diplomacy," Grenell, now a senior national security analyst for Newsmax, said on the network's "National Report." "We've dismissed the diplomatic side of this the diplomatic strategy so fast. I haven't seen us dismiss the diplomacy part of a crisis so quickly."
And now, Paris and Berlin are organizing conversations about the Russia-Ukraine issue without including Blinken, said Grenell.
"Think about that; the United States has been dismissed," while President Joe Biden "falls back to his old ways of 40 years, which is to just put forward a military option immediately," he continued. "This is not what Donald Trump was doing. He was using the power of the White House and the power of persuasion and sanctions and bullying to get the best diplomatic solution so that we didn't always have to jump to sending our troops in. We've got to pull away from having every option just being military."
Meanwhile, Putin is achieving his goal of stopping NATO, said Grenell. Ukraine is not a NATO member state, and the Russian leader has been pushing hard to keep that from happening.
"Putin's goal is to take NATO and get us all fighting and to stop the progress of NATO blunting an offense of Russian troops," he added. "What we have seen now is that the Germans continue to not pay their fair share. They're not supporting NATO at the level that they should."
Germany is telling Estonia and other NATO members not to provide weapons or lethal aid for Ukraine, said Grenell.
"They are the one country that is pushing forward this idea that we should not be too tough on Russia," said Grenell. "The head of the Navy in Germany was just fired for saying that we should be more sympathetic towards Putin."
The tension between Ukraine and Russia also is a major crisis for Germany, which has Europe's largest economy.
"The Germans want to be everybody's friend," said Grenell. "They want to do foreign policy like Switzerland. They want to sell cars everywhere. They don't want to take hard positions."
Meanwhile, Biden's comments about a "minor incursion" of Ukraine turned many heads, even if the White House walked them back, and Grenell agreed that his statement could be interpreted as the United States being willing to overlook Russia's aggressions.
For example, he said, when Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, that could have been considered a "minor incursion," as Russia did not take over the whole country.
"I think that these words are a slippery slope," said Grenell.
He acknowledged that there are Americans who are wondering why the United States should be so concerned about Ukraine but said it's important that the country remain the leader of discussions.
"We don't have to be sending in American troops on the ground in every single situation," said Grenell. "That's where I think the frustration from everyday Americans [comes from] … I can tell you from my eight years at the United Nations, international relations does not get accomplished unless there's American leadership."
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