Joe Biden's defining moment: Will POTUS put boots on the ground in Ukraine?
'We have no leader' slams internet after POTUS leaves DC for Delaware as Russia closes in on Kyiv, NATO greenlights troop deployment
Two days into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the world watches with bated breath as Russian forces are closing in on Kyiv. Despite heavy sanctions imposed by Western leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin remains undeterred in his quest for Ukraine. Responding to the rapidly changing situation, NATO has decided to activate troops, anticipating things could spiral out of the nation. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has decided to take a quick vacation, much to the fury of social media.
Biden responded to Russia's invasion initially by targeting two key Russian banks and three families close to Putin. Since then, he has upped the sanctions to target Russian access to western capital and markets, joined by the EU, Canada, UK, Australia, and Japan. However, it has proven to be of little effect, as Russian forces continue their march towards Kyiv, despite brave resistance by Ukrainian forces.
There is now a genuine concern that Ukraine will fall anytime soon, which is forcing western allies to think about what next? Earlier, Biden did hint Putin would move further than Ukraine, which is why NATO is now preparing for the possibility of conflict. But if a decision has to be made, the president will likely make one from Delaware, where he was going to on February 25, 2022.
Biden to spend the weekend in Delaware
On February 20, the president canceled his planned trip to his hometown at the last minute, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine seemed likely to take place. At the time, the White House did say he had a "family-related issue that was going to take him to Wilmington," which he was then forced to cancel at the very last minute. However, just a week later, it seems like Biden has decided to go, despite the situation in Ukraine deteriorating fast.
On February 25, Biden and the First Lady were snapped boarding Marine One at the White House. It was reported he was going home to Wilmington, where he has access to all the technology and security needed to follow developments in Ukraine. It's unclear when he will be back, but it could be too late because some estimates say Kyiv could fall as soon as February 27.
It led to widespread criticism on social media, with people tweeting things like, "We have a war going on, Ukraine is asking the West for help, and Biden is packing for his weekend trip home to Delaware. We have no leader. You can't make this up," and, "Joseph and Jill Biden will spend the weekend in Delaware. The people of Ukraine will spend their weekend in terror because of Joe Biden’s inability to keep world peace." A third user tweeted, "The world burns while Joe Biden heads off to Delaware for yet another weekend."
We have a war going on, Ukraine is asking the west for help, and Biden is packing for his weekend trip home to Delaware. We have no leader.— Kambree (@KamVTV) February 25, 2022
You can't make this up.
Joseph and Jill Biden will spend the weekend in Delaware.— Bo Hines (@BoHines) February 26, 2022
The people of Ukraine will spend their weekend in terror because of Joe Biden’s inability to keep world peace.
The world burns while Joe Biden heads off to Delaware for yet another weekend.— Nick Adams (@NickAdamsinUSA) February 25, 2022
"Biden is taking the weekend off in Delaware... I guess he needs a break after a long week of complete failure," one person tweeted. Another trolled, "The fate of Ukraine could very well be decided tonight while Biden wanders aimlessly in his Delaware basement." A third user said, "Whatever happens to Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy tonight and the coming days, he will be remembered as fighting for his country’s life while Joe Biden fled to Delaware."
Biden is taking the weekend off in Delaware... I guess he needs a break after a long week of complete failure.— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) February 25, 2022
The fate of Ukraine could very well be decided tonight while Biden wanders aimlessly in his Delaware basement.— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) February 26, 2022
Whatever happens to Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy tonight and the coming days, he will be remembered as fighting for his country’s life while Joe Biden fled to Delaware.— BDW (@BryanDeanWright) February 26, 2022
Will Biden deploy US troops?
With the fall of Kyiv now very likely, there is a pressing question the US President must ask himself - do US troops need to be deployed? So far, Biden has been adamant the US won't confront Russia on the battlefield, or help rescue stranded Americans in Ukraine, but that stance will have to change if Kyiv does fall. There are rumors that Putin could extend his campaign of conquest beyond Ukraine, in which case the US will have to seriously consider boots on the ground.
It appears preparations for exactly that are underway right now. On February 25, NATO announced it was deploying elements of its NATO Response Force (NRF) "to further strengthen our posture and to respond quickly to any contingency." It is the first time the NRF has been activated "for collective defense" noted Secretary-General Jens Soltenberg. The announcement does not mean NATO will send troops into Ukraine but does mean that it is preparing for the likelihood of immediate deployment, in case Russia attacks a NATO member such as Romania, Poland, Estonia, etc.
If troops are to be deployed, it's likely the US would do so only in conjunction with NATO, given Biden's reluctance to enter into another conflict less than a year after pulling out of Afghanistan. One way or another, the coming weekend should indicate if the military will be involved, if Russia continues to advance at its current pace.