Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO.) has rightly been skeptical of the benefits of admitting Ukraine to NATO. He recently asked the Administration to delineate how doing so would be in the geopolitical interests of the United States. Not surprisingly, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki accused Hawley of digesting misinformation and repeating Russian talking points.
It is a classic leftist move to change the game before entering the arena of ideas. When Psaki accuses Hawley and makes no mistake, it is an accusation of “digesting Russian misinformation.” She negates all of his points without argument because conclusions based on insufficient information can be rejected out of hand, instead of debating if the Administration’s desire to welcome Ukraine into NATO is a good idea. At best, it is a dubious position, and she changes the game to demonize her opponents as Russian shills.
It is unclear how Russia, a country with a GDP a tenth of the size of the US, is our main geopolitical and strategic rival. Most intelligent observers would point to China, whose GDP could overtake the US as soon as 2030. However, Russia has not entirely co-opted our elites at the political and corporate level, so Russia has become the new boogeyman.
Hawley is in favor of giving monetary and military aid to Ukraine. It seems a sensible thing to do to help deter its neighbor Russia from a minor incursion, of which Biden has promised to let bygones be bygones If that happens. Formalizing a treaty with them where all NATO nations agree to come to their aid militarily seems a bit overkill for a nation that has elected a comedian for its President and is notoriously corrupt at every level.
Finally, suppose Russia and China entered into a formal military treaty with Mexico or Canada while arming them with every weapon they had. In that case, we might get a bit jumpy on the international stage. It is not excusing Russia. It just recognizes the actual reality on the ground. Maybe instead of playing debate games, the Administration should explain how the US benefits from playing brinkmanship with a nuclear-armed country.