Washington – Ron Klein, Chief of Staff at White HouseOn the morning of February 18, he delivered a motivational speech at the daily meeting of the President’s senior advisors: He said that the next ten days will be the most crucial in the Presidency of the Republic. Joe Biden.
President Biden’s military leaders and intelligence chiefs had told him that a Russian invasion was inevitable. Klein, veteran of the Washington And one of Biden’s closest advisers, he also reminded them of something they all already know: The impending ground war in Europe will coincide with one of the most defining moments of Biden’s presidency.
All bosses are faced with episodes beyond their control, forced to interact with the world around them more than they can possibly imagine. Realizing that war was inevitable, the president, in the face of Putin’s February 21 speech, resigned. “This guy is already going through it,” Biden told one of his top advisers out of disbelief. This account is based on interviews with dozens of former government officials and officials. Most agreed to describe the internal deliberations on the condition of anonymity.
before the storm
One of the messages Biden wanted to bolster to his National Security Council in the White House Crisis Room Sunday morning was that the United States remained “in the footsteps of its allies and partners,” Secretary of State Anthony later said.
That desire was at the heart of the American response that Biden identified with Blinken, Jake SullivanThe National Security Adviser to the President and other advisors. The results soon became clear, and the Biden team waited for European countries to issue sanctions before they followed suit.
Diplomacy, including a 15-minute phone call between Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, was unable to placate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has become increasingly frustrated with Biden’s warnings of an invasion. As I returned from the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, Vice President, Kamala HarrisI spoke to Biden from Air Force One.
She told Biden that she reiterated to Zelensky that the United States believed a Russian invasion was imminent. Harris had assured the Ukrainian president that the US government was ready to impose economic sanctions with its European allies.
On Monday, Biden watched Putin’s angry speech, in which the Russian president confirmed his complaint. The Kremlin leader warned that if Ukraine did not back down, it would be responsible for “the potential for continued bloodshed”.
Biden, a scholar of international conflict and diplomacy, had two reactions, according to sources who spoke to him about the speech.
Putin’s speech expressed an ominous confirmation of information raised by Biden’s military and intelligence chiefs, who had believed for weeks that the Russian leader was likely to carry out his threats against Ukraine. In this sense, the Russian march on the road to war in Europe was not surprising. But Biden remains in shock, he told one of his top advisers while discussing Putin’s speech in the Oval Office.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the situation in Ukraine was worrying. Biden, in the Oval Office even later than usual, received calls from General Mark Milley, commander of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Lloyd Austin III, Secretary of Defense. Russian forces moved in ways we hadn’t seen before, even just hours ago.
At the Pentagon, officials told reporters they believed a large-scale invasion of Ukraine could begin by 6 p.m., and some senior commanders were seen checking the time on their watches frequently.
Biden spent the rest of the night preparing for a new war in Europe in the Treaty Room, the ornate room on the second floor of the White House apartment suite where former President William McKinley watched the signing of the peace treaty that ended with the Spaniards. The American War of 1898. News of the invasion of Ukraine arrived at 10 p.m. ET. / Translation by Guilherme Rousseau
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