An expert on Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that President Biden is “playing our very strong hand in a very weak way” by squandering the power of the United States to deter Russian aggression.
Rebekah Koffler, who is a former DIA intelligence officer and author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” told Fox News Digital that the Russians understand the conflict in Ukraine as a proxy war between Russia and the United States.
“We are on a geopolitical collision course with Russia,” she said. “Our national interests are irreconcilable, the way that both countries define them.”
Explaining how the Russians want to reconstitute the USSR-like alliance and gather former Soviet states under the control of Moscow, Koffler said it has been the long-term, bipartisan policy of the U.S. to prevent Russia from emerging again as the dominant power in Eurasia.
“So, sooner or later, the Russian General Staff, which is the strategic planning authority, the brain trust of the Russian military, has concluded through their current assessment that a war is inevitable between Russia and the U.S.,” she said.
By not threatening to use the means at his disposal, Koffler said Biden failed to project strength against Russian adversaries.
“The cardinal rule of deterrence is to convince your opponent that the cost of his hostile action will by far outweigh the benefits, and Biden has done the exact opposite,” she said, saying Biden “telegraphed weakness” by allowing Putin to assemble a battle-ready force of 190,000 troops.
Putin has five major instruments in his playbook, Koffler said, which include space warfare, cyber warfare, military options such as escalation and the nuclear option, as well as espionage and something called “active measures,” which includes election interference and assassinations.
Biden could have warned during his meetings with Putin that the U.S. has the same options, she explained, and contrasted Biden’s response to that of former President Trump, who told North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that his nuclear button is “much bigger” and “it works.”
Describing the ongoing conflict as “a three-dimensional battle of the wills” between Putin, Zelenskyy, and Biden, Koffler said, “Out of all of them, we, the United States, have the most superior might: economic, geopolitical influence, military. Combined we just trump both of them.”
“And yet, Zelenskyy seems to be winning, despite the fact that the Ukrainian military is so much inferior to Russia. But his will to fight and his leadership style inspiring the Ukrainian people is basically putting Putin on the heels. By the same token, Putin, despite having weaker military, much weaker economy, has been able to outmaneuver Biden.
“And so that’s the three-dimensional battle that, unfortunately, we’re losing only because of the weakness of our president,” she added.