Will Biden’s Obama-Style Threats Be Enough to Deter Russia?

[Public Domain]

Last week, several U.S. agencies were targeted in a calculated cyber espionage attack. Among the agencies targeted in the hack were the U.S. Treasury Department, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security alongside multiple corporations, schools, and hospitals. Reports also revealed the hackers “breached the U.S. government agency responsible for maintaining the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.”

Once the hack was reported Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wasted no time before blaming Russia for the attack, “we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity.” Pompeo also described the attack as the “worst-ever cyber espionage attack on US Government.”

Now, the President-elect is pulling a page out of former President Obama’s playbook, but will it be enough to make an impact?

The Daily Wire reports:

In response, Joe Biden and his transition team are reportedly preparing a “cost imposition strategy,” with “measures that will include but won’t be limited to sanctions.” On Thursday, Biden said that “a good defense isn’t enough,” without specifically calling out Russia. “We need to disrupt and deter our adversaries from undertaking significant cyberattacks in the first place. We will do that by, among other things, imposing substantial costs on those responsible for such malicious attacks, including in coordination with our allies and partners,” Biden added.

Most recently, the Obama administration’s handling of Russian meddling in the 2016 election — to which Democrats still attribute Trump’s victory — was deemed to be inept by a bipartisan report issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee. The committee’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, said that the administration was “frozen by ‘paralysis of analysis,’ hamstrung by constraints both real and perceived,” and that officials “debated courses of action without truly taking one.” Sound familiar?

Biden’s return to the White House means a return of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. This means apology tours, Iran deals, and popularity tests. What matters most when it comes to Putin and his government is the return of Obama-style “all talk, no action.” Dictators like Putin measure and judge their competitors on the global stage by one metric: strength. Through this lens, naive western career politicians like Obama and Biden are the weakest of them all.

In 2012, Obama famously drew a “red line,” saying that the use of chemical weapons would “change my calculus.” When that red line was crossed by the Assad regime, Obama did nothing, and America’s enemies noticed. Biden is coming close to drawing a red line with Russia regarding cyber warfare. The only question that matters is whether Putin thinks Biden would ever have the guts to enforce it. History suggests otherwise.

Will Biden’s words be enough to strike fear in the heart of the Russian dictator or will the United States be forced to cower to Russia and her allies for the next four years under the incoming Biden administration? Tell us what you think in the comments!



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