Victoria Nuland Leaving Post While Ukraine On The Ropes, US Policy In Shambles

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Mar 05, 2024 - 05:20 PM

Ukraine forces are in retreat and the war is going badly from NATO's perspective, Biden's $60+ billion for Kiev is halted in the House, and the Democratic incumbent's reelection chances are looking grim in November. And as if confirming there's no light at the end of the tunnel, Victoria Nuland is stepping down as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States.

The State Department announced Tuesday morning she is retiring. The Associated Press announcement interestingly enough underscores her hawkish legacy on Russia and Ukraine. "Victoria Nuland, the third-highest ranking U.S. diplomat and frequent target of criticism for her hawkish views on Russia and its actions in Ukraine, will leave her post this month, the State Department said Tuesday," it wrote.

Her boss Antony Blinken said something a bit ironic on the occasion of unveiling her departure: "But it’s Toria’s leadership on Ukraine that diplomats and students of foreign policy will study for years to come."

Indeed, many already know her as Victoria-'Fuck the EU'-Nuland and for essentially running foreign policy in Europe, stretching back through the Obama years as then Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, where many of the problems which sparked the disastrous and tragic Russia-Ukraine war were first set in motion.

According to more praise from Secretary Blinken:

"Her efforts have been indispensable to confronting Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, marshaling a global coalition to ensure his strategic failure, and helping Ukraine work toward the day when it will be able to stand strongly on its own feet – democratically, economically, and militarily."

Of course, Blinken's boldly declaring Russia's "strategic failure" seems a bit forced and premature (to put it mildly), considering too that even from a propaganda angle leading NATO countries are currently very much on the defensive. Things simply aren't going well in NATO-land, by many accounts. 

Even The Guardian is now singing a very different tune, listing off serious policy failures and disasters for the West:

Western Europe has no conceivable interest in escalating the Ukraine war through a long-range missile exchange. While it should sustain its logistical support for Ukrainian forces, it has no strategic interest in Kyiv’s desire to drive Russia out of the majority Russian-speaking areas of Crimea or Donbas. It has every interest in assiduously seeking an early settlement and starting the rebuilding of Ukraine.

As for the west’s “soft power” sanctions on Russia, they have failed miserably, disrupting the global trading economy in the process. Sanctions may be beloved of western diplomats and thinktanks. They may even hurt someone – not least Britain’s energy users – but they have not devastated the Russian economy or changed Putin’s mind. This year Russia’s growth rate is expected to exceed Britain’s.

The crass ineptitude of a quarter of a century of western military interventions should have taught us some lessons. Apparently not.

Just over a week ago, she was talking about "tightening the noose" around Putin to CNN...

...But it appears she'll never get the chance while in top State Dept office.

The Washington Post meanwhile recalls a particularly funny past moment and Russia's reaction which centered on Nuland:

Former Secretary of State John Kerry has recalled on numerous times that when Nuland left the spokeswoman’s job during his tenure to become the top diplomat for Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov congratulated him for “getting rid of that woman.” Kerry said he replied to Lavrov that he didn’t get rid of her, “I promoted her.”

Current Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised Nuland for her three and a half decades of public service and thanked her for her role in shaping U.S. policy around the world under six presidents and 10 secretaries of state.

At this point we might say she's wisely choosing to "quit while ahead"... but the reality of her disastrous interventionist policies in Eastern Europe is something more like quitting while you're behind.

Nuland's temporary replacement for under secretary upon her retirement has been announced as career diplomat John Bass, a former ambassador to Afghanistan. He is currently in the position of the undersecretary of state for management.

* * *

Nuland has had a lot of "quiet part out loud" deep state admission moments over the years...

Recall too that she ran point for Obama's regime change "democracy promotion" efforts in Ukraine. In 2014 leaked audio clip posted to YouTube caused deep embarrassment for the State Department amid accusations the US was coordinating coup efforts using the ongoing "Maidan Revolution" to oust then President Viktor Yanukovych.

In that leaked phone call Nuland told US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt "F*ck the EU" - for which she was later forced to apologize. Here's some of the audio for a little trip down memory lane:

She had also been instrumental in her prior postings at the State Department in Obama's disastrous Libya intervention. During her initial 'retirement' during the Trump years, she had been part of various think tanks, including the hawkish Brookings Institution, where she was a fierce critic of Trump's supposed "appeasement" of Putin. She's also long argued for deeper military intervention in Syria