U.S. should stay simple in Ukraine crisis: NYT columnist Thomas Friedman

2022-05-06 Editor : Zhao Li ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman on Tuesday published an opinion work "A Message to the Biden Team on Ukraine: Talk Less", criticizing the Biden Administration of talking too much about its goal on the Ukraine crisis.

Friedman called U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's ambition of producing a “weakened” Russia "unrealistic."

A lot of countries in the world are neutral in this war because, as much as they might sympathize with Ukrainians, they really don't like to see America or NATO act like a bully — even toward Putin, the columnist said.

He warned that the U.S. government should not get too much involved in the crisis.

"If this is going to be a long war, and Ukraine is able to recover all or most of its territory, it is vital that this be perceived as Putin vs. the world, not Putin vs. America," he said.

"Let’s be careful not to raise Ukrainian expectations too high," Friedman warned. "Many things have changed about Ukraine since the end of the Cold War — except one: its geography. It is still, and it will always be, a relatively small nation on Russia’s border. It is going to have to make some hard compromises before this conflict is over. Let’s not make it even harder for it by adding unrealistic goals," he added.

Friedman suggested President Biden and his team embrace the wisdom of Al Shaver, a sportscaster -- “When you lose, say little. When you win, say less."

Loose lips sink ships, Friedman said.

"Our goal began simple and should stay simple: Help Ukrainians fight as long as they have the will and help them negotiate when they feel the time is right — so they can restore their sovereignty and we can reaffirm the principle that no country can just devour the country next door. Freelance beyond that and we invite trouble," Friedman said.

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