“Putin wants us to make it a proxy war,” said Fiona Hill, a former Russian adviser to the two presidents of the Brookings Institution. “Putin still tells non-Europeans that this is a recurring Cold War and nothing to see here. This is not a proxy war. You have acquired colonial land. “
Michael A. McFaul, now a former Russian ambassador to Stanford University, said there is a difference between secretly helping Ukrainian troops target Russian troops and showing off. “Yes, Putin knows we are providing information to Ukraine,” he said. “But to say it out loud helps his public story that Russia is fighting the United States and NATO in Ukraine as well as Ukrainians. It is not in our interest.”
Angela Stent, a former Russian national intelligence officer and author of a book on US relations with Putin, said China, India and other countries were Russia too open about what the United States was doing in Ukraine. He said it could undermine efforts to oppose. “It’s not a good idea for world public opinion,” she said. “They should do whatever they do, but they shouldn’t talk about it.”
McFaul also said he believed it would undermine Ukrainians and appear to be dependent on Americans. Report by Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman..
But others said the administration was too cautious about getting Russia to set rules for conflict-rather, Washington’s speculation about what would drive Russia to escalation. No one in Washington really knows the boundaries that shouldn’t cross Putin, and instead the United States is just making assumptions. “Are we discussing the red line with ourselves?” Asked Frederick W. Kagan, a military scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “I would rather think we are.”
As a result, he added, it was too late to provide what Ukraine really needed. “They have done surprisingly well in getting things done relatively timely,” said Cagan of the Biden administration. “But there seems to be some braking on the timeliness of the support driven by this kind of problematic analysis and self-negotiation.”
The law signed by Mr. Biden on Monday reflected the historical repercussions and reversals of the current war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the original Lend-Lease Act in 1941, helping Britain dodge the Nazi invaders in World War II. It was then expanded to help other allies, including the Soviet Union.