President Joe Biden and his administration made announcements about a looming war in Ukraine for at least a week before Russia invaded the country rather than doing anything to stop the hostilities diplomatically, and now thousands of people are dead as a result, Ric Grenell, a former ambassador to Germany and acting director of national intelligence under former President Donald Trump, told Newsmax on Saturday.
Further, Grenell told "Saturday Agenda" that "it's high time" to start talking about replacing Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his entire team, as "they've demonstrated that from the beginning that they're too weak and not creative enough to do tough diplomacy and put America first."
The lack of U.S. leadership in diplomacy has left it up to other world leaders, such as Turkish President Recep Erdogan to step in, and that means the United States is not in a leadership position, Grenell said.
"Diplomacy has been shoved aside through this whole process, and it's heartbreaking to see," the former ambassador commented. "Official Washington is trapped into putting forward just military ideas and options."
And that, he said, is a "huge problem" for the Russia-Ukraine situation.
"What we saw through this last situation in Ukraine is Joe Biden's message that 'there is going to be a bloody war, starting next week,'" Grenell said. "He kept saying that this bloody terrible war is coming, but yet he refused to put sanctions on the Russian pipeline. He refused to cripple the Russian plan to start this war, and now we've seen thousands of people dead because we didn't diplomatically rush in and do kind of a shock and awe diplomatically."
Meanwhile, it was the Biden administration, Senate Democrats, and the German government under former Prime Minister Angela Merkle who gave Putin the "green light to go into Ukraine" when they agreed to drop sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline from Russia to Germany, Grenell added.
"I believe that they caused this by showing such weakness," he added.
After weeks of fighting, there is a new willingness from Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to engage in direct talks with Moscow, and Biden is heading to Brussels to meet with NATO leaders.
But still, "diplomacy has been shoved aside" through the whole process, and that is "heartbreaking to see," Grenell said.
He added he is all for having the United States lead the world with diplomacy while leading with Russia through "muscle and creativity," but with Ukraine, the Biden administration has only come forward with military ideas and options while shoving Blinken aside.
"Why isn't Blinken, who has his own plane, able to go to European capital cities and organize some sort of diplomatic response?" Grenell said. "Why isn't he working with Turkey and others who have influence over Russia? This is just been a disaster on the diplomatic front."
That lack of leadership is impacting other nations, Grenell added, as they are "trying to step up and say we better do something because the Americans aren't."
Even Biden's upcoming trip to Brussels is a problem, Grenell continued, because his announcement last week he would be traveling to meet with NATO nine days later messaged to the world, "nothing is going to be done by the president of the United States for nine days."
"This is ridiculous to think that he doesn't just get on a plane and go to Brussels and meet with NATO leaders," who have been left to wonder what they are to do, he continued.
"This is why NATO member Turkey is stepping up to do something in between," Grenell said.
The Ukraine situation also points out the consequences for Biden's policy decisions are "huge" and far-reaching, according to Grenell.
"I don't think that there's enough attention on the consequences of the weak policies of Joe Biden," he said. "Let's also remember that the Biden administration took the Houthis off the terrorist list and within just a matter of months, the Houthis were missile bombing the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi."
Grenell also said Saturday he thinks world relations will get worse under the weakness of the Biden administration, which is only just past its first of four years in office.
Meanwhile, Russia has asked China for assistance with its war efforts in Ukraine, and Grenell stressed there has always been a natural tendency for the two superpowers to work together.
"I spent eight years at the U.N. watching them inside the U.N. Security Council make moves to try to blunt the west," he said. "This is just a chance for the west to be united."
Putin also took advantage of Merkel's 16 years in office while she moved her nation's economy, the largest in Europe, away from working in an alliance with the West and over to participate in a transatlantic alliance instead, Grenell concluded.
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