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VIPS Warn Biden on Ukraine, ‘When You Find Yourself in a Hole, Stop Digging’

The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) sent President Joe Biden yesterday an “Alert Memorandum” on the subject, “Throwing Good Money After Bad: Decisions in an Intelligence Vacuum.” The immediate provocation for the letter is given by the citation of U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s Jan. 23 appeal to U.S. allies to “dig deep” to provide Ukraine with more arms. It warns Biden that, regarding the use of Ukraine as a proxy against Russia, the U.S. intelligence agencies have failed him.

“Ukraine has lost the war, and this will become very clear in the weeks ahead. Given the lack of any prospect for negotiations, nothing short of nuclear weapons could stop the measured but inexorable advance of Russian forces.” From their advice of a year ago, they repeat: “Simply stated, it is not possible to ‘win the war against Russia’ AND avoid WWIII. That our Defense Secretary Austin may think this possible is downright scary. In any case, the Kremlin has to assume he thinks so. Thus, it is a very dangerous delusion.”

Their advice: “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Dump the incompetents and the VIPS grouping stand ready to pull the U.S. out of the hole.

The letter also reminds Biden of some of the track record of the advice he’s been getting and that given him by VIPS: “We noted in our January 26, 2023 Memorandum to you that National Intelligence Director Avril Haines had expressed skepticism that Russian forces would be sufficiently prepared for Ukraine’s coming offensive. She said Russia was using up ammunition ‘extraordinarily quickly’ and could not indigenously produce what it was expending. You had just approved sending Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

“We wrote: ‘None of the newly promised weaponry will stop Russia from defeating what’s left of the Ukrainian army. If you have been told otherwise, replace your intelligence and military advisers with competent professionals—the sooner the better.'

“On July 13, 2023, you said Putin ‘has already lost the war.’ You may have gotten that from CIA Director William Burns who, a week before, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post saying: ‘Putin’s war has already been a strategic failure for Russia—its military weaknesses laid bare.’ Both statements are incorrect. Nor is the war a ‘stalemate,’ as Jake Sullivan has claimed more recently.”