Nuland, a protagonist of the Iraq and Ukraine wars resigns

Victoria Nuland never shook the mantle of ideological meddler

Blurting out “F-ck the EU” typified her blunt, interventionist style throughout three presidential administrations.

By Daniel Larison

Victoria Nuland, a career foreign service officer who served in prominent roles in the State Department under Presidents Obama and Biden and represented the U.S. at NATO under George W. Bush, will be retiring, according to a statement today from Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Nuland was a combative liberal hawk during her time in government, and she was consistently one of the most aggressive proponents of U.S. backing for Ukraine and NATO expansion. Her career sometimes exemplified the heedless and arrogant foreign policy worldview that she championed.

She was the Principal Deputy National Security Advisor to then-Vice President Dick Cheney during the first two years of the Iraq war, and then served as U.S. NATO ambassador in Brussels during Bush’s second term. Nuland was an early cheerleader for Ukrainian membership in the alliance. She reportedly advised the Ukrainian government at the time to launch an information campaign to “dispel the image of NATO as a ‘four-letter word.’”

As the U.S. representative at NATO at the 2008 Bucharest summit, she pressed allies to grant Membership Action Plans (MAPs) to Ukraine and Georgia. When the German and French governments balked at that idea, she was involved in the blunder in which the alliance promised that Ukraine and Georgia would one day be admitted to NATO. The promise at Bucharest contributed to the August war later that year between Russia and Georgia, and it laid the foundation for the later tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

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Thanks to Biden, the War Party is back

The president’s policies reflect his appointments: ideologues who should have retired after previous foreign policy debacles.

By bKatrina vanden Heuvel

President Joe Biden recently appointed Victoria Nuland, Dick Cheney’s point person on Iraq, acting deputy secretary of State, the department’s number two official. He named Elliott Abrams, convicted perjurer and grim apologist for Central American torturers under Ronald Reagan, to his Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

Meanwhile, Bill Kristol, perfervid lobbyist for the Iraq War, cadged $2 million to pay for TV ads urging Republicans to stay the course in Ukraine. War may or may not be the health of the state, but surely it is a tonic for neo-conservative armchair warriors.

In the White House, while Biden has touted a new “foreign policy for the middle class,” his policies have largely been a reversion to the ruinous policies of the foreign policy establishment and its belief in America’s benevolent hegemony.

Once more America is described as the indispensable nation. Once more officials preach about a “rules-based order” that they invoke and violate at will. Once more we’re summoned to a global struggle between democracy and authoritarianism. We’re waging a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine while simultaneously gearing up for a Cold War with China, imposing economic sanctions on 26 countries, maintaining over 750 bases in 80 countries, and dispatching forces to over 100 countries and across the seven seas.

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