Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin traveled throughout the Black Sea region last week to promote the partnerships needed to mount a credible defense against Russia along the most volatile territorial frontier between Moscow and the West. But despite his show of support, experts say the Biden administration so far has struggled to articulate how it intends to turn the United States’ alliances into a successful plan for repelling Russian aggression, which is on the rise.
“They have this great rhetoric … but the details aren’t there,” said Jim Townsend, who worked on NATO and European policy at the Pentagon during the Obama administration and now is with the Center for a New American Security. “It’s almost like there’s a line that we’re not going to cross when it comes to the Black Sea.”
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