In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Vice President Joseph Biden made a strange statement. He claimed that the US was making preparations to strike back at Russia for attempting to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election. More specifically, Biden suggested that the Obama administration was set to authorize clandestine activity against Moscow in response to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hacking.
Now that Biden has made this public statement, ensuing US activities cannot be considered clandestine. However, he didn’t reveal what actions will happen or when they will happen. Even for Washington, the public claim that a clandestine operation will soon take place is certainly strange.
The message itself may be part of the response to Russian attempts to interfere with the election. The Obama administration only has a few more months in office. Escalating a low-level conflict with Russia is not something the President desires toengage in on his way out of the White House.
It’s also noteworthy that previous red lines set by the administration have been crossed without any meaningful retaliatory action. Furthermore, hitting Russia in any way will likely invite a negative response, which President Obama seeks to avoid. For example, the sanctions levied against Russia in response to the annexation of the Crimea led to Moscow’s intervention in Syria.
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