The Biden doctrine: “As long as it takes,” or “No matter how many die”

On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden addressed a raucous mob of xenophobic Lithuanian nationalists in Vilnius following the conclusion of a NATO summit that pledged to massively expand military spending in preparation for global war.

Biden’s diatribe addressed the same themes as a speech he delivered last year in Warsaw, Poland, in which he pledged to “fight” for “years and decades to come.” Back in 2022, his unscripted rant compelled White House officials to publicly walk back the president’s remarks. But now his advisers no longer see the need to reinterpret and modify Biden’s bellicose statements. What he says about US war aims are not dementia-induced errors but actual declarations of the policies of his administration.

President Joe Biden speaks at Vilnius University in Vilnius, Lithuania, Wednesday, July 12, 2023, after attending the NATO Summit. [AP Photo/Susan Walsh]

Speaking in Vilnius, Biden declared, “Our commitment to Ukraine will not weaken. We will stand for liberty and freedom today, tomorrow, and for as long as it takes.”

The length of a war is invariably related to the toll in human life. The longer a war continues, the greater the number of casualties and deaths, of both soldiers and civilians.

Therefore, when Biden proclaims once again that his administration and NATO will supply money and arms “as long as it takes” to bring about the defeat of Russia, what he is really saying is that the war will continue regardless of the cost in human lives.

This is the barbaric essence of what can be called the Biden Doctrine: “No matter how long it takes or how many die.”

Biden’s speech, in both its delivery and content, was typical of the man: Thoughtless, ill-informed, full of malapropisms and mangled grammar. It was pitched to the lowest intellectual level and basest instincts.

Biden delivered lie after lie, absurdity after absurdity, claiming the United States, which has continuously destabilized, bombed and invaded other countries since the end of the Second World War, was a force for democracy and peace.

None other than Henry Kissinger, the oldest living American war criminal, once summed up with his characteristic cynicism the real attitude of US imperialism to moral principles. “The illegal we do immediately,” he said. “The unconstitutional takes a bit longer.”

Biden, whose own fingerprints are to be found on the scene of every crime committed by US imperialism over the last half-century, invoked “the United Nations Charter that we all signed up to: sovereignty, territorial integrity. These are two pillars of peaceful relations among nations. One country cannot be allowed to seize its neighbor’s territory by force.”

What contemptible hypocrisy! There is no single country that has violated the UN charter’s prohibition on the “use of force” as flagrantly and repeatedly as the United States, whose former Secretary of State Colin Powell once declared that it was his goal to turn the United States into “the biggest bully on the block.”

During his time in the Senate and then as vice president, Biden was a leading advocate and supporter of the United States’ invasion of Iraq in 1991, followed by the bombing of Yugoslavia eight years later in 1999. He backed the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and another invasion of Iraq in 2003. Biden advocated the American bombing campaigns and efforts to instigate regime-change in Libya and Syria.

These actions were carried out in open and flagrant defiance of the United Nations and of international law. In 2002, the United States withdrew from the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court, and does not recognize the legitimacy of any international body to try US officials for the war crimes they regularly perpetrate.

Just last week, Biden announced that he would send cluster munitions to Ukraine, which are banned by over 100 countries because they kill and maim civilians for decades after conflicts end.

Biden made a garbled reference to Lithuania’s myth-based narrative of struggle against tyranny, and he boasted of the United States’ commitment to its freedom. But what Biden left out of his rambling history lecture was the intense collaboration of Lithuanian nationalists with Nazi Germany and direct participation in the mass murder of virtually the entire Jewish population of the country.

During the three-year Nazi occupation of Lithuania, 95 percent of the country’s Jewish population was exterminated—195,000 men, women and children were systematically killed.

This reality gave an ominous tone to Biden’s declaration that “the bonds between Lithuanian and the American people have never faltered,” praising Lithuanian exiles who traveled to the United States.

What Biden did not mention, however, is that two of the Lithuanian immigrants welcomed by the United States happened to be the individuals most responsible for the Holocaust in that country.

Aleksandras Lileikis, the chief of the Lithuanian Security Police in Vilnius during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania and a perpetrator of the Holocaust, was given safe passage to the United States and was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. His deputy, Kazys Gimžauskas, also emigrated to the United States, as well as three of his subordinates.

Neither of the two men saw a day of jail time for their participation in the Holocaust.

Even as he denounced Russia for refusing any “diplomatic solution” to the conflict, Biden boasted of his own role in the expansion of NATO. He declared, “I had the great honor as United States senator to champion Lithuania and other Baltic States to join NATO in 2004. Wasn’t I brilliant doing that?”

In voting for the expansion of NATO in 1998, Biden proclaimed “the beginning of another 50 years of peace.” In reality, the United States was deliberately setting the stage for the type of fratricidal war that has erupted in Ukraine, with the aim of drawing Russia into wars on its borders and bleeding it white.

Among the most absurd of Biden’s lies was his attempt to posture as a proponent of a “diplomatic outcome” of the war in Ukraine. “Unfortunately, Russia has shown thus far no interest in the diplomatic outcome,” Biden said.

“Russia could end this war tomorrow by withdrawing its forces from Ukraine, recognize these international borders,” he declared. But he defined this “diplomatic outcome” as the total capitulation by Russia and the achievement of all of NATO’s war aims. Biden’s “diplomatic solution” is military victory.

The president’s provocative statements are intended to preclude any negotiated settlement of the conflict, which US imperialism sees as a critical component of its drive to subjugate Russia and China.

Biden’s “No matter how many die” doctrine means the war will escalate, countless thousands more will die, and the world will be brought to the brink of a nuclear conflagration. Nothing can stop this except the development of an international anti-war movement based on the working class.