The answer could be found in the budget proposal itself. The Biden administration could be hoping to take on Russia, not just by stopping its advances in Ukraine, but also by the Russian military's declining health which would cause it to fall apart and force president Vladimir Putin out of power.
That's the message that Biden did not mention in his speech at Warsaw, Poland, in March. It was touted by Biden's aides as a “historic” speech. (President Donald Trump's address during his speech in Warsaw during 2017 to warn about the Russian advance was described as “racist.”)
The so-called experts who run Biden's security agency were publicly disdainful of Ukrainian president Zelensky at the beginning of the conflict, and even offered to assist him in his escape but they were pleasantly surprised by the strength of Ukraine.
They might try to push their advantages in the hopes of being able to eliminate a geopolitical adversary from the U.S., or at least bring about a more friendly Russian regime, and also send a message to China about the costs of aggression towards smaller neighbors.
In a perfect world, Russia would undergo an internal revolution similar to the one of 1917, only in a more liberal and not totalitarian direction. The U.S. and NATO would be able to achieve that result without risking even a single soldier.
If Biden does succeed, the result could turn out to be genuine success for foreign policy — even though it's an accidental one, as Biden's initial actions towards Russia were futile and included reversing Trump's sanctions against Russia's Nord Stream 2 project and renewing the New START treaty.
However, as the Wall Street Journal‘s Peggy Noonan pointed out this weekend and as this writer has maintained throughout the war, Biden's strategists do not appear to have considered possibilities that Russia might use nuclear weapons to launch an attack.
They might not be targeted toward the U.S. homeland or at NATO, however, they might be nuclear weapons used for tactical purposes designed to eliminate Ukrainian resistance. It will be difficult to find the political will needed to begin a counter-attack from NATO towards Russia.
Russia may then cause the quick defeat of Ukraine and then emerge as an independent power, but also a more significant geopolitical risk, as Russia has an advantage with the quantity of nuclear weapons that it has acquired.
Russia also has an advantage in the creation of hypersonic missiles that are able to evade U.S. missile defenses. The Russian military is bigger than the troops currently in Ukraine. It has more depth and endurance than the enemies they are facing.
It's not clear that the Biden planning team has taken this into consideration. It is clear that they have not prepared people for the likelihood the U.S. support for Ukraine could be seen as an attempt to escalate the conflict by NATO.
Much of Biden's approach to Ukraine is haphazard and with no thought about the implications. For instance, Biden declaring Putin a “war criminal,” which eliminates the motivation for Russia to seek a solution to the conflict. In fact, talks have been stalled since then.
The main reason for Biden's flamboyant speech and increased spending seems to be convincing the American public that Biden is tough, even though he surrendered the initiative to Putin some time ago, deciding to play chess using only black pieces.
Furthermore, Biden can barely read his anti-Russian rants on the TelePrompter. There is no trust within the United States or elsewhere in his leadership. He has chosen a risky strategy that isn't managed, explained, or understands the risks.
Biden’s inauguration speech declared “diplomacy is back.” However, he has shown no desire to engage in diplomatic efforts to bring peace. However, these efforts may permit Russia to establish its claim to a portion of the once-sovereign Ukrainian territory.
The cost of war must be considered against the potential cost to lives and economic harm that comes by allowing the war to go on and the risk that it could grow and become more intense, possibly breaking the taboo about using nuclear weaponry during conflict.
The right time to speak up is prior to a conflict to dissuade the enemy, not when a war has already started, due in part to erroneous efforts to appease that adversary. Biden helped to push the U.S. into a position of weakness and Afghanistan did not help.
The main question Congress should ask before approving further spending for the Ukraine war is what Biden's objectives are, and also why the administration isn't pursuing talks that could bring an end to the conflict, while Ukraine continues to appear to have the upper hand.