President Joe Biden embarked on his first international trip since his inauguration, during which he engaged in a much-anticipated one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
While some Democrats praised his performance, critics like former Navy SEAL David Sears painted a much less rosy picture.
“Right before this summit”
Sears spoke out during a Fox News appearance this week, declaring that the bilateral discussion was a test in diplomacy that the U.S. president failed.
In making his case on Wednesday, he pointed to reports that the Russian Navy conducted aggressive military exercises in the Pacific shortly before the two heads of state met.
“It was obviously right before this summit,” Sears said, according to Fox. “It was obviously a test and President Biden failed.”
He went on to declare that Russian forces are “going to continue to push” against the U.S., adding that “regardless of the administration, as a new administration comes in, these bad actors will push around the world.”
Describing such provocation as simply “how President Putin does things,” the retired military man suggested that the Russian leader would attempt to exert his influence across the Western Hemisphere with operations “through South America ad Venezuela and Nicaragua.”
“They’re succeeding so far”
Furthermore, Sears said that Russia hopes to diminish the supposed “threat” that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization poses against it by “trying to fracture any alliances in Europe and the U.S.,” noting that “they’re succeeding so far.”
As for the Russian naval exercises earlier this week between 300 and 500 miles off the coast of Hawaii, Fox News reported that as many as 20 vessels were involved.
The large-scale exercise also reportedly involved aircraft such as the TU-142MZ long-range bomber. In response, the U.S. scrambled to launch a trio of F-22 fighter jets and a KC-135 Stratotanker from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Reports indicate that the Federal Aviation Administration issued a request to dispatch the U.S. jets, though officials have yet to provide many details about the operation.
Capt. Mike Kafka, a spokesperson for the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said in a statement to CBS News only that military officials were “monitoring the Russian vessels operating in international waters in the Western Pacific.”