‘We Got To Reign Her In’: Behind The Scenes Of Nuland’s Early Retirement

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern in a new interview has speculated over the reasons behind Victoria Nuland stepping down from her high-ranking position as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the number three top official in the State Department.

Her retirement was announced by her boss Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday. But the question is why now when the administration is attempting to stay the course and present a strong continued stance on Ukraine, also as Biden is still seeking to get tens of billions in defense aid through Republicans in the House.

US State Department image

While there have been rumors that maybe she could be in poor or declining health, McGovern has told Russia’s Sputnik that the notoriously hawkish Nuland was a liability at a moment NATO and Russia are inching closer to direct nuclear-armed confrontation. 

“My best guess here is that the CIA and the Defense Department and the NSA got this message around saying, ‘look, Victoria’s got her own agenda here,’” said McGovern.

The former CIA official continued to speculate: “‘The president doesn’t really want to strike these ammo depots in Russia or knock down the [Crimean] Bridge. So we got to rein her in, I guess it’s time for her to go to early retirement.’”

Another theory, though not necessarily contradictory to the above, has been advanced by professor of national security at Bowie State University Dr. Matthew Crosston.

He laid out what “a staunch anti-Putinist Nuland was and how fervently she wanted to continue to utilize Ukraine as a platform in which to continue to weaken and/or slight Russia on the global stage — and perhaps even up the ante in that conflict with her support of sending ballistic missiles into Ukraine.” But she also knows the Ukrainian side is losing.

She may have seen the writing on the wall as Ukraine forces are in retreat, and wanted to bail before potential total defeat:

“She undoubtedly understood that if American support lessons or wanes, Ukraine loses, period,” Crosston pointed out. “Perhaps she did not want to be in the Administration that would be responsible for that outcome.”

But both McGovern and Crosston would agree that with Nuland as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (in this capacity she basically ran all of US foreign policy in Europe), ceasefire talks between Kiev and Moscow remained an extremely distant prospect or even an impossibility. 

“One thing is certain: as long as Nuland remained in that chair, there was literally no chance such talk could even be theorized. Now it can,” Crosston concluded.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald also weighed in on Nuland stepping down in an interview with The Hill. Greenwald describes the “singular monstrousness of Victoria Nuland and her bipartisan, blood-stained, ghoulish career“…

Nuland’s temporary replacement for under secretary upon her retirement has been announced as career diplomat John Bass, a former ambassador to Afghanistan. He is currently in the position of the undersecretary of state for management. He oversaw Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, and so it is somewhat ironic that he’ll also oversee Ukraine policy at this critical juncture where Kiev is clearly against the ropes.


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