Judged by its own benchmarks — regulatory approval and vaccinations by the end of 2020 and the accelerated delivery of 300 million doses — Operation Warp Speed is a rare private-public partnership that has met its performance benchmarks. The heavy lifting of ushering vaccines through clinical-trials, scaling-up mass production, and initiating the complicated process of distribution to the states were well on their way as the Biden administration took office. It should be emphasized that OWS was launched to almost universal skepticism and even scorn. At the time of OWS’s launch in Spring 2020, a strong consensus prevailed among media, public-health experts, consultants, and betting markets that regulatory approval by the end of 2020 and the accelerated delivery of 300 million doses were unrealistic goals.
Western media is greeting the Biden administration’s Russian sanctions as “signaling a tougher stance on Russia than under former President Donald Trump.” Vladimir Putin likely thinks otherwise.
It looks as if the Biden administration has blinked on Putin’s key foreign policy objective — the completion and operation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, delivering Russian gas to Europe. The sanctioning of a few Kremlin officials is petty change compared to the decade-long profitable effects of Russian pipeline politics.