Weeks before the actual invasion most people of Europe and indeed 99.9% of Ukrainians did not believe anyone -even Putin – would go so far as to invade a peaceful country that was no threat. President Zelensky said such talk was causing panic in the Ukraine and did not believe it would happen The Russian government said it is the US being historical and had no intention to invade supported by some right wing media. Meanwhile the US was ringing the alarm bells in spite of the nay Sayers BUT had to be very careful NOT to give Putin an excuse to invade.
At the same time there were growing concerns that Putin was not well and was verging on a mental state that could be dangerous. When he made his hour long speech those concerns were confirmed. When you might be dealing with a mad man you better be careful what you do publicly. For that reason much of what was really gong on had to be done secretly. Its a shame the media is so concerned about ratings and the next election that they do not understand and that criticism leveled on the US Government calling for actions that could not be taken publicly or had to be done in conjunction with European allies is counter productive. To place arms on the borders of Ukraine in case of an invasion would be interpreted by Russia as a provocation and an excuse to invade. The SWIFT system is a European based system, the US cannot alter it alone.
Meanwhile right wing media goes on about Biden’s cancelling of the Key Stone Pipeline etc diminishing US energy independence. They are correct to a point, but fail to mention that at the same time the US and much of the world is facing an existential threat from Climate Change. AND they forget what even the Israelis now realize, pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposing sanctions cut off one of the world’s major oil suppliers. That Trump era mistake resulted in less world oil AND Iran closer to a nuclear bomb. Needless to say, when Biden took office no one imagined Putin would invade Ukraine. The Germans certainly never contemplated that. A Monday Morning Quarterback approach to world events is not very relevant.