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Supporting Ukraine For ‘As Long As It Takes’ Is Not a Strategy

U.S. Army Stryker
A U.S. Army mobile gun system Stryker variant belonging to Quickstrike Troop, 4th Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment fires at several targets during a week-long gunnery range at the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Feb. 14, 2019. The gunnery was the culminating event for their multi-month training progression. (U.S.Army photo by Sgt. Timothy Hamlin, 2d Cavalry Regiment)

At the conclusion of NATO’s summit in Madrid two weeks ago, President Biden said the United States should continue to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes,” even if doing so caused American citizens to suffer economic consequences. An honest and sober assessment of the war, however, exposes two potential consequences of the president’s vow: the economic pain on American consumers could get far worse, and for all the financial and military assistance the U.S. is providing, Ukraine is still not likely to defeat Russia.

Public opinion being what it is, subject to the ebb and flow of the daily news cycle, many in the United States may find the president’s commitment to providing military support to Ukraine as being successful. Since the arrival on the battlefield of the sophisticated American-provided HIMARs rocket launchers, Ukrainian gunners have scored meaningful successes against Russian targets. As many as two dozen Russian ammunition depots have been struck by HIMARs rockets, many having produced spectacular explosions recorded on social media.

While some have hailed the HIMARs as being “game changers,” the truth is different. Without question, the rocket launchers are effective and have caused serious damage to the Russian forces in the Donbas. But they are not a ‘magic bullet’ that will change the nature of the war. When the machine gun was introduced into World War I, it gave an immediate advantage to those who had them. When tanks were first used in the World War I battle of Cambrai-Fritsch, they gave a major advantage to the British.

But, as with every other new technology introduced in war, the opponents quickly adapt to the new capabilities. In this case, Russia will almost certainly respond by moving its ammo depots further away from the frontlines, out of range of the HIMARs, and will both disperse them and build stronger storage facilities.  That will still add logistical hardships to Russia to have to add many miles to the transit of ammunition from the depots to the frontline units, once they adapt, however, it will become normal practice. But while the attacks on the Russian depots have been noteworthy, the results have not produced any noticeable positive effects on the course of the battle for Ukraine.

Russia was presumed to require an operational pause after taking Severodonetsk and Lysychansk in late June, but current evidence suggests that, to the contrary, Moscow has kept the pressure on the Ukrainian defenders. When the Ukrainian troops withdrew from Lysychansk, they repositioned along a new line of defense, north-to-south from Seversk, to Soledar, to Bahkmut.

As of Thursday, Russian and Western media were reporting that Russian troops were already in the outskirts of Seversk, and within a few miles of both Soledar and Bahkmut – and all three are receiving withering artillery and rocket fire, along with air strikes. Once Russian forces break through this new line of defense, the twin-cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk lie barely 25 miles to the west. The Ukrainian troops would be hard-pressed to put up a successful defense of either, as Russia could drive the attack with its forces from three sides.

It is likely Russia could take the entire northern shoulder of the Donbas battle by the end of August. That would still not signal the end of the war, only the end of the current phase in the northern part of the Donbas. The war itself could drag on for many months and possibly years. While that is a terrible prospect for the Ukrainian victims of this Russian aggression, a war that drags on through this winter portends real trouble for Western Europe and the United States.

As I have often repeated in these pages, even before the war started, America’s security is not threatened by the conflict between Kyiv and Moscow. We are and will remain safe from Russia – as long as the war remains confined to the borders of Ukraine. If it expands into NATO territory, the frightening risk of nuclear escalation rises to unacceptably high levels. Yet the longer the war continues, the greater the risk to U.S. economic and national security also rises.

Ukrainian officials claim the international community must supply them with up to $65 billion for the rest of this year to keep their economy afloat (the Ukrainian government is requesting $5 billion per month indefinitely). That’s on top of over $750 billion estimated as a first installment of the rebuilding costs to Ukraine after the war, nearly all of which the West is expected to pay.

Those multi-billion-dollar categories are in addition to the ongoing expense from funding Kyiv’s military and supplying it with a regular flow of heavy weapons and ammunition. Already the United States has committed a staggering $53 billion to support Ukraine’s war effort (roughly matched the rest of the Western world, for a total of 85 billion Euros). The biggest hit to American and European economic security, however, is likely yet to come.

The International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva said on Wednesday that the outlook for the global economy had “darkened significantly” as a result of the pressures exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine war. The overall inflation rate in the United States hit 9.1% in June, its highest rate since 1981 – but food inflation jumped even higher, at 10.4%. Gasoline, of course, is already at or near historic highs, in the $5 per gallon range. Things are even more perilous in Europe, however.

Much of Europe is presently locked in a sultry heatwave, driving up demand for electricity to cool homes and businesses. Yet much of the continent’s electricity is generated by natural gas, and Russia has just cut off all gas to Nord Stream 1 pipeline for 10 days, citing “maintenance” as the culprit. The EU has already agreed to stop taking most Russian oil or gas by the end of the year, but to survive the cold winter, countries – especially Germany – must fill up storage facilities to offset the loss of supply from Russia. Right now, it is unclear if Europe will sufficiently build up its inventories in time.

Despite Biden’s promise to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” for Ukraine to win, complex and interdependent global security and economic factors are likely to put an expiration date on current levels of support. It is completely understandable that people in the West would desire to see Ukraine defeat the invading Russians. But as I’ve detailed previously, there is presently no military basis to hope for a Ukraine victory. It would be unwise, therefore, for Washington to continue pursuing a policy that almost certainly will not achieve its goal and may harm our country and the West in the process.

The best course of action for U.S. interests would be for Biden to begin engaging at least as much in seeking a diplomatic end to the war as in providing blanket financial and military support to Kyiv. Whether the president takes that course or not, as economic conditions worsen in Europe and the United States, pressure from working class people throughout the West will likely begin putting pressure on their governments to end the war and the economic privation it is causing domestically.

It would be far better for the U.S. and the EU if that rational decision were made as a matter of sober policy review rather than under pressure from increasingly unhappy populations. Moving to elevate diplomacy now would give Kyiv time to negotiate the best deal it can get before ending the war. Ending support in a sudden way under civil pressure in the West, however, could leave Ukraine vulnerable to collapse and capitulation to Russia.

Now a 1945 Contributing Editor, Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis

Written By

Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis1.

47 Comments

47 Comments

  1. Tomb

    July 14, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    You propose that Russia be free to attack Ukraine every
    Few years and take perhaps
    1/4 of the remaining land.
    The took crimea in 2014 and are wanting more now in 2022.
    I do not think this is good.

    • from Russia with love

      July 15, 2022 at 5:25 am

      I want to reassure you. this time Russia will take all of ukraine and will no longer attack ukraine.
      in this situation, something else is interesting…after the liberation of Ukraine, no one will return those credits that the West allocated to the junta.

      • Mike Carlin

        July 15, 2022 at 11:18 am

        So the trolls made it here… Sad…

        • Jim

          July 15, 2022 at 2:56 pm

          Actually, just people who disagree with the current Ukraine policy because they don’t believe it’s in America’s self-interest to exhaust itself, economically, militarily, and diplomatically.

          (Which we are currently doing.)

          Which weakens America and hurts regular Joes who aren’t bent to see Russians die, or for that matter Ukrianians die, too.

          Or bent to see “regime change” in Russia (which Biden awkwardly admitted as much in Poland), sorry fellas, the “cats out of the bag” on that one.

          Probably a significant number also fantasize about “dismemberment” of Russia, too.

          • Ross

            July 17, 2022 at 4:18 pm

            How exactly is supporting Ukraine exhausting the United States. Our federal budget is 1.5 trillion dollars. The 52 billion we have given them is 00.3% of the federal budget. It’s a rounding error. It’s $155 per American. Pretty sure Americans spend more on Starbucks in a month then that amount.
            If you are going to make grandeous claims you’d better back them up or you’ll look ridiculous.

    • OIF Combat Vet

      July 15, 2022 at 12:22 pm

      Don’t you think it’s time we focused more on the invasion that is happening right now on our southern border? 40 billion dollars borrowed from China would definitely solve that problem right away instead of handing it over to the kleptocracy in the Ukraine.

      • Jim

        July 15, 2022 at 3:00 pm

        Yes, that’s the border we need to concentrate on, where our sovereignty is truly at stake.

        But a lot of neocons want to “invade the world & invite the world.”

    • Karl Thorsson

      July 16, 2022 at 1:02 am

      Your ignorance of history and this conflict is absolutely overwhelming. Never too late to enlighten oneself. The author’s opinion is quite sober and the only way now or later.

  2. Neil Ross Hutchings

    July 14, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    It may require something dramatic to happen on the battlefield, whether it be a rapid Russian advance in Eastern Ukraine or the less likely success of the well telegraphed Ukranian counter attack in the south, to bring the combatants to the negotiation table and end this irrational war. The U.S. seems hell bent on supporting this conflict until their mid-terms. Unmentioned in this article are the astronomical rebuilding costs that will be required after the conflict. I doubt there will be the same enthusiasm for paying those bills as there currently is for supplying Ukraine with dated military stockpiles. Someone in the West may then conclude that it would be best to let Russia or Ukraine bear that cost. Reminiscent of the first Afganistan war.

  3. Eric Engle

    July 14, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    Appeasing conquering dictators works!
    If you want more conquering dictators by all means kiss up to the mafia state which IS Russia, a criminal regime, what a surprise, commits systematic war crimes. Who’s next?

    • Harald Ullrich

      July 15, 2022 at 1:44 am

      A voice from Germany: What you call “appeasement” is actually a sober view of the situation. The U.S. is far away from any major conflict in the world. America will probably have to pay higher oil prices and have higher inflation longer than without the war.
      But all of that is true for Germany as well. However, unlike the U.S., we are the most successful exporting country in the world after China, and we supply the world with important and efficient products, some of which are in turn the basis for production in other countries.
      The basis for Germany’s (and other European countries’) export economy is gas, and incidentally, a long list of other raw materials from Russia. Without these raw materials there will be a collapse of our economy with a breakdown of international supply chains.
      Can you imagine what will then be going on in the streets of Europe and partially in the USA?
      I served 23 years as an officer in the German Army (tank reconnaissance, long-range reconnaissance, division HQ).

    • from Russia with love

      July 15, 2022 at 5:17 am

      you have a mistake in the text. apparently a typo. instead of “Russia” you need to put “USA” and then your text will be absolutely correct!

    • rkka_arvgk

      July 16, 2022 at 7:32 am

      Yes, for many, the only possible failure mode for US foreign policy is “Munich zoMG!! Appeasement!!”

      What folks like this fail to get was that appeasement was the practical expression of Neville’s general foreign policy of building an anti-Soviet coalition with Nazi Germany. “”…Germany and England as two pillars of European peace and buttresses against communism.” is how he put it in his letter to King George VI of 15 September 1938, before going to Munich for the first time.

      It totally failed, of course.

  4. pagar

    July 14, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    Ukraine is a veritable bottomless pit for US (and Euro) money.

    Ukraine is a fascist rathole and endless monetary support for this rathole will surely guarantee WW3.

    Biden, the 80-year-old-old piece of dross who’s affected by dementia, Alzheimer and possibly bse, wants to stake the future of US in his proxy war in ukraine, come hell or high water.

    It’s best for Biden to use money for Ukraine at home or in Haiti or in Puerto Rico, areas all near-sheethole status right or near the underbelly of US.

    • Tony K

      July 16, 2022 at 6:20 am

      OK, Boris.

  5. Jim

    July 14, 2022 at 9:01 pm

    Remember Vietnam?

    After a peace deal, the Paris Peace Accords, the Democratic Party, as a whole, cut off South Vietnam, and it fell to the Communists (a whole like Afghanistan). That’s for any Ukrainians who read this website).

    The point is that depending on the steadfastness of the United States can be dangerous to your health. I say that as, at the time, a very young supporter of the Vietnam War, my oldest brother (Marines) having served two tours & returned from Vietnam.

    But Bull-headed Empire builders better take into account the American People realizing they were suckered (and they were about Vietnam, too, remember the Gulf of Tonkin incident).

    If it goes to the bitter end: America suffering an economic collapse (not all our economic problems are “Putin’s fault”, but it just might be the straw that broke the camel’s back) Americans will turn their righteous anger towards those who invited a war by engaging in pound sand diplomacy and refused to consider a Nuclear Power’s mutual security interests.

    As the author of this article suggests it would be better that it didn’t come to that bitter end.

    “Peace through Strength” Republicans have been suckered, this is not about our Republic being strong, this is about Empire builders who pretend to be patriotic, but use us as “hired muscle” to make money and further their never-ending dreams of Empire … world dominance… to rule the world.

    Mike Pompeo is the poster-boy for this fevered obsession. It will destroy our Republic.

    I got one word for Pompeo, “Nuts”.

    The well-being of our Republic and our People is what matters to Americans, not plays for Empire half-way around the world. Ukraine is corrupt and a black-market hub, they can take care of themselves… if Ukraine’s leadership had known that (take care of yourself) maybe non of this would have ever happened.

    Instead they depended on “primrose” promises from people who never told Americans of their disastrous and selfish plans.

    • Ross

      July 17, 2022 at 4:29 pm

      How exactly is this even comparable to Vietnam? The US has sent $155 per American to Ukraine. That’s it. The US Median per capita income is $55,000. How exactly are we suffering due to our support of Ukraine? Yeah, we are paying a little more for gas. Big deal. Good lord, the “Woe is me” catterwalling is pathetic. Ukrainians country is getting destroyed underneath them because they won’t cowtow to a dictator and we are whining about our support for them which is almost nothing. The Starbucks and Chik-Fil-A’s drive throughs are still full and American’s are happy to pay Door Dash a $20 fee to bring them take-out. Yeah, we are really suffering and have it sooooooo awful.

  6. troll-feeder

    July 14, 2022 at 9:40 pm

    Since my nemesis Alex has apparently been liquidated, I guess I’ll have to bother Mr. Davis.

    1. For your next article please address what actions you would recommend IF (ok, let’s just say when) Russia violates the negotiated settlement that you propose?

    2. For your next next article please discuss the Budapest Memorandum and how the signatories of this treaty are or are not fulfilling their legal obligations rendered thereby. Extra credit if you dive into how current events regarding this treaty might affect nuclear proliferation in the future.

    3. I didn’t know you were German! (Apologies to my German friends, the slight is aimed at Olaf not you)

    • Mr. Russian

      July 15, 2022 at 1:31 pm

      I’ll bite 🙂
      1. Russia would obviously be interested in settlement that would satisfy the top 3 goals, that were set at the beginning of this military operation.
      Which are
      a) Demilitarization of Ukraine
      b) Denazification of Ukraine
      c) Protecting Russian speaking population in Ukraine
      However, I very much doubt that a settlement on these terms is possible at this moment
      2. Legally speaking the Budapest Memorandum was not violated (if you actually read the text of the memorandum)
      Here is the important part of it (about attacking Ukraine)
      “The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine, except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.”
      So Ukraine would not to be attacked unless in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
      Russia pulled article 51 of the UN (self defense) before moving to Ukraine. Kinda what the US did when attacked Iraq or killed Soleimani, or bombed Syria, or when attacked Libya.

      • troll-feeder

        July 17, 2022 at 10:12 pm

        You didn’t answer the first question. Please re-read, think, and submit a response to the actual question.

        Self defense? Russia attacked Ukraine out of self defence? That is your rationalization to violate the Budapest Memorandum? That is so completely idiotic that even Alex wouldn’t have said it 🤯

  7. John Egan

    July 14, 2022 at 9:46 pm

    “Supporting Ukraine For ‘As Long As It Takes’ Is Not a Strategy”… Well… Yes.. It is a strategy… it may not be the one you would choose, although the alternatives, ‘shrugging our shoulders and abandoning Ukraine to Russia’.. or ‘Sending in NATO troops and real weaponry’.. Kind of have some downsides…

    In fact, saying that we’re in it for the long haul is simply a response to Putin’s claim that they will keep attacking Ukraine.. It’s simply replying with BS to a BS Russian statement.

    Find something else to write about..

    • Froike

      July 15, 2022 at 11:58 am

      Well if that’s the case; let’s try to shorten this War. This could have been done if we had armed Ukraine after the 2014 Invasion. Russia will continue attacking Ukraine and The Baltic States as long as NATO and The US do nothing about it.
      This War is not just about Ukraine..it’s about Europe! Europe needs to establish a Military Dominance that will prevent Maniacs like Putin from attempts to invade and take over Soveriegn Nations. So, although I think Bidet is a Corrupt, Senile, Old Crook, support of Ukraine by The US and NATO is necessary.

      • davidgmillsatty

        July 16, 2022 at 4:57 pm

        That would shorten it to about half a day and there would never be any prospects of war after that, except maybe wars between cockroaches and ants.

  8. Goran

    July 14, 2022 at 9:55 pm

    What kind of a deal is possible with a guy that lies so much? First about not planning to invade Ukraine a day before he invades Ukraine, and then that it was because of NATO expansion, even though the situation with Finland puts that lie to rest as well. The guy cannot be trusted and giving him any land will not bring peace, on the contrary. Unless Davis thinks of a way of actually enforcing a deal he thinks should be struck, he is wasting everybody’s time. It’s like saying all the world’s diseases need to be eradicated by winter, but not really coming up with a rational way of implementing that idea. That’s what Davis needs to focus on, figuring out how to enforce anything that potentially brings about a peace agreement. Without a way to enforce it, anything signed is worth as much as wallpaper that once decorated Mariupol homes.

    • Jim

      July 15, 2022 at 12:45 pm

      Sweden & Finland are not comparable to Ukraine.

      Sweden & Finland have been “western” for decades, aligned with the West, but were not in NATO (however, they are in the EU). Sweden & Finland don’t have a “hate Russians” and all things Russia mentality, unlike Ukraine’s leadership class.

      Look at a map, Ukraine is a thousand mile salient into the underbelly of Russia (holding a knife to the stomach), any Russian leader who ignored this obvious geo-strategic threat would be stupid & weak. (Just as an American president would be stupid & weak to ignore China setting up military shop in Mexico, remember the Cuban missile crisis.) Again, Ukraine’s operating & governing ideology is hate for all Russians, including Russian-Ukrainians who are citizens of Ukraine.

      Again, it would be stupid for any Russian leader to ignore this ideology of hate promoted by the Ukrainian leadership.

      Actually, as a weaker power, Russia has been a stickler for international law, thinking it would offer some protection against the much stronger (and still superpower, U. S. A.), but they slowly learned the U.S. didn’t respect international law, rather the U.S. operates by a “rules based order”, where the U.S. decides the rules, according to supposed U. S. interests.

      The warmongers, here on these comment boards, don’t care how many Ukrainians die and destruction is inflicted (even when it’s Ukrainian infrastructure). That is clear again and again, all they care about is how many Russians die.

      They share the hatred of Russians, maybe the ideology of Hate, too.

      Pathetic… warmongers are so easy to manipulate, and the elite foreign policy clique running this failed policy know it.

      It’s Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football all over again.

      How badly are you willing to hurt the U.S.A. & Europe to see your warmonger fantasies come true?

    • ColdWarLCPL

      July 15, 2022 at 1:32 pm

      But he hasnt lied. Putin has told anyone who would listen exactly what he is going to do. Rebuild the empire of Russia. So far, he has been pretty consistent.
      Anyone who thinks that Ukraine quitting and letting Russia control 1/3 of the worlds grain, almost 100% of the sunflower oil, almost all of the fertilizer production, and even more gas and oil, wont affect the US is a fool. Any EU country that thinks letting Russia obtain a even greater stranglehold over their energy will be all puppies and kittens is a fool. You will get what you need until Russia wants something, then you will do whatever Russia wants.
      Lets say the govts cave in. In 5 years Russia takes Latvia and Estonia. How long to NATO caves then? They are in NATO, so what? Russia will still have nukes and the argument is the same. Poland? How about Germany after that? Russia still has nukes, so we wont interfere right?

  9. MortenHJ

    July 15, 2022 at 1:57 am

    Yes. Give in to Russia, so they can get a part of Ukraine. Then Russia can rearm and carry on to Odessa (and Kiev), reunite with Transdniester and further advance into Moldova. After that, they will “liberate” Kazakstan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbazian and all the other former sovjet republics. Those who haven’t understood that this is Russias game must wake up.

  10. David Chang

    July 15, 2022 at 3:02 am

    We need moral Strategy.

    God bless America.

  11. Mario

    July 15, 2022 at 3:54 am

    As usual, Mr, Davis takes the role of Neville Chamberlain and his appeasement. Doesn’t work with hitler nor will do with putin. The only reasonable fate for this kind of vermins, is the erradication.

    • Jim

      July 15, 2022 at 3:48 pm

      “The only reasonable fate for this kind of vermins, is the erradication.”(sic)

      Spoken like a true neo-nazi. Or like a Ukrainian neo-nazi.

      Hope you’re proud of yourself, I know Hitler & Goebbels would be proud of you.

  12. Emperor

    July 15, 2022 at 4:24 am

    This is a well thoughtful article and the conclusions drawn are very much correct.
    Sad to see that others in the comments would rather have Ukrainians and the world suffer because of their blind arrogance.
    US should have never spend a single dollar on ukraine and now Biden and the West of the world that has funded blindly the ukraine war efforts are suffering form the sunken cost fallacy.
    The US has failed to track where the money given to the ukrainians have gone to and failed to track where the weapons have gone to.

    It has been reported

    • Emperor

      July 15, 2022 at 4:26 am

      It has been reported by many news outlets that they have been sold on the black market for profits in some way.

  13. Stefan Stackhouse

    July 15, 2022 at 10:01 am

    The Russians haven’t been stopped yet. They are still making slow but steady progress. Stopping the Russians is the first order of business. Until this is done, we must indeed continue providing aid to Ukraine “for as long as it takes” to stabilize the line.

    I understand that the Ukrainians don’t want a frozen conflict, and do want to roll the Russians back to the border. Unfortunately, what would be required for that to be possible is massively greater than what we have supplied them thus far. It may well be far beyond our productive capacity. In any case, it is pointless to even be talking about this as long as the Russians are still making forward progress.

  14. mawendt

    July 15, 2022 at 10:32 am

    “Supporting Ukraine For ‘As Long As It Takes’ Is Not a Strategy”…

    … is not what the strategy is, although the author attempts to demean it so.

    The strategy is to cause Putin’s Russia such military pain and embarrassment that he 1) stops any future aggression, and 2) withdraws from his military conquests.

    #2 most probably will not happen while Putin’s regime runs things, but maybe the replacement government (that will eventually take over) will swing the pendulum to correct Putin’s actions in Luhansk, Donetsk, Crimea, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and other places that by international law Russia should not control to make nice. Maybe.

    #1 has been accomplished; Russian military has shown weakness, Russian leadership incompetent, Russian economy and technology Western-dependant. The Russian federal civil political system is slowly picking pro/anti war positions, and the non-federal civil system is beginning to resist along with the civilian population. Mostly based on casualties in a perceived pointless conflict coupled with the Russian cost of living.

    The ‘long as it takes’ ties into bleeding the Russian military – a tactic which doesn’t particularly require ‘winning’, but simply having an unrelenting and steady drip of Russian manpower and material military losses. It also involves the slowly day-to-day deterioration of the Russian economy, which will eventual tip the civilian population into open resistance to Putin’s regime. ‘As long as it takes’ strategy includes taking every opportunity to damage the Putin regime without open East-West conflict and Western casualties. All it costs is a few tens of billions of dallars the West will print up when it needs.

    What the West seems lacking is a clear understanding of the second and third order effects of a diminished Russia, and a transition away from Putinism in this environment. We’ll probably see either a harsher, meaner, nastier new Russian government, or a very weak government that cannot stop inevitable chaos of satellite nations breaking even farther from Russia. Additionally, a weak Russia encourages a stronger China, as Russian economic dependency shifts East.

    So, yes, in one respect the present strategy is smart yet very short term. What happens after is….?

  15. marcjf

    July 15, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    The way I see it at present is that western support for Ukraine will continue and indeed increase.

    This will result in Russia doing two things. Firstly they will take the gloves off and mobilise [in practice if not theory] and simply crush Ukrainian resistance, taking whatever ground they want to in whatever timeframe suits them, inflicting a massive loss of life and destruction of property, and taking under control the energy and industrial resources of the Ukraine along with I suspect the whole Black Sea coast. Secondly they will escalate their counter-sanctions against the west, leaving particularly the EU countries in recession or worse, and also building an anti-West political and economic alliance.

    Their objectives are I think to achieve security on their borders, degrade NATO’s capabilities (by destroying its weapons stocks and economies), and weaking western economic power and specifically the petro-dollar.

    Looks to me like they are doing just that. Events may prove otherwise. But the same jokers that handed us the Afghanistan debacle (and every other disaster since 1991) are still running the show, and to many sober analysts these people continue making the same errors. Realpolitik has a bad name these days but still exists. As do the people in charge who can make fundamental miscalculations.

    Let us hope that it is the Russians who have got this wrong, but it does not seem that way to me.

  16. Luis Espinal

    July 15, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    The author should stop beating around the bushes and say that we need to support a diplomatic solution where Ukraine abandons its sovereignty and allows Russia to annex chunks of its territory and walk away after committing war crimes.

    Because that’s the alternative. If the author thinks I’m wrong, then he should correct me right here and now with details about what exactly he’s proposing we do on the diplomatic front.

  17. JR

    July 15, 2022 at 3:30 pm

    Russia started it. Only Russia can end it. Preferably by unconditional surrender.

    Some sort of Korean style appeasement cease fire in place without a peace treaty is bullshit.

    • Mr. Russian

      July 15, 2022 at 4:26 pm

      “Russia started it. Only Russia can end it. Preferably by unconditional surrender.”
      I don’t think that Ukraine is ready for unconditional surrender but as you pointed out “Russia can end it”, so Russia will end it and Ukraine will surrender. Unconditionally or not is the big question.

      • JR

        July 15, 2022 at 5:18 pm

        The future is not ours to see, although I doubt Ukraine will surrender anytime soon or in the next decade or so. Also, they have a lot of support and resources available from the richest countries on earth. I suppose Russia will not surrender, either. The best that can be hoped for is they stop shooting and go home. Soon. Replacing Fearless Leader Poopin (get I get it right?) might get that ball rolling. So, there is that.
        Oddly, we agree only Russia can end it. Why even talk until they are ready?

        • from Russia with love

          July 19, 2022 at 11:17 am

          Are you familiar with the term “mobilization potential”? There were no queues at the military registration and enlistment offices in Ukraine at the end of February and in March. now the Ukrainian authorities are catching people who can be drafted into the army by all available means. I do this with the usual deceit, persuading them to join the territorial defense and serve at the place of residence, but then sending only the recruited unit into the meat grinder to the front line of defense. this is done by threats of imprisonment for 10 years. laws have already been prepared according to which women can be mobilized. Are you sure that with such a rate of losses, Ukraine will last until the end of the year? who will fight for your American interests there? There have been no fools to fight for “freedom and independence of Ukraine” for two months now. how combat-ready is the army into which people were driven by force or deceit?
          Tell me, has anyone considered the most realistic scenario in which Russia liberates Ukraine completely by the end of this or next year? what will the west do after that?

  18. SB

    July 15, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    Before the economy of the west fails,NATO will intervene , Russia will then have to hammer away against the world largest alliance.They will inevitably fail.

    • from Russia with love

      July 19, 2022 at 11:19 am

      who are these “they”? the world’s largest military alliance that has not yet entered the war is already whining about the fact that they are running out of weapons?🤣

  19. CRS, DrPH

    July 16, 2022 at 1:25 am

    I’m happy to give Ukraine all of the weapons, hardware & support they need. This is an opportunity to destroy Russia as a unified, malevolent force.

    Personally, I think we should be fomenting uprisings in Georgia, Belarus and other regions & countries aligned with Russia. Putin would be hard-put to respond with force.

    Support Ukraine as long as it takes.

  20. Midge

    July 16, 2022 at 3:01 pm

    You shouldn’t overlook the fact that war in Ukraine is the result of the refusal of the West to negotiate Russia’s December security guarantees proposals. These proposals mean that if anything like peace and prosperity is to be restored, the West will have to agree to return its military dispositions in Europe to their 1997 positions and to accept to base all nuclear weapons in their owner’s countries (since the US is the only country to base nuclear weapons in other countries, this means US withdraws its tactical and strategic land-based weapon from Europe, Asia, and wherever else it keeps them). In other words, acceding to Russia’s demands just might risk real enduring peace breaking out in our time, and thereby an opportunity for Europe to profit from cheap Russian resources and direct land connections and Arctic sea connections with China. Terrible, huh? What you call for instead is a Cold War situation that will endure indefinitely and risk breaking out into hot war between Russia (possibly China as well) and the collective West at any time, like the pre-1991 nightmare. In short, you need to keep more to the front of your mind the wider situation: this isn’t mainly about Ukraine and never was; this is about US/NATO military pressure directed against Russia and China.

  21. Joachim

    July 18, 2022 at 5:10 am

    Although I understand the feelings of the author, especially since this war is bound to continue for a very long time – his argument is wrong!!
    The Russian unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is a direct threat to the U.S. and the free world as a Russian success will encourage every dictator and China to expand their outreach through aggression – it is as simple as that. There is no difference between Putin and Hitler – fight back now or it will be more expensive in the future!!!

    • from Russia with love

      July 19, 2022 at 11:32 am

      unauthorized? I wonder if your hypocrisy and cynicism have limits? Do you think that if you keep silent about 8 years of shelling of Donbas during which thousands of civilians, including children, were killed, about the concentration of Ukrainian troops on the demarcation line in January, about the shelling from February 19 to 23, 2022, when the Armed Forces of Ukraine released 1000 -2000 shells daily, about how the EU Parliament applauded Zelensky’s statement that Ukraine should get nuclear weapons, about the development of bacteriological weapons in Ukraine, then no one will know about this and you can lie further?
      I wonder when you degrade enough to talk about Stalin’s “unjustified” attack on Berlin in 1945😎

  22. Upset_by_Haters

    July 19, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    The quicker the Civilised Empire defeats those mad separatists the better.

    I am amazed at the pitch of racial hatred against the Russians among European public.

    Over the last 5 months the Civilised Empire admittedly made some mistakes but the opponents, the ukro madmen did only pure evil, and innumerable killings.

    Those so called “ukrainians” are not innocent, they are not victims, and actually, I will tell you a secret: Russia never attacked or invaded that “ukraine”. There is one way to inspect this claim and find the truth about the issue — study the chronology of escalation in this war. You remember how Ukraine’s airforce bombed Lugansk, do you know much about the Second of May? How about the seige of Slavyansk? People who followed this stuff know very well that it was actually “ukraine” that attacked, mass invaded [broader] Russia and was shelling and killing civilians before the current step of escalation.

    Regardless of this, the European racial hatred against Russian people is off the charts. Here is one test: take any article and substitute “Russians” by “Jews”. You will be amazed at the result. I invented this test and it doesn’t stop to amaze me.

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