U.S. Officials Warn Ukraine To Delay New offensive – Senior U.S. officials are reportedly advising the Ukrainian government to hold off on launching major new offensives against invading Russian forces.
A senior White House official told a group of reporters on Friday, on the condition of anonymity, that U.S. military and government officials believe that all U.S. weaponry should be put in place before Ukrainian forces attempt a new offensive.
The same official also said that the United States intends to complete all ongoing training, some of which is currently taking place at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, before recommending a new offensive. During the same discussion, the official also said that the White House intends to stick by its decision to avoid sending advanced M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.
U.S. officials reportedly believe that a new offensive against Russia will prove more successful once that process is complete.
The news comes as the United States prepares to send hundreds of armored vehicles, rockets, and artillery shells to Ukraine as part of the latest $2.5 billion military assistance package.
A total of 59 Bradley Fighting vehicles are on their way to Ukraine, as well as 53 mine-resistant ambush vehicles and 350 high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles.
Ukraine Diverting Focus Away From Bakhmut
Following a meeting of Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and deputy White House national security advised Jon Finer in Kyiv this week, Kyiv is reportedly considering refocusing efforts away from the city of Bakhmut and into the expected new offensive.
U.S. officials told Ukraine that spending a huge amount of resources defending Bakhmut means fewer resources will be available for the next offensive, and a loss of Bakhmut to the Russians is potentially on the cards anyway. A U.S. official said that the Russians are likely to push the Ukrainians out of the city and, in that event, it will not likely result in a dramatic shift on the battlefield.
Ukrainian officials were advised, therefore, to prepare for a new offensive in southern Ukraine where Russians have a stronger foothold.
A decision has reportedly not yet been made, but U.S. officials continue to work with Ukrainian officials to encourage them to embrace the plan. The chances of Kyiv signing off on such a plan, however, could be slim for the moment given Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s insistence that not one part of Ukrainian territory will be ceded to Russia.
It may, however, prove to be necessary for a Ukrainian victory given that the longer it takes Ukraine to gather the resources it needs for an offensive in the south, the longer the Ukrainians are giving Russia to restock ammunition and deploy new troops.
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Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.