US and Allies Preparing to Support an Open-Ended Conflict in Ukraine

It's unclear if the US and NATO policy of pouring billions of dollars in weapons into Ukraine is sustainable

The US and its allies are worried that Ukraine’s stalled counteroffensive means the war between Russian and Ukrainian forces will be an open-ended conflict, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The report said the US was hoping Ukraine would regain some territory and that would pave the way for a negotiated settlement, although the US has discouraged diplomacy throughout the war. “My hope is and my expectation is you’ll see that Ukraine makes significant progress on their offensive and it generates a negotiated settlement somewhere along the line,” President Biden said in Helsinki earlier this month.

But without significant Ukrainian gains, the West is preparing to support the proxy war against Russia for years to come. “The only real response is an industrial mobilization that will give Ukrainians, and the Russians, a clear message that the Ukrainians will always have plenty of what they need,” an unnamed Western diplomat told the Journal.

The diplomat said that the US might have to accept that the war won’t end anytime soon. Biden administration officials have repeatedly said they’re willing to arm Ukraine for “as long as it takes,” but it’s unclear if the US and its NATO allies can sustain support for Ukraine as officials are warning Western military stockpiles are running low. Time is also on Russia’s side as potential political changes in the US could impact the level of support Ukraine receives.

The Journal report said a stalemate could bolster the argument of those inside the US who oppose supporting Ukraine in the conflict, although opposition to the policy of pouring tens of billions of dollars in weapons into Ukraine is still relatively small in Congress.

A US official told the Journal that it’s still too early to assess the Ukrainian counteroffensive since Kyiv hasn’t committed all of its combat brigades that were trained by NATO. “If they commit their reserves and their reserves aren’t successful, then we will have to determine the way ahead,” the official said.

The Journal reported over the weekend that Western officials knew Ukrainian forces did not have enough training or equipment to dislodge Russian forces but hoped the counteroffensive would be successful anyway. Leading up to the counteroffensive, the Discord leaks and media reports revealed that the US did not believe Ukraine could regain much territory from Russia

A European official quoted in the Journal article published Tuesday said his government does not believe Ukraine can regain all the territory Russia has captured. But the government in Kyiv maintains that recapturing all the territory is its goal, including Crimea, which Russia has controlled since 2014, demonstrating that the war will drag on as long as the US and NATO keep backing Ukraine.

Source: AntiWar.

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