A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) assessment that has been leaked online says that the US expects the war in Ukraine to go into 2024 without any peace talks between the warring sides, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
“Negotiations to end the conflict are unlikely during 2023 in all considered scenarios,” the DIA analysis reads. The document says even if Ukraine regains a “significant” amount of territory from Russia and “unsustainable losses on Russian forces,” it would not lead to peace talks.
Another leak that was also reported by the Post says the US thinks it’s unlikely Ukraine will regain any significant territory in its expected counteroffensive, a stark difference from what the Biden administration has been saying publicly. Both documents, the Post said, could bolster the argument that the US should be pushing for negotiations.
Asked about the DIA assessment, a US official told the Post that it’s up to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky when to talk with Russia, demonstrating Washington’s lack of interest in fostering peace talks. The Biden administration has discouraged peace talks throughout the war, including recently by rejecting the idea of Beijing as a mediator.
The White House also explicitly came out against a ceasefire or any pause in fighting before Chinese President Xi Jinping traveled to Moscow. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the world should “not be fooled” by any Chinese calls for peace.
The DIA assessment says the “most likely scenario” in Ukraine is that either side only makes “marginal” gains on the battlefield. It says a war of attrition for the Ukrainian side could increase “criticism” about how the fight against Russia is being conducted, “making leadership changes more likely.”
The document says Ukraine could also respond to a drawn-out conflict by trying to strike more targets inside Russia. A different leaked document suggested Zelensky would use long-range American weapons to hit Russian territory if Washington decides to provide them to Kyiv.