US Is Shifting Strategy on Ukraine

Instead of supporting Ukraine's unrealistic goal of driving Russia out of the territory it has captured, the US wants Ukraine to take a defensive posture

The US and its European allies are quietly shifting their strategy in Ukraine from supporting Kyiv’s unrealistic goal of driving Russian forces out to encouraging a defensive posture with future negotiations in mind, POLITICO reported on Wednesday, citing US and European officials.

The US and its close allies have discouraged peace talks throughout the conflict, including in March and April of 2022, when a peace deal was on the table that would have left Ukraine territorially intact in exchange for the country’s neutrality, something that was recently confirmed by Ukraine’s lead negotiator.

Instead of pushing for peace, then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Ukraine to keep fighting, and the US declared one of its war goals was to “weaken” Russia. Now, Moscow has made it clear any future peace deal must recognize the territory it has annexed as Russian. The New York Times reported on December 23 that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been signaling through diplomatic channels that he is open to a ceasefire that freezes the fighting along the current lines.

The POLITICO report said that US and European officials are discussing deploying Ukrainian forces in a defensive posture instead of continuing the failed counteroffensive.

The shift in strategy comes as both the US and Europe are struggling to come up with more funding for the proxy war. Part of the Biden administration’s long-term strategy is to help build up Ukraine’s own military-industrial complex so the country is not so reliant on foreign aid.

The Biden administration has not publicly outlined its shift in strategy, but there are signs that the US is thinking about winding down the proxy war. A mantra commonly repeated by US and NATO officials was that they would support Ukraine against Russia for “as long as it takes.” But when President Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky earlier this month, he said the US would continue supplying Ukraine with weapons for “as long as we can.”

For his part, Zelensky still maintains his war aim is to drive Russian forces out of all the Ukrainian territory that’s been captured. Time Magazine recently spoke with an aide to Zelensky who said the Ukrainian leader “deludes himself” into thinking Ukraine can win. “We’re out of options. We’re not winning. But try telling him that,” the aide said.

Source: AntiWar.

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