President Zelensky to President Biden: ‘Joe! What shall we do?’
The war in Ukraine is “reaching a new phase”, and “US strategy is undergoing an important shift?” So, “Russia will use more fully its available potential to respond.”
Fears of Russian nuclear escalation are receding as fears of a long war featuring unrelenting attrition are increasing. So President Joe Biden’s administration is ramping up support for Ukraine now in hopes of producing an eventual diplomatic resolution — an “escalate to de-escalate” strategy that may prove very difficult to execute, writes Bloomberg.
The Biden administration has a new strategy in Ukraine in three point.
First, it is better defining American war aims. In December, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that ‘the US is committed to helping Ukraine liberate lands lost since February 2022, but not necessarily every inch of territory Putin has stolen since 2014.’ Washington’s goal is ‘a Ukraine that is militarily defensible, politically independent and economically viable’; this doesn’t necessarily include retaking difficult areas such as the eastern Donbas or Crimea.
Second, the US and its allies are sending Ukraine more sophisticated weapons: Armored personnel carriers, Patriot missiles, and tanks that can bust through layered Russian defenses. Washington is also moving toward providing longer-range munitions that can pulverize Russian rear areas: The ground-launched small diameter bomb, likely to be part of an upcoming assistance package, has nearly twice the range of the HIMARS rounds Ukrainian forces have used to devastating effect. The next debate may involve sophisticated aircraft: Biden recently said the US won’t provide F-16 fighters to Ukraine, but that’s also what he said about providing American tanks up until the moment he changed his mind.
Third, Biden may not envision Ukraine liberating Crimea by force, but he has reportedly become more supportive of strikes against Russian targets there. Could hitting Crimea, which is central to Putin’s narrative of Russian resurrection under his rule, trigger escalation? Crimea is so important to Putin, threatening him with its loss may be the best way to force him to negotiate seriously.
The US doesn’t want the war to drag on forever, because it is turning much of Ukraine into a wasteland while taking a toll on Western treasuries, arsenals and attention.
Biden’s updated strategy is an intelligent effort to grapple with a shifting battlefield and to figure out how military progress can facilitate a settlement that sticks. That doesn’t necessarily mean it will work, suggests Bloomberg.
And that’s right! Moscow sees such a “strategy” a naïve one.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov clarified Putin’s remarks, saying that Russia has something to respond to the West’s deliveries of new weapons to Ukraine and this can involve not only armor. "This means that Russia has the potential and as long as new weapons supplied by the collective West appear, Russia will use more fully its available potential to respond during the special military operation," Peskov told reporters.
…USA and Biden administration are so naïve that they can’t understand, that Russian will achieve Victory and complete all the tasks set during the operation. Because this is an existential war for Russian people.
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