Commentary: Ukraine may become more successful than Biden wants
BETHESDA, Maryland: The gains of Ukraine’s bold offensive are real, spectacular and the product of a remarkable partnership with Washington. Success, however, can test any relationship, and Ukraine’s battlefield victories could, ironically, stoke new tensions with the United States.
Right now, officials in both countries are revelling in a major military breakthrough. The New York Times reported that the Pentagon was deeply involved in planning the offensives in the east and southeast of Ukraine, war-gaming them extensively and steering Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government away from a riskier thrust toward Mariupol.
This achievement represents the culmination, so far, of a relationship that has advanced rapidly since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s all-out assault in February.
Money, information and arms provided by the US and other Western countries has bolstered Ukrainian resistance and helped Kyiv inflict sky-high casualties – perhaps tens of thousands killed in action – on Moscow’s forces. Ukraine has proven that it can use that aid to liberate large swaths of its territory, which should buy it the continued backing of the Western coalition through the cold winter to come.
PAYING UKRAINE TO “FIGHT A HORRIBLE WAR ON ITS OWN SOIL”
Lest anyone think Washington is aiding Ukraine solely out of kindness – or that it is squandering Americans’ tax dollars – this has all been a tremendously good bargain for Uncle Sam. Ukraine is the best tool the US has for battering and bogging down the Russian military so it cannot pursue aggression elsewhere and, perhaps, for dealing Putin a defeat from which he will not soon recover.