As the war in Ukraine rages on, the West is experiencing fatigue from the slow pace of the fight. People in the West insist upon breakthroughs with shifting battle lines. They want Hollywood theatrics that can dominate the headlines with dramatic scenes of victory. And if these things cannot be produced on a regular basis, they deem the war lost or in a stalemate. Because it represents difficulty, many want the easy way out.
This way consists of ignoring the problem in the hopes that it will disappear. It calls for taking away Ukraine’s funding, saying it will make little difference in the grand scheme of things. Others label the conflict as a regional quarrel that America would best sit out since no national interests are at stake.
Thus, people misjudge the war based on desired impressions and deliberate fog. If America follows this path, it will pave the way for political disaster.
The Ukrainian battle makes more sense if three points are resolved. The resulting big picture puts the West in a position to fight back more effectively. Considering these points will make it clear that aid is urgently needed.
Not a Far-off Land of Little Value
The first point is a clear definition of what is at stake. This is not a battle for a far-off land of little strategic value but a civilizational standoff pitting the West against enemies that threaten the present world order—decadent though it may be.
United against the West is an alliance of a mysterious Russian orthodoxy, a brutal Chinese communism and a radical Iranian Islamism who are actively using the Ukrainian issue to form a bloc of contrary nations—an enigmatic multipolar world independent of the West. This alliance makes no secret that it wants to displace, if not destroy, the United States and its role in the world. It is also openly anti-Catholic.
In this sense, the Ukrainian conflict is part of a proxy war that can determine the course of the future. If the West loses, it will jeopardize the post-war rule of law and prepare the ground for new and more difficult wars, especially involving NATO allies.
Thus, it is in America’s interest to support the sovereignty of Ukraine, brutally violated by the 2022 invasion and the earlier 2014 war. At stake is the future of the West and all sovereignty. America and other nations are at risk because if Ukraine is lost, then the conflict could escalate to other areas they are bound by treaty to defend.
The Metrics of Success
The second point needed to understand the war is determining the metrics to measure its success. Not all can be reduced to territorial gain. The stationary battle lines easily deceive.
The ultimate goal must always be the return of all occupied territories from Russia. However, the metric of success is not only reconquering Ukrainian territory but also stopping the ambitions of this new anti-Western alliance. As Russia seeks to form its new Eurasian multipolar world order, then Ukraine is proving an unexpected and highly effective obstacle to this anti-Western end.
Its armed forces have inflicted massive causalities upon the enemy, decimated military assets and exposed major shortcomings. A recently declassified intelligence assessment shared with Congress reports that 87 percent of the 360,000 force sent into Ukraine were either killed or wounded with an estimated loss of 315,000 solders troops. Some 2,200 tanks out of Russia’s 3,500 pre-war stock were destroyed in battle. In addition, the Russian armed forces suffered the loss of 4,400 of 13,600 infantry fighting vehicles as well as major naval assets.
This potential NATO enemy suffered all these calamities without the loss of a single American or NATO soldier. Many analysts believe that Ukraine has bought time for long-neglected European militaries to rearm. The intelligence report estimates that the brave Ukrainian resistance has set back Russia’s military for at least three or four years. The West owes it to Ukraine to support this battle that benefits all and which was bought at such a price of great suffering.
A Winnable War
The third consideration is that Ukraine can win this war if proper strategies are employed. It is easy to blame the Republicans for abandoning Ukraine by withholding funds for the war. However, Garry Kasparov of the Russian Action Committee claims that victory does not seem to be an option for the Biden Administration.
He observes that present arms shipments provide the minimum for maintaining the status quo. More powerful armaments could have a significant effect on the outcome. For example, two vital arteries for the occupation are the Melitopol railway and the Crimean land bridge. Properly enabled ATACMs could destroy these lifelines and starve the Russian army of supplies. However, these weapons are withheld from the Ukrainians.
Mr. Kasparov believes the Biden administration seems more intent on arriving at some deal than maintaining the integrity of pre-war borders. His incompetent abandonment of Afghanistan encouraged the present conflict. Some analysts have suspicions that an agreement with the Russians is in the works that would only make matters much, much worse.
Thus, the West has everything to gain by its continued support of Ukraine tied to a winning strategy. It has everything to lose if it fails to oppose this new alliance that seeks to turn everyone against the West. Indeed, if Ukraine is forced into accepting a Russian victory, the result will not be “peace in our time” but a Chamberlain-like war of shame.
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