In the opinion piece presented below Luke Coffey of the Hudson Institute and a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Friends of Ukraine Network discusses the 2023 prospects for Russia’s unprovoked and totally unnecessary war against Ukraine and the west.
He also reminds us that the cost of supporting a Ukrainian victory is much cheaper than the alternative.
Anything less than a Ukrainian victory will, in the long run, be much more costly for the United States – financially, in human cost, and in the consequences of the message we will otherwise be sending to other adversaries.
Coffey does not say this explicitly, but the approach currently being followed by Washington is embarrassingly timid (and has been through the last three American administrations). We provide weapons to Ukraine but (a) not everything they need nor what they need when they need it; (b) we limit the range of the firepower provided Ukraine so the Russians have multiple sanctuaries from which they can destroy civilian infrastructure and slaughter civilians; and (c) consistently tell Putin what we will not give Ukraine.
What message does all this send?
It tells Putin we are not committed to a Ukrainian victory!
If we were committed to a Ukrainian victory or decided to commit to a Ukrainian victory and give Ukraine the weapons it needs and got rid of the restrictions we place on Ukraine’s use of those weapons, this war could be over, innocent lives could be spared and the consistently imperialistic Russian Federation could be defeated and its wanton war crimes stopped.
Frankly it is time the White House grasp that a Ukrainian victory is in our critical national security interests and start making sure the public knows and understands that fact.
And it is time the White House take the lead in taking to the public the actual genocide Russia is committing in regard to the children of Ukraine. Where is the outrage!
The White House should be in the lead in making known Russia’s kidnapping of children, killing the parents or telling the children their parents are dead, changing their names and birthdates so they cannot be traced, giving them Russian citizenship, using intense indoctrination to convince them they are Russian and having them adopted by Russian families. This is clearly defined as genocide and At this point there are 19,000 children who have been kidnapped.
Where is the outrage?
Why isn’t the American public being told?
Americans must be told the truth and America must commit to a Ukrainian victory.
Ukraine's northern border, especially in Belarus, will be worth keeping an eye on in the upcoming weeks. REUTERS
Vladimir Putin’s three-day war against Ukraine is entering its second year. One thing is certain, 2023 will not be a year of peace. Those calling for negotiations between the two countries are wasting their breath. Neither side is ready for talks, and both sides still think they can win. Right now, Ukraine has momentum after two successful counterattacks late last year in Kharkiv and Kherson, but Russia is finalizing a large-scale mobilization of fresh troops.
As Russia digs deep into its stockpiles of older military hardware, it gets weaker. As Ukraine receives more advanced military hardware from the West, it gets stronger. The big question is whether Western military support for Ukraine is too-little-too-late or just in time to make 2023 a year of victory.
Russia is in the final stages of planning a major offensive operation to regain momentum. There is no doubt Ukraine has a few surprises up its sleeve too.
In the coming months, there are three places to watch:
One Ukrainian friend who was recently there told me he has never seen so many dead bodies in his life — “not even in a Hollywood film.” How long the Ukrainians can — or should — hold this town is anyone’s guess, but they are making the Russians pay dearly to capture it.
Russia could try another attack on Kyiv or an attack from Belarus into western Ukraine to disrupt the crucial supply lines coming from Poland. Neither would likely succeed, but both would cause enough trouble for Ukraine that its forces would have to be diverted from other points along the front line.
Ukrainians are not asking for, nor do they want, US troops to help them fight Russia. All they ask for is the equipment, weapons, munitions and financial resources required to give them a fighting chance. With USassistance, Ukraine is dismantling the armed forces of one of America’s top international foes — and without a drop of American blood being spilled.
But more needs to be done.We need to start wanting the Ukrainians to win more than we just hope Russiawill lose. In addition to the armored vehicles and tanks, it is time to givethe Ukrainians longer-range missiles, fighter jets, armed drones, and anuninterrupted flow of munitions. We shouldn’t be scared of a Ukrainian victory.
As President Volodymyr Zelensky told Congress in December, US assistance to Ukraine is not charity. For Americans who believe in the principle of self-defense, respect for international borders, and the right of people to choose how and by whom they are governed, support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression is natural. With their eyes on Taiwan, the Chinese are also watching how we support Ukraine — or how we don’t.
Helping Ukraine might be expensive, but we cannot afford to fail. There is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put Russia back into its box for a generation. Let’s not blow it.
The introductory comments are Mr. McConnell’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation or the Friends of Ukraine Network.