The US has increased its support of weapons to Ukraine, not hiding its ambition to help this country “defeat” Russia, showing a change in the strategy to deal with Moscow.
As the conflict in Ukraine turns into a protracted war of attrition and efforts to negotiate peace fail, the United States and its allies are moving toward a new, longer-term goal: Helping Ukraine win a decisive victory in the war. field, to prevent any similar military operations in the future.
That message was most clearly expressed on April 25, when US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declared after a secret visit to the Ukrainian capital Kiev that “we want to see Russia weakened to the point that it cannot be done”. things like the present in the Ukraine campaign.”
A spokesman for the US National Security Council said Austin’s comments were consistent with what the US has been trying to do for months, “turn the military operation in Ukraine into a strategic failure”. with Russia”.
“We want Ukraine to win,” the spokesman added. “One of our goals is to limit the possibility of Russia doing the same thing again. That’s why we equip Ukraine with weapons and equipment to defend itself against Russian attacks. That’s also why we use sanctions and export controls to directly target the Russian defense industry, to weaken Moscow’s economic and military power.”
Signals of a change in Russia’s response to Ukraine’s strategy have been shown by the United States in the past few weeks, as the West dismisses concerns about the risk of a clash with Russia over the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine. It also reflects the belief of the US and its allies that Russia will not be able to achieve the goals of its military campaign in Ukraine, a British official said.
“They suffered significant military damage,” Minister Austin said during a visit to Ukraine. “We’d like to see them not being able to make up for those losses quickly.”
The Biden administration is now optimistic that this is an achievable goal, CNN quoted sources familiar with the matter said. According to them, continued efforts to support Ukraine with heavy weapons could degrade Russia’s long-term military capabilities, bringing strategic benefits to the United States.
The United States has begun sending Ukraine larger, more modern assets that it has limited supply in the past, including 72 155 mm howitzers and Phoenix Ghost armed drones.
While Washington had previously worried that sending heavy weapons to Ukraine could be seen as provocative by Russia, the Biden administration has announced billions of dollars worth of new tanks, missiles and ammunition has been provided to Ukraine. USD over the past month, a sign that initial concerns about the risk of an escalation of the US-Russian conflict have eased.
Still, U.S. officials note that Washington and its allies are extremely cautious when considering countermeasures and sanctions imposed on Russia, both because of the unintended damage they could cause. impact on the global economy and because of the risk of Russia reacting aggressively when it is “backed into a corner”.
Moscow has reacted harshly to Washington’s new moves. Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov on April 25 warning US arms aid packages to Ukraine are “unacceptable” and will aggravate the situation, increasing the risk of conflict.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also criticized NATO for continuing to pump weapons to Ukraine and “engage in the war against Russia through proxy forces”, and warned that the danger of the outbreak of World War III and nuclear war “is the real and very serious”.
A source with knowledge of the matter said that the US and its allies “definitely have to consider acting in a balanced way” when it comes to sanctions against Russia.
The person added that the US still assesses President Putin’s red lines on the possibility of using nuclear weapons as unchanged, and “one of those lines is the stability of the government”.
Observers say that the public statement of US Defense Secretary Austin’s ambitions to “undermine” Russia is not really helpful, because it makes NATO’s efforts to support Ukraine look like a “calculation of power”. .
An unnamed US official later tried to explain that the purpose of the statement was not to tell the Russians that “under any circumstances, the United States and NATO will weaken you”, but to The West will continue to punish Russia until Moscow stops its military campaign in Ukraine.
Biden himself has shown that he has changed his strategy, as he has continuously increased his attacks against President Putin, despite concerns that they will provoke a more harsh response from Moscow.
The question is whether the US changes in Russia’s response strategy can work or not. Every US president since Harry Truman has tried to pressure North Korea with sanctions, but so far, they haven’t been able to stop Pyongyang from expanding its nuclear arsenal, David E. Sanger, Veteran national security commentator from NY Times, evaluate.
Former US President Donald Trump once said that the 1,500 sanctions he imposed on Iran would force them to come to the negotiating table, begging for a deal. But that did not happen.
Aides to President Biden admit they understand that sanctions alone cannot help the US achieve its goals, but need to be combined with military and diplomatic pressure.
“The US has had a lot of trouble applying that strategy to smaller countries like Iran or North Korea. For Russia, which has a formidable nuclear arsenal, the risk is even greater.” , Sanger said.
Vu Hoang (According to CNN, NYTimes)
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