Biden Admin Forever Wars Ukraine

Washington, Allies Plan for a Long War Against Russia in Ukraine

By Kyle Anzalone / AntiWar.com

The Washington Post reports the White House is planning for an extended conflict in Ukraine. Leaders in NATO, the UK and Germany have joined the US in support of a long war. However, there is anxiety among some in the Western alliance that war fatigue will set in and support for Kiev will dry up.

The Post reported an unnamed senior State Department official said, “Biden administration officials had discussed the possibility of a protracted conflict with global spill-over effects even before February, as U.S. intelligence suggested Putin was preparing to invade.”

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said, “We’re here to dig in our spurs.” Austin made the comment during a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. At the conference, the defense secretary announced Germany was sending long-range rockets to Kiev, and Slovakia was sending Mi-series helicopters.

The White House followed the conference by announcing a $1 billion weapons transfer to Ukraine. The package includes Harpoon anti-ship missiles and 155MM howitzers. On Friday, Ukrainian officials claimed a Harpoon missile was used to sink a Russian tug boat in the Black Sea. In a now-deleted tweet, a Ukrainian official said that Western countries were planning to arm Ukraine with the anti-ship missiles to sink Russian ships in the Black Sea.

On Sunday, NATO Secretary-General Jen Stoltenberg said, “We must prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not let up in supporting Ukraine.” He added, “Even if the costs are high, not only for military support, also because of rising energy and food prices.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his second trip to Keiv since Russia invaded on February 24. While meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Johnson pledged the UK would train 10,000 Ukrainian troops every 120 days. “The UK is with you, and we will be with you until you ultimately prevail,” Johnson said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz indicated Ukraine should expect more support from the West. He said at an upcoming Group of Seven summit the attendees will make clear Kiev can expect to receive the support it needs “for as long as necessary.”

The Washington Post report says the White House hopes transferring the increasing advanced weapons to Ukraine will lead to a negotiated settlement. However, the weapons seem to have emboldened officials in Kiev who now want an outright military victory.

Last week, Zelensky said his forces would reclaim the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014. “We will liberate our Crimea!” he said in a video address. In a separate speech, Zelensky noted, “There is a direct correlation: the more powerful weapons we receive, the faster we can liberate our people, our land.” A top aide to Zelensky said that if Ukraine receives heavy weaponry soon, the war could be won in three to six months.

Ukrainian leaders misreading the White House’s intentions does not appear to be changing the Biden administration’s plans. Politico reports the next weapons package to Ukraine will include four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMRAS). David Arakhamia, the majority leader of Ukraine’s parliament and Keiv’s top negotiator, said the war was transforming into a “distance fight,” and a supply of long-range artillery was essential.

However, Kiev is concerned some of its NATO partners are not committed to the long-term fight and will succumb to “war fatigue.” Zelensky said, “The fatigue is growing, people want some kind of outcome (that is beneficial) for themselves, and we want (another) outcome for ourselves.”

While Ukraine is concerned about losing support, it’s unclear how long it can keep fighting Russia in a lengthy war. Last week, Chair of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley stated the numbers favor Russia. “In terms of artillery, they do outnumber, they out-gun and out-range,” he said.

A UK defense ministry daily assessment said Ukraine was suffering desertions among its ranks. “Combat units from both sides are committed to intense combat in the Donbas and are likely experiencing variable morale.” It continued, “Ukrainian forces have likely suffered desertions in recent weeks.”

Ukrainian forces are also taking high losses in battle. Arakhamia recently assessed casualties to be as high as 1,000 a day with 500 deaths.

Oleksandra “Sasha” Ustinova, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, told Politico that her countrymen are being exhausted by the war. “One of the strategies the foreign partners are looking at is exhausting Putin. I’m sorry, we are exhausting our own people. We are literally losing our people,” she said.

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of Antiwar.com, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.

25 comments

  1. What’s happening in Ukraine was planned by the Clintons in the 90s. Putin makes all our presidents look like idiots by comparison.

    1. Putin makes Joe Biden look like an idiot? Why?
      Just because his Russian oil and natural gas embargo created a global market shortage and gas is now $9.00 a gallon in Frisco and virtually everything shipped has $inflated?!
      And the Russian Ruble is worth more now than before the Embargo? And Putin and Xi of China have a “start of a beautiful friendship”?

  2. Giving weapons and training to Ukraine means partisan involvement in the war. Russia knows this. Zelenensky knows this. Zelensky wants to dictate how the war will be fought. He might be an egomaniac. People continue to suffer. Negotiation or total victory? If the latter is the goal, massive suffering and escalation.

  3. The only news here is Germany. The U.S. said months ago that it’s goal was to weaken Russia and remove Putin, not to end the war. Boris Johnson went to Ukraine to tell Zelensky not to negotiate an end to the war. Nothing new here.

  4. The US can’t stop itself. This war won’t end until the ICBMs are flying.

    1. @Miatadon
      I know! This is the scariest time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, and most people don’t even know it. I guess people will just go on with business as usual until the missiles are flying, at which point it will be way too late.

  5. Once again we see how the global capitalist system causes war. A moneyless, stateless and leaderless global socialist society will simply do away with this present waste of life and resources!

    1. @Paul Azzario
      War is caused by civilization, not capitalism. Capitalism might make it worse or cause more wars, but that’s it.

      1. @george simmel
        Maybe the cancer known as capitalism causes MORE war, but war is caused by civilization. There were wars thousands of years before capitalism.

  6. Washington’s plan failed along with their sanctions. Now they are winging it with no clear purpose or plan. Washington and the EU remind me of a fish flopping on the dock on a hot summer’s day. Their fate and our own will likely be similar too.

    It’s what happens when you allow your society to be run by ruthless, arrogant, greedy incompetent psychopaths.

    1. @JustAMaverick
      And it’s what happens when you build a society on greed, selfishness, and materialism (with a some religious fanaticism thrown in).

  7. Washington Post : “The Whitehouse hopes transferring increasingly advanced weapons systems to Ukraine will lead to a negotiated settlement.” The Stanley Kubrick classic Dr. Strangelove – Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb was originally conceived as a drama, not a comedy. But the shear – and terrifying – absurdity of Washington and the U. S. military in the nuclear age necessated a comical approach. In the current age The United States actually – or disingenuously – presents massively arming and funding a country fighting a hopeless war against a far more powerful adversary will lead to…. diplomacy? One literally can’t make this stuff up. It’s 100 minutes to midnight according to The Bulletin
    Of Atomic Scientists and the U.S. is waging a proxy war against the most nuclear armed nation on the planet; while triggering a global economic meltdown. The only thing that’s certain is that the arms industry and the ghouls on Wall Street are flying high and Washington wants to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian. The United States at this point in history is punch drunk from one foreign policy disaster after another and gives not a wit about the resulting fallout of horror and death. As the world collapses around us due to the avarice and shortsightedness of a ruling minority, the rest of us (beginning, of course, with the most bereft and vulnerable) are going down with them.

  8. “While meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Johnson pledged the UK would train 10,000 Ukrainian troops every 120 days. “The UK is with you, and we will be with you until you ultimately prevail,” Johnson said.”

    “Ukrainian forces are also taking high losses in battle. Arakhamia recently assessed casualties to be as high as 1,000 a day with 500 deaths.”

    Do the math. 500 killed per day means 10,000 killed in 20 days. BoJo and the UK will train 10,000 Ukrainians in 120 days to replace the 60,000 killed over the same period?? That’s the strategy?? Fight til the last Ukrainian!

    Ukraine needs to surrender now, the West needs to help them negotiate an end to the killing and destruction, even though it may well mean the end of Ukraine as an independent state. And the West may well have to surrender in its economic war with Russia at the same time.

    1. @forceOfHabit
      Top U.S. administration officials have said publicly that their goals are to weaken Russia and to get Putin out of office. The U.S. doesn’t care about Ukraine or Ukrainians except as they’re used for the U.S. geopolitical purposes.

  9. The only new thing here is that within span of one week two competing factions of neocons and their NATO EU minions published their two different ideas paths, how to escalate total aggression against Russia. In WaPo and NYT pieces they provided some scant details of US war policies that supposedly could more efficiently achieve the same common goal of disintegration of Russian state.

    There is no faction in WH or among western elites who would seek any kind of equitable peace and cooperation in the multipolar globalization framework even at level that was in part achieved during Cold War. Such US political reality did not change a bit for two decades of Putin’s rule. Trump however misguided, tried to change this paradigm of US foreign policy, not to avail.

    All neocons are delusional and suicidal (they want us to commit suicide) and hence must be locked up before they annihilate world because they will never stop warmongering as they all are in Brzezinski torpor.

    They cannot be bargain with or reason with as they are US imperial terminators of freedom to self determination of nations worldwide. (Not that the other elites are for it, they just try not to lie about it as much as the west)

    Major neocon faction always wanted policies of total political isolation, and economic annihilation of Russian state to become major trust in US/western offensive strategy which was being prepared at least since2014 when Russia was subjected to escalating sanctions at fourth worse levels in the world. Today Russia is number one in exposure to western sanctions.

    The shooting war according to the neocon plan was not supposedly to defeat Russia militarily (impossible without tremendous cost as it is a nuclear power) but to serve as a pretext for unleashing of devastating economic war. And that was what actually happened. Kiev regime supposed to attack Donbas to provoke Russia and they did it a little too early.

    Unfortunately for neocons such strategy failed already before 2022 and previous sanctions did not kill Russia, they only made her stronger and much more independent economically and more connected worldwide outside of western sphere of influence.

    Putin understood that best economic weapon against west in this economic war was a weapon of dedollarization of global trade and attack on Petrodollar by joining OPEC+.

    To do that Russia stock up on Gold, set up in 2017 Sant Petersburg crude oil producer Ruble benchmark and in the same time creating in coordination with China consumer Yuan crude oil benchmark in Shanghai establishing mechanism of dropping Dollar and Euro from global energy trade.

    PetroRuble and PetroYuan were born, meaning that value both of those two is now backed by oil.

    Russia already demands all oil accounts settled in Rubles or Yuans as most of foaming with hatred EU did already.

    At the very moment in the near future when Chinese demand to pay for their oil, minerals, and food products purchases or sales in Yuans or Rubles western currencies and financial system will completely collapse. Most of the global capital will flee into Chinese and Russian financial investments instruments. It does not happen in large scale now because such complex instruments are not ready, just being developed.

    Today’s oil prices are not only the result of unprecedented self inflicted western sanctions on Russian oil trade but a deliberate counter offensive of Russia, China with willing participation of Saudis.

    MBS as de facto absolute ruler of Kingdom was personally insulted by the Biden calling Saudis exactly the same names as he called Russia and Putin : thug, murderer, a pariah state, and a gas station with cruel amusement park mascaraing as a country.

    The de facto pact between Putin and MBS that will spell doom to US economy was a crown achievement of Biden “diplomacy” or rather imperial hubris of ignorance and impudence. So was pact between Xi and Putin both presidents for life.

    In fact recently and shockingly it was not a pivot of Saudis to Israel but realizing weakness of US economic and military position , pivot of Israel, having great relations with China, toward Saudis facing common enemy Iran.

    Now and in foreseeable future we will be paying for it at gas stations while in Russia gas prices are dropping and inflation hit zero in May.

    In 2022 Russia established, what amounts to Ruble and Yuan benchmarks, in sphere are agriculture which will obliterate US agricultural exports. Sanctioning dollar transactions means killing dollar.

    Over hundred countries in the world signed up for those benchmarks and trade freely with Russia by taking credit in Yuans in Chinese banks within framework of Chinese led replacement of IMF.

    US and EU neocon driven economic war is a disaster.

    Therefore in long American tradition they doubled down.

    In recent NYT piece they are implying that hot war in a Ukraine failed to support total economic war and must be curtailed by freezing the conflict or by temporary territorial concessions so Ukrainian army rebuilds itself with western weapons and training to fight another day. Exactly what they did and failed in last eight years. That’s what they call prolonged war.

    They simply double down on their failure and instead blame warmongering neocons of failure to hit Russia militarily hard enough or even to march on Moscow to precipitate double economic punch and Putin’s political knockout.

    The utter Failure in last two decades is American neocons’ middle name.

  10. “The Washington Post report says the White House hopes transferring the increasing advanced weapons to Ukraine will lead to a negotiated settlement”

    What a crock – “However, the weapons seem to have emboldened officials in Kiev who now want an outright military victory.” Of course they did – this is not rocket science – “Hey, Volodymyr, don’t negotiate, we will give you lots of weapons, and you can win!” And faced with the prospect of winning a war, why would any comedian turned Pres give up the opportunity to be a “hero”, especially one who had been pumped up by being flown all over giving speeches, meeting with heads of state, the darling of the media , etc –

    Wonder how long it will take, how many and how much more will be lost – before he finally realizes that there is no “winning” – that the “allies” knew that and just wanted to make the war last as long as possible for their own ends …

  11. there is no planning. amerikans do not learn from mistakes errors and previous defeats the prefer to install moron prez.. like Obama, trump biden …the contrast between civilized nations and the decayed angloshere, coca colonized Western Europe now isolated morally, geopolitically economically and militarily from Asia, Africa latin amerika is now obvious—only these failing isolated nations sanction Russia/China
    Russia has terminated the amerikan nazi war in ukraine; ukies will lose more territory and infrastructure until they realize they have no more nation….their nazi appetites—all decisions made in Washington— continue to reduce ukie territory. the ukie troops now demoralized defeated, most foreign mercenaries defecting…the ultimate result will be a small irrelevant or no ukraine—this depends upon the extent to which amerikan humiliation is tolerated

  12. Another forever war? Afghanistan war cost about $2 trillion and Iraq war cost over $2 trillion, so why not a proxy Ukraine war for another $ 2 trillion.
    Covid was a huge disaster for my finances and I am sure Joe’s mishandling and mis management of the whole mess will be a greater disaster for me.
    Has anyone under 40 years old experienced this high inflation, and interest rates? Or stock markets that crash regularly, or housing about to wobble, or unrelenting mass shootings and gun violence??
    Experts expect high interest rates to create a recession by spring of 2024, just in time for elections.

    Maybe we could be highly distracted by a nice war with China, Taiwan is easily manipulated to do what ever the Golden Billion wants. Putin refers to the population of the Golden Billion as North American, Europe ( minus Russia), and Japan. The majority of the world is not Golden and adds up to 6.5 billion or 86%, the majority opposes the West or is intimidated to be neutral.
    Or
    Maybe huge migration due to deadly heat will cause the West to be distracted from war, it will be interesting.

  13. Does it occur to anyone here that Russia, China and most of the world have different plans? Does it even cross their minds that it no longer matters what the US wants? Times have changed. The US,/UK have been self-destructing since the Reagan/Thatcher years, closing in on collapse. By contrast, Russia and China have been rebuilding, growing. Americans won’t believe it today, but all the hubris they can muster isn’t going to change this.

  14. It must be true that one rises to the level of one’s incompetence, according to the Peter Principle.
    I think Lloyd Austin, the US Secretary of Defense, meant that the US government was going to “dig in its heels.” If you “dig in your spurs,” you want to make your horse go faster.
    I doubt that he knows the difference.

    1. @Susan Mercurio
      Only a cruel person would dig spurs into the side of a horse. You can easily train horses to run by sounds you make, and if the horse knows you well enough it will know if you want to run fast. I know this is off topic here, but I love horses!

  15. Is there even one adult in the “leadership” of our government? I cannot think of one. It is certainly not Biden. It is certainly not Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin. The entire State Department is infested with warmongering neo-cons, thanks to Biden’s bad judgment. The entire foreign policy of the US reminds me of the Three Little Pigs story, with the US playing, of course, the role of the Big Bad Wolf. Now the Big Bad Wolf has found an enemy (Russia) which, like the Little Pig who built his house out of brick, can fight back and it does not know how to deal with this. All the US blowhards know to do is make more threats and look for ways to escalate the conflict. The crucial difference between the Little Pigs story and our sad state of affairs, of course, is the Big Bad Wolf did not have nuclear weapons. I think the damn fools in Washington are stupid enough to start a nuclear war.

    1. @Jim Thomas
      Nuclear war is the big concern here. All sides have enough Dr. Strangeloves and General Rippers for it to happen, and the longer this fighting goes on, the higher the chance of some psycho launching a nuke.

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