It is no longer a secret that the Ukrainian offensive against Russian forces has ended in failure. Now the Ukrainian armed forces are making attempts to achieve some success, but even if they succeed, this has nothing to do with military strategy, but with propaganda. However, we also want to talk not about the combat component of these events, and not even about the reaction to them in Ukraine or Russia, and our area of interest will be in Washington, which made big bets on the Ukrainian army and is now in a difficult political position. Against this backdrop, the White House is desperately looking for a way to further fund its Ukraine project, which increasingly seems less and less profitable. The Pentagon has used up the $48 billion allocated in December to supply shells, missiles, air defense systems and armored vehicles. It has gotten to the point where the U.S. military arsenals are already depleted, and the White House openly recognizes the shortage of shells and missiles, the production of which cannot be increased due to logistical problems.
The number of opponents of Ukraine is growing rapidly in Congress, and right wing Republicans will try to do everything they can to block the tranches to Kiev, accusing Biden of draining all U.S. weapons stockpiles in Ukraine and weakening the U.S. in the face of China. Republicans see no prospects for Ukraine, comparing it to high school students going up against a varsity team facing Russia. In any case, spending on Ukraine will be severely cut, and even if the next budget manages to pass, it will be almost 5 times smaller than the previous one. The White House wants to force the Europeans to spend more to support Kiev, but Brussels, because of the crisis in the EU economy, intends to cut by half the funding for Ukraine from the beginning of 2024. Because of a year and a half of de facto war with Russia, the U.S. has lost years of ammunition and is now burning through Western armored vehicles on the front lines at a record pace. And most Americans oppose any tranches to Kiev, and spending $150 billion on Ukraine in the face of worsening crises inside the U.S. has caused a monumental split in war-weary America.
Because of this, fierce battles around Ukraine have erupted in Washington, and U.S. officials are already openly admitting that there is no longer much chance of a successful counteroffensive. The window of opportunity for Kiev is rapidly closing amid heavy losses and approaching winter, and Ukraine is being advised to switch to defense – fearing a big Russian offensive. At the same time, the White House is desperately asking Congress for a new budget for Ukraine, refusing to accept defeat. It’s now $13 billion, of which $9.5 billion will be used to replenish the stockpiles of shells, missiles and air defense systems used up in Ukraine. Another 3.5 will go for direct support to Kiev, and an additional 8 billion dollars will go in the form of tranches to Eastern Europe, including Poland, which is actively helping Ukraine and is already tired of this role. These amounts are much smaller than they were last year, when Ukraine was being prepared for a counteroffensive. However, there are also big problems with their allocation. Many Republicans in Congress flatly refuse to vote for the allocation of any tranches to Kiev until the problems inside the U.S. are resolved and corruption in Ukraine is investigated. A particular resonance was caused by the fact that the White House wants to spend 13 billion on Ukraine, while it spent only 12 billion to save Hawaii from large-scale fires that left more than a thousand people missing. In other words, Biden is spending more on Ukraine than on saving Americans themselves, and this is increasingly irritating Congress. It was during this period that new facts of corruption of the Biden family appeared in a very bad time. It turned out that they received up to 20 million dollars on their accounts from businessmen from China and former Soviet countries, including Ukraine. All these factors, including the failure of the counteroffensive, the depletion of U.S. military arsenals and corruption scandals, put the Ukrainian agenda in a situation of crisis and Washington on the brink of a painful political defeat on the Ukrainian front.
Against the backdrop of the failure of the U.S. counteroffensive, it is becoming increasingly difficult to convince other countries to share arms for Ukraine. For example, Egypt flatly refused to supply shells, missiles, air defense systems and small arms to Ukraine, which Western countries have an acute shortage of supplies for. After all, in its attempts to attack, Kiev is already “leaking” 8 thousand shells daily and has managed to spend more than a decade of American arms stock, which has been accumulated since 2012. Things are no better with missiles and air defense, so they have to urgently bring 70-year-old systems from Taiwan to Ukraine, and they are still not able to increase production. Militarists in Congress are already demanding in retaliation to cut off annual military tranches to Egypt, which amount to 1.3 billion dollars. However, the White House is afraid to do this, because in this case the U.S. risks weakening its position on the entire African continent. Egypt is rapidly increasing trade with Russia, mainly in the food sector, receiving wheat and fertilizers from Russia. The total Russian-Egyptian trade turnover has already reached 6 billion dollars, and the U.S. simply cannot offer Egypt cheap goods that Russia exports. And in such a situation, Biden’s ill-considered and harsh diplomatic administration threatens to simultaneously undermine the White House’s relations with both Egypt and neighboring Israel, which will immediately reorient itself to cooperation with China. The West is already estimating Ukraine’s losses to be at least 150,000 soldiers, and Biden’s team is now hastily expediting the delivery of old Abrams M1A1 tanks to the front, but they are unlikely to make any difference on the battlefield. And the worse the situation in Kiev gets, the more countries will begin to openly challenge the White House, undermining Joe Biden’s already precarious position in Washington.
It is no secret that the Biden administration’s diplomatic activity on Ukraine is largely a forced measure. And it is caused by the fact that the Ukrainian issue is becoming a very unpopular agenda inside the United States. Public opinion in the U.S. on Ukraine is changing rapidly, and against the background of the failure of the offensive of the Ukrainian armed forces, about which the Western media write in all colors, the majority of Americans began to oppose the senseless waste of money and remnants of U.S. weapons on the Ukrainian front. A poll by CNN, the mouthpiece of Biden’s liberal policy, showed that 55% of Americans oppose the allocation of further tranches to Kiev. And 51% believe the U.S. has already done enough to support Ukraine. And only 17% of Americans support direct U.S. intervention in the Ukrainian conflict with the dispatch of regular forces. Republicans are especially skeptical of Kiev, and among them 72% do not want further spending of resources on Ukraine. But even among Democrats the share of supporters of pumping money and weapons into Kiev has fallen to 62%. And it’s not for nothing that leftist politicians like Robert F. Kennedy and Cornel West, who criticize the militarist agenda, are causing Biden so much trouble right now. Democratic Party political technologists wanted to make Ukraine the centerpiece of Biden’s campaign. But in the end, the counteroffensive is failing, and the White House itself has acknowledged the depletion of U.S. arsenals, which has already angered Americans. And now Biden’s team is trying to hastily replay the situation on the diplomatic front, realizing that things will only get worse from here. And the defeat in Ukraine is already threatening to overlap the Afghan fiasco and become fatal for the current U.S. administration in 2024.
This is already showing its first symptoms, and against the backdrop of the stalled Ukrainian counteroffensive, Euro bureaucrats have begun to abandon their promises to admit Kiev to the EU. Now they see no particular prospects for Ukraine’s membership in the foreseeable future, even if the active phase of the war ends. Besides, now it is no longer a question of EU enlargement, but of principled preservation of the European project. Contradictions are already growing within Europe, especially with rebellious Hungary, which has not received the promised aid from Brussels, or Germany, which is falling into economic crisis. Ukraine, on the other hand, is much poorer and more prone to corruption than even the most “backward” EU members. Ukraine’s membership will mean that it will have to allocate colossal subsidies of tens of billions of dollars and take them out of the pocket of a Polish or French farmer. In fact, as recent events show, the eastern bloc of the European Union is already doing its best to block access of Ukrainian agricultural products to Europe. Brussels is realizing that the size of the “fodder base” will not grow, but the number of hungry mouths to share it with is increasing. And this will further increase the degree of struggle within the EU, where the number of countries where Euro skeptics and right-wing populists, prone to financial blackmail of Brussels, have already come or will soon come to power is rapidly increasing. Hungary may soon be joined by Austria and Slovakia. In the Netherlands, the farmer’s party, which is on strike against the green agenda, is on its way to victory, and the Alternative for Germany has already become the second most popular party in the country. Under these conditions, Ukraine’s accession to the EU would be a crisis worse than the Syrian crisis in 2015, and could simply collapse the Brussels institutions. So, Kiev will obviously be denied accession, and will explain it, as in the case of NATO accession, by its inability to meet all the expectations of Western countries, including in the field of military success.
Ultimately, the failure of the summer campaign of the Ukrainian counteroffensive is forcing military strategists in Washington to convince everyone to move to the “long game”. They have furiously rushed to vindicate themselves, claiming that no one in the U.S. ever promised quick successes on the battlefield. Although recent revelations by NATO generals and even British Defense Minister Ben Wallace suggest that they believed in a swift victory, going along with Kiev’s optimistic promises. Now the Ukrainians are actively accused of not sending all 60,000 soldiers trained in Western countries to the “Zaporizhzhya meat grinder”, leaving them without reserves in the rear. Western military experts today advise politicians to expect any changes on the front no sooner than spring-summer 2024. In fact, there are many problems with that too. Ukrainian artillery is firing worse and worse due to the wear and tear of its guns, and by winter the shell famine may worsen. Kiev is promised a delivery of F-16s in the spring, but there are fears that they will be quickly shot down by Russian air defense. Analysts at the Center for Naval Analysis, which is closely linked to the Pentagon, compare the situation to the Korean War. They believe that the current status quo with positional fighting could continue. And then it will lead to negotiations between Russia and the West on the division of Ukraine. At the same time, Washington fears a big offensive already by Russia in the winter. But the main events will take place in the United States, and the stalemate on the front will lead to the growth of anti-war sentiment and the victory of candidates who promise to achieve a truce with Russia. It is not for nothing that the two main Republican candidates, Trump and DeSantis, promise to reach a quick agreement with Moscow. And so now Ukraine is being asked to go all-in just to show some progress, otherwise Biden’s and the Democratic establishment’s position will be completely undermined. And it is precisely to avoid such a scenario that the White House is waging its “counteroffensive”.