We’re not all Ukrainians now – POLITICO


  • We’re not all Ukrainians now
    L’article pointe l’écart entre la retenue relative des dirigeants occidentaux, qui ne donnent pas tout ce qu’elle veut à l’#Ukraine, et leurs discours, dans lesquels ils prétendent s’aligner sans réserve sur les objectifs ukrainiens et présentent la situation comme une guerre entre monde libre et autocratie. Cet écart est dangereux, selon les auteurs, pour plusieurs raisons.

    For one, it attracts domestic calls for escalation, including demands for maximal war aims, from the restoration of Crimea to direct military intervention.

    Secondly, the White House’s rhetoric also undermines its own refusal to comply with Ukraine’s demands for high-risk assistance in the form of no-fly zones, the complete economic shutdown of Russia or actual troop deployments, undercutting its own restraint.

    [...] Crucially, this rhetoric-policy gap could also raise excessive Ukrainian expectations of support. But those insisting the West should give Ukraine whatever it wants ignore that what Ukraine wants partly depends on what the West will give them — or at least what it says it will. And claims of fully aligned interests may fuel Ukrainian dreams of total victory that are probably untenable and only conducive to prolonging war.

    [...] The problem here isn’t helping Ukraine, it’s pretending the help is unconditional.

    [...] The idea that nations can heavily contribute to a war effort without any say in its execution is offensive. Those arming Ukraine may not be risking enough to suit Ukraine, but they aren’t risking nothing — the danger of Russian retaliation remains. And sanctions entail economic pain for those sanctioning as well as the sanctioned.

    • The War in Ukraine Is Getting Complicated, and America Isn’t Ready | THE EDITORIAL BOARD

      But as the war continues, Mr. Biden should also make clear to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his people that there is a limit to how far the United States and NATO will go to confront Russia, and limits to the arms, money and political support they can muster. It is imperative that the Ukrainian government’s decisions be based on a realistic assessment of its means and how much more destruction Ukraine can sustain.

      Confronting this reality may be painful, but it is not appeasement. This is what governments are duty bound to do, not chase after an illusory “win.” Russia will be feeling the pain of isolation and debilitating economic sanctions for years to come, and Mr. Putin will go down in history as a butcher. The challenge now is to shake off the euphoria, stop the taunting and focus on defining and completing the mission.

    • Ukraine’s Way Out

      But Kyiv’s right to fight for complete territorial sovereignty does not make doing so strategically wise. Nor should Ukraine’s remarkable success in repelling Russia’s initial advance be cause for overconfidence about the next phases of the conflict. Indeed, strategic pragmatism warrants a frank conversation between NATO and Ukraine about curbing Kyiv’s ambitions and settling for an outcome that falls short of “victory.”

    • What is America’s end-game for the war in Ukraine?

      Increasingly diplomats and analysts are debating how far Ukraine will go as the war drags on. America’s promises to leave the final borders up to Ukraine have left some allies uneasy, analysts said.

      Stefanini, Italy’s former ambassador to Nato, expresses concern at the lack of clarity over the eventual objectives. “Does it mean getting back to the pre-February 24 situation? Does it mean rolling back the territorial gains that Russia made in 2014? Does it mean regime change in Moscow?” he asks. “Nothing of that is clear.”

      Charap, of the Rand Institute, said the US and Ukraine’s interests are aligned on the war’s outcome, but that could change in the months ahead.

      “If they decide victory looks like something the US finds to be hugely escalatory, our interests may diverge. But we’re not there yet,” he said.