Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
In the first few weeks, Russia failed to end the war. Nor did the US defeat the Kremlin and cripple the Russian economy in the first weeks or months. Both sides failed to achieve their initial objectives. As a result, the Russians reduced their initial goal to a more reasonable and achievable one. In addition, the US-led NATO countries decided to fully engage in the fight against Russia in a new style of warfare, using the Ukrainian army as a ground force while doing all the military planning, attacks and logistical supplies. They have also been gradually supplying Ukraine with advanced weapons, from HIMARS/M270s to Patriot missiles and more Western tanks, which will soon reach Kyiv. The aim is to confirm NATO’s commitment to keeping the war going as long as possible. At the same time, Ukraine is prepared to continue fighting and ignore the renewed diplomacy, knowing that it will not be able to defeat Russia on the battlefield and realising that it is fighting a proxy war. Indeed, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has clearly stated that “his country is committed to NATO’s mission to eliminate the Russian threat” and that “it is its soldiers, not NATO personnel, who are sacrificing their blood for this goal”. Is there a horizon for ending the war in Europe, or will it escalate further?
In July 1950, the Korean War broke out between the North and the South, triggering direct US intervention in the war and the dispatch of General Douglas MacArthur to lead the battle at the head of his soldiers. The war between the two Koreas lasted three years. Neither side achieved its objectives. North Korea failed to convert the South to communism, and the US failed to rid North Korea of communism. No peace treaty was signed, and the two sides still considered themselves to be at war. This war resulted in terrible casualties, with two and a half million Koreans and Chinese killed, including 36,568 US soldiers and 103,284 wounded. The money the US spent on the Korean War (in 2019 dollars) is estimated at $390 billion.
In the 18 years of the Vietnam War, the US spent about $844 billion (in 2019 dollars) and lost 58,000 soldiers. The 20-year war in Afghanistan killed 2,300 troops and cost Washington $910 billion. The US invasion of Iraq in 2003, which lasted eight years, cost the US more than a trillion dollars and resulted in the deaths of 4,400 soldiers.
Consequently, what the US is spending on the Ukrainian war today – around $50-60 billion – is small compared to what it has spent on previous US wars. More importantly, the proxy war in Ukraine does not cost the lives of American soldiers, even though they are directly attached to the US Central Command in Germany, directing the war from the US command and control centre. Only Ukrainians (regardless of the mercenaries of various nationalities) are being killed to achieve NATO’s objective, as confirmed by the Ukrainian defence minister.Consequently, as long as President Joe Biden is in power, determined to fight Russia (and to subjugate China as a primary goal after distancing it from Moscow), and as long as Ukraine is willing to make heavy sacrifices and accept the destruction of infrastructure and the loss of some 100,000 square kilometres, there is no sign that the fighting in Ukraine will stop.
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