How far will the US go to confront Russia in Ukraine?

By Elijah J. Magnier:

As the Russian attack on Ukrainian territory unfolded, most embassies in Kyiv withdrew in anticipation of a swift and overwhelming Kremlin victory. However, it soon became clear to the United States that the Russian army was not prepared and equipped to wage war over such vast and hostile terrain and facing a harsh resistance. The US-led Ukrainian forces, trained since 2014 to counter the Russian army and well-versed in modern warfare tactics, exposed severe weaknesses in the Russian military’s logistical supply lines. The US seized the opportunity, assured Ukraine of its unwavering support, and promised to make it part of the Western bloc once Russia was defeated. Since neither the US nor Russia can afford to lose the war, the fear remains of Washington’s determination to force Russia to use unconventional weapons.

In the first weeks before the war, the US reacted swiftly, setting up an operations centre at Ramstein, Germany, to monitor and direct the war effort, and planning to sever all trade and energy links between Europe and Russia. American diplomacy worked tirelessly to persuade European leaders, who had previously been wary of President Vladimir Putin, to rally their resources behind the US and take a firm stand against Russia. The US promised its European partners, former colonial masters, that a post-war Russia would be transformed similarly to the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. It assured them that Russia would be divided into provinces, that Putin would be replaced and that one of the world’s most resource-rich regions would be carved up. The prospect of sharing the spoils of war enticed European nations, which had suffered years of economic strain from the COVID-19 pandemic and were eager to revive their economies. Although many hesitated in the early months of the war, the poor performance of the Russian army in the early stages convinced the European nations to join forces, as no one wanted to be left out of the division of the Russian pie.

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