Defense expert Ko Kolijn has been explaining armed conflicts to the Dutch for almost fifty years. For NU.nl he follows the war in Ukraine and answers our (and your) questions. This time, he is debating whether Ukrainians should sit at the negotiating table. And what is America’s role in this?
Now that Kherson has been recaptured, you might think that the winter break in the long-awaited war has arrived. It is time to lick the wounds and sit down at the negotiating table to avoid costly wars. As the largest arms supplier, the US could target such a winter break.
But The New York Times It said it had not yet settled in Washington. US midterm electionsMiddle Ages) is gone without a splendid republican gain. So there is no question of a more frugal approach on the part of the Americans. President Zelensky also breathes a sigh of relief: Biden’s help will continue for a while.
General Mark Milley, the top military head of a key US security advisory group, is slowly pushing Ukraine to the negotiating table. According to him, there is no more logical time to negotiate than now. Some military analysts say Ukraine can’t make much of a profit and the Russians are choking. Both sides are now digging in further and further bloodshed is pointless.
‘Why winter break? Advance!’
But Biden isn’t far behind. He is counting his blessings after the Democratic victory in the Senate. And he is supported by soldiers who say that Ukrainian troops may not make much territorial gains in the ‘muddy’ autumn months, but they can still terrorize Russian soldiers in the ‘frozen’ winter months.
So no winter break, the thinking of the White House is to move forward if possible. At the same time, the US is also reaching out to the Kremlin. After all, guns cost money, so the sooner a deal can be closed, the better for the US Treasury.
U.S. Defense Adviser Jake Sullivan has admitted to calling his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev from time to time. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky does not rule out “real negotiations” but makes demands such as Putin’s departure or the return of Crimea and the Donets Basin to Ukraine impossible (for now).
Putin’s position weakened
Putin’s position has undoubtedly weakened. Everything was against him: military defeats, the inevitable criticism at home from supporters and opponents of the war, empty threats, the policy of circumventing the grain deal, increased reluctance on the part of great powers like China and India, economic sanctions, the expulsion of highly educated people and now again the ignominious retreat from Carson.
A nuclear confrontation with the US makes no sense to Putin. So the Russians were not sympathetic to the traditional November talks on nuclear weapons. Since 2011, these consultations have been held annually in the US-Russia group. There will be more talk behind the scenes.
In short: there is some movement, although all are doing their best to reduce the incentive to negotiate. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken says Zelensky should make the decision on his own after all. But in the meantime, Blinken is thinking more about Taiwan than the Donets Basin.
“Russia must not lose the war, but must be defeated for good”
But veteran military figures like former NATO general Ben Hodges say the U.S. must act now. They call for the delivery of special long-range missiles capable of covering the entire Black Sea fleet from the Russians from Ukraine Sevastopol (in Crimea) and Kherson.
By the way, let’s not forget what an influential realist like Professor John Mearsheimer says. on paper Foreign Affairs He wrote last summer that the United States had already decided by April that the Russians would not only lose this war, but be defeated for good.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Middle Ages Last week didn’t change my mind. Moreover, in the meantime the situation improved: Kharkiv and Gerson were later released.
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