NewsUS influence on Ukraine war larger than perceived, American victory deemed financially beneficial: ISW report

US influence on Ukraine war larger than perceived, American victory deemed financially beneficial: ISW report

The HIMARS launchers are one of the better "gifts" for Ukraine from the USA.
The HIMARS launchers are one of the better "gifts" for Ukraine from the USA.
Images source: © Facebook | US Army

6:15 AM EST, December 15, 2023

The ISW has prepared a fascinating analysis of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict. The American think tank's timing is perfect, as there's a growing discussion about the West's weariness of the conflict and their diminishing aid packages for Kyiv.

Meanwhile, expert analyses of war and international relations leave no room for doubt. The worst-case scenario, in virtually every respect, is the defeat of Kyiv and NATO losing control over Eastern Europe. Analysts have put forth numerous arguments in favor of supporting the Ukrainians until they triumph.

The findings and forecasts are summarized in a report titled "Military-strategic and financial implications of Russia's victory".

As the Americans and Western countries contemplate further support for Kyiv and evaluate its cost, the ISW posits that "The United States has a significantly larger influence on Russia's war with Ukraine than most people realize". If the United States wants to cut costs, it will need to ensure that Kyiv prevails. Any other scenario could prove disastrous.

Today, this is a topic of discussion in Congress, especially from a financial perspective.

While stressing that Ukraine's defeat should not even be considered, the experts propose a series of compelling arguments. As a result, only victory and Russia's defeat should be considered. Prolonging the conflict or seeking peace at all costs won't be beneficial; it is likely to aid Russia in achieving its imperial objectives in the coming years.

ISW asserts that Russia can still conquer all of Ukraine, and its fate is hinged on support from the West.

A defeat in Kyiv would mean a triumphant Russian army, though debilitated, reaching the eastern border of NATO, stretching from the Black Sea to the Arctic Ocean. According to US intelligence sources, nearly 90 percent of the Russian army that invaded Ukraine in February 2022 has been annihilated with Western support. This, however, is only the first stage of the conflict.

Supporting Ukraine is more advantageous and cost-effective for the USA and Europe than allowing it to lose the war with Russia, argues ISW.

The Russians have been replenishing their human losses and expanding their industrial base to restore pre-war equipment levels. Their economy is prepared to transition into war mode. If Moscow is victorious, it will possess a more experienced and larger army than it had two years prior.

ISW also highlights that the power of sanctions is waning, and Russians have now adapted to live with them. They've managed to rebuild, modernize, and fortify their army. In addition, they are developing more advanced air defense systems capable of dealing with NATO equipment and effectively counteracting it. Presently, this is beyond Moscow's capability.

This is a consequence of a war which many have forgotten about. Nonetheless, it motivates progress and improvements, even in slow-to-catch-up Russia. As Americans contemplate the cost of further aid to Ukraine, the ISW maintains its stance. If Russia triumphs, halting its dominance would be much harder and costlier a few years from now than it is currently.

"The costs will be significantly higher than most people presently imagine" warn ISW analysts. They predict that it may be necessary to deploy the American army to Europe and bolster forces on the Old Continent, leading potentially to a diminishing influence in Asia or the Middle East.

Therefore, "any outcome of the war in Ukraine is better than Kyiv's defeat." This is why the Russians can be subdued now at a relatively low cost, effectively stalling them for years to come. "Freezing" the conflict isn't a viable option either, as that would give Russia the chance to return stronger, reignite the war with intensified force, and escalate the costs.

Supporting Ukraine on its path to victory and subsequently assisting in its reconstruction means building the largest and most effective allied force in Europe. An independent Ukraine can significantly contribute to the security and development of the Western economy, concludes ISW in its report.
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