https://hotair.com/allahpundit/2022/06/16/is-the-white-house-starting-to-give-up-on-ukraine-n476708

The short answer: No, obviously not. Another billion dollars in U.S. military aid to Kiev was announced just yesterday.

In fact, this morning brought a surprising show of western solidarity — a visit by the leaders of Germany, France, and Italy to the capital to meet with Zelensky in person. Why, just look how excited he was to greet Olaf Scholz, whose government talked tough about Russia in the first days of the war and has done next to nothing about it ever since.

He was even more thrilled to see Macron:

“The French have gone from ‘Russia can’t be humiliated’ to wanting ‘total victory’ for Ukraine within the space of like a week. I’m so confused,” said one Twitter pal. That makes two of us. The latest from French sources is that they now want Ukraine to take back Crimea too. Huh?

Anyway, the longer answer: The White House isn’t giving up but they seem to have reached the point of wondering when it might be time to give up.

U.S. officials are increasingly concerned that the trajectory of the war in Ukraine is untenable and are quietly discussing whether President Volodymyr Zelenskyy should temper his hard-line public position that no territory will ever be ceded to Russia as part of an agreement to end the war, according to seven current U.S. officials, former U.S. officials and European officials…

European officials are more openly discussing their preference that Zelenskyy enter into negotiations with Russia and consider relinquishing some territory Russia has gained in its latest invasion. Russia first invaded Ukraine in 2014 and annexed Crimea…

While White House officials are loath to be seen as pressuring Ukraine to agree to a deal with Russia that gives up some territory, there is growing concern that Zelenskyy’s public posture that there can be no deal unless all Russian troops leave Ukraine is unsustainable.

That comes from an NBC story about Biden being angry with Lloyd Austin and Tony Blinken after they proclaimed during their visit to Kiev that America’s goals were a Ukrainian victory and a weakened Russia. Biden thought that went too far, and no wonder. It sounds like Washington no longer believes Ukraine can win.

Relatedly, the goodwill visit today from Scholz and Macron may have had an ulterior motive aimed at weakening Ukraine’s will to keep fighting. “The European Union is seriously considering starting Ukraine along a path to membership, despite its history of corruption and political instability, which diplomats say might help entice Ukraine into agreeing to a negotiated end to the fighting,” the Times reports. There’s an implicit bargain in that: Cede the Donbas to Putin in the name of ending the war and what’s left of Ukraine will be fully integrated into the EU, with all the economic benefits that would entail. The French talk of fighting all the way to Crimea may be nothing more than a smokescreen designed to conceal Macron’s true intentions.

It’s anyone’s guess whether Putin would agree to that deal at this point, though. Particularly given the evidence that western support for Kiev is beginning to waver. If he can just hang on in the east until Ukraine’s NATO allies buckle, he might be able to take the country after all.

The Ukrainians have listened closely to Biden’s rhetoric lately and detect a nascent attempt to blame them for their eventual defeat. If true, that’s another bad sign that the White House is looking for reasons to scale back material support. “If only the Ukrainians had taken the threat more seriously at the start, we wouldn’t have to give up on them now!”

Senior Ukrainian officials believe that President Biden is ramping up an effort to fault Kyiv for failing to heed his pre-invasion warning about Russian war plans — and thus deflect from his administration’s own inability to deter the invasion, a former U.S. official who speaks regularly with top Ukrainian officials told National Review…

During remarks at a Democratic fundraiser Friday in Los Angeles, Biden reportedly said that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky failed to listen to his warnings about the imminent Russian invasion. “Nothing like this has happened since World War II. I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating,” he said, according to an Associated Press report. “But I knew we had data to sustain” the prediction that Putin “was going to go in, off the border.” He added, “There was no doubt, and Zelensky didn’t want to hear it.”

In an interview this week, the former U.S. government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that officials in Kyiv see Biden’s remarks as the “start of a process to lay blame on them.”

The Ukrainians are reportedly “furious” at the insinuation. It’s true that they downplayed the warnings of an imminent Russian invasion initially, they say, but that’s because they were getting mixed signals from the United States about the extent of the threat. The White House published dire intelligence about a looming war this past winter — but it didn’t ramp up weapons to Ukraine at the time and didn’t move quickly to sanction Russia. Presumably Team Biden would say that they didn’t want to move too soon to counter Putin at the time in hopes that, by playing it cool, he might think better of attacking Ukraine and pull back. The Ukrainians believe that logic is silly, though. If the U.S. wanted to show Russia that the west meant business about resisting an invasion, it should have begun taking deterrent measures before the first shot was fired.

The fact that we’re now in a “blame game” stage suggests that neither the U.S. nor Ukraine feels great about where the war is headed. “Some Western officials say Mr. Zelensky may not have a viable strategy to win the war,” the Times recently remarked, with understatement.

U.S. officials continue to say they won’t tell the Ukrainians how to negotiate and that it’s up to Kiev to decide when they’ve had enough. But that politely overlooks the fact that cutting off military aid would force Zelensky to the bargaining table without the White House ever needing to formally demand that he get there. Frankly, although it’s not discussed publicly (for obvious reasons), the problem of keeping Ukraine supplied at this point may be less a matter of western allies not wanting to defeat Russia than those allies simply running out of weapons to provide. The Ukrainians have been trained on Soviet-era weapons but those weapons are in short supply in the west and getting shorter by the day. The U.S. is training them on operating high-tech western weapons systems as I write this, but that training takes time and has been frustrating to some Ukrainian troops in the field. CNN says some have declined to use U.S. Switchblade drones because they’re too complicated to control.

Even when Ukraine finds western weapons useful, the existing stockpiles aren’t inexhaustible. “Western governments — including the United States — have become concerned that the flow of donated weapons to Ukraine has depleted national stockpiles critical to their own defense,” CNN reports, alarmingly. One retired U.S. lieutenant colonel wrote this week that “It would be a near-impossible feat for the West to provide enough heavy weaponry to Ukraine – and the massive volumes of large-caliber artillery ammunition the howitzers need – that would bring back into balance the major disadvantage Ukraine has in firepower. Even the modern rocket launchers the U.S. and UK recently committed will not materially change the negative balance for Kyiv.”

The war is a race to see which side runs out of men and munitions first. Bad vibes for Ukraine right now after weeks of relentless artillery strikes in the east. I’ll leave you with this.

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