The conflict in Ukraine will hurt everyone, including the United States itself, the columnist writes WP Katrina vanden Hevel. It is in Washington’s interest to help end the crisis, but instead Biden announces new “aid” to Kyiv.
What are the US goals in the war in Ukraine? Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently declaredthat the United States wants “Russia to be weakened to the point where it cannot do what it did during the invasion of Ukraine.” The US commitment to achieving this goal has been substantial. Congress passed almost unanimously Lend-Lease Act to Protect Democracy in Ukraine, citing the “arsenal of democracy” we provided the UK during World War II. President Biden asks for more help in $33 billion. When gathered defense ministers from some 40 countries at Ramstein Air Base in Germany last month, the focus was not on a peaceful settlement but on an outright victory for Ukraine, or at least a “permanent weakening” of Russia’s military power.
But as the violence continues, the war fever escalates, and we need to be clear about our goals. Commitment to a protracted and exhausting proxy war with Russia would have serious implications not only for the Ukrainian people, but also for the security interests of the United States and its allies.
Active resistance of Ukrainians Russian invasion should not hide from us the monstrous loss of life and property. A staggering 28% of Ukraine’s population is reported to have been moved either within the country or abroad. If the war drags on, this share will grow.
About a third basic infrastructure Ukraine – roads, railways, bridges – were damaged or destroyed. This destruction will continue. According to forecasts, this year the Ukrainian economy will be reduced almost half. Even if the war stops tomorrow, it will take years and years to restore and return to pre-war levels of production. hundreds of billions of dollars.
Moreover, at a time when the global economy has already been shaken by the pandemic coronavirus, this war and the sanctions imposed on Russia are exacerbating global turmoil. Last year Russia was the largest in the world exporter of natural gas, the second largest exporter of crude oil and the third largest exporter of coal. It leads the world in uranium enrichment for nuclear power plants. Not surprising, that fuel prices rose sharply after the invasion. Our allies in Europe have suffered especially hard. US citizens, meanwhile, are suffering from rising prices in the global markets for steel, aluminum, car batteries, computer chips, and more. This will inevitably begin to undermine support for the war, as well as the rising cost of maintaining it.
According to of the UN World Food Programme, Russia and Ukraine together supply 30% of