Moon of Alabama [MoA}
Yesterday, at 9:46 local time, Strana published (machine translation):
Today, President Volodymyr Zelensky will address US senators via video link with a request to approve financial assistance to Ukraine. …
Twelve hours later, at 21:43 local time, this piece came out:
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky canceled his speech to lawmakers scheduled for today at the last moment. This was announced by the head of the Democratic majority in the US Senate, Chuck Schumer.”By the way, Zelensky was not able to join our briefing at 15:00 (22:00 Kiev time) – something happened at the last minute,” Schumer said.
Well, yes, something had happened:
President Biden’s urgent push to replenish Ukraine’s war chest and send aid to Israel is on the brink of collapse in the Senate, where Republicans are prepared on Wednesday to block the funding unless Democrats agree to add strict measures to clamp down on migration at the U.S. border with Mexico.A classified briefing with administration officials called to shore up support devolved into a partisan screaming match on Tuesday afternoon, with Republicans angrily accusing Democrats of trying to steamroller over their demands for a border crackdown.
It would have been easy for the Democrats to commit a few billions for border security. But Biden wants to end the war in Ukraine. Starving it of money is the easiest way to push it towards negotiations.
Cut through the dull ramblings of some commentators here and you’ll see that others have been stating this for months.
In fact, this was a position that the US took last year; Biden has stated several times that the decision to negotiate was for Ukraine to make. But to avoid accusations of appeasement to the Russians, the US were explicitly implicit. For example, they were clear that there would be no NATO membership, no timetable to NATO membership for Ukraine whilst it remained at war with Russia. So it followed, negotiate peace with Russia and then we’ll talk about membership.
But this didn’t work. With the guns, money and celebrity endorsements still rolling in, Zelensky wanted more war.
So now the Americans are performing some clownish spectacle where they have to block their own support to Ukraine under the guise of some Government funding deadlock, just so they don’t have to directly tell the Ukrainians that the game is up and they need to negotiate.
As the RAND study correctly identifies, the downside to withdrawing support to force negotiations is that the Russians may see this as an opportunity to push forward. So the US Government is doing some ‘will they, won’t they’ dance on the funding in the hope it will keep the Russians in check.
Did the US ever really want or expect the Ukrainian counteroffensive to succeed? This remains to be seen. Supplying Ukrainians with missiles that allowed them to recently target a grouping of parked KA-52 Russian helicopters after they’d already been used to decimate the Ukrainian counterattack suggests not.
Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 6 2023 12:52 utc | 20