(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The Pentagon reportedly doubts Ukrainian fighting capabilities, public support for U.S. military aid is plummeting, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened nuclear retaliation as he readies more troops for combat—yet the Biden administration continues its role in the war.
The latest developments in the war in Ukraine come this week on the heels of the U.S. authorizing transfers of Abrams tanks and long-range missiles to the Ukrainian government. Those weapons officials were ostensibly part of an effort to drive Russia entirely out of Ukraine—including Crimea, which has been Russian territory since Putin invaded it in 2014.
However, Pentagon officials reportedly said in a classified briefing last Thursday that Ukrainian forces are “unlikely” to be able to recapture Crimea. The latest Pentagon assessment follows comments from Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley, who said on Jan. 20 that it would be “very, very difficult” to entirely expel Russia from Ukraine.
While American tanks may not have increased Ukraine’s prospects for victory, they have drawn the ire of Putin. The Russian leader reportedly threatened nuclear retaliation in a Thursday speech commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany in Stalingrad.
“We aren’t sending tanks to their borders, but we have something to respond with, and it won’t be just about using armored vehicles. Everyone should understand this,” he reportedly said. “A modern war with Russia will be completely different.”
Putin’s warning was made the same day as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia is amassing troops for a major offensive.
The increasingly dangerous and dismal outlook for the war has public souring on its support for U.S. military aid, which has now topped $100 billion.
A Thursday article for antiwar.com noted that in March 2022, 49% of Republican voters believed the US was not giving enough aid to Ukraine and only 9% responded that Washington was sending too much support, according to Pew. Those numbers have now nearly reversed with 40% saying there is too much support for Kiev, while only 17% said the Biden administration is not doing enough.
Despite this, the Biden administration has given no public indication that it’s pursuing diplomacy with Russia. On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reportedly said that he received a message from Secretary of State Antony Blinken “that Russia should quit, and then everything will be fine.”
Lavrov reportedly responded to Blinken’s message by saying that he’s ready to listen to any “serious” proposal aimed at resolving the conflict.
The one major U.S. political figure calling for diplomacy is former President Donald Trump, who said Wednesday that if he were still commander-in-chief, he would “negotiate an end to this horrible and rapidly escalating war in 24 hours.”
“It’s far past the time for all parties involved to pursue a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine before this horrific catastrophe spirals out of control and leads to World War III,” he said.
“We must end this ridiculous war and demand peace in Ukraine now before it gets worse.”
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.