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Foreign Affairs Magazine Becomes the Latest To Realize Ukraine Can't Win

“Ukraine’s counteroffensive appears to have stalled.… At the same time, the political willingness to continue providing military and economic support to Ukraine has begun to erode in both the United States and Europe. These circumstances necessitate a comprehensive reappraisal of the current strategy that Ukraine and its partners are pursuing,” opens a Nov. 17 article by Richard Haass and Charles Kupchan in Foreign Affairs.

The article, “Redefining Success in Ukraine: A New Strategy Must Balance Means and Ends,” continues:

“Such a reassessment reveals an uncomfortable truth: namely, that Ukraine and the West are on an unsustainable trajectory, one characterized by a glaring mismatch between ends and the available means. Kiev’s war aims—the expulsion of Russian forces from Ukrainian land and the full restoration of its territorial integrity, including Crimea—remain legally and politically unassailable. But strategically they are out of reach, certainly for the near future and quite possibly beyond.”

These brainiacs—Haass is the President Emeritus of the Council of Foreign Relations, where Kupchan is a Senior Fellow in addition to being a professor at Georgetown University—have finally realized that “The time has come for Washington to lead efforts to forge a new policy that sets attainable goals and brings means and ends into alignment.”

They point out that if the West continues its present policy, “Ukraine’s military shows no signs of being able to break through Russia’s formidable defenses.” If the war drags on, “Time will not be on Ukraine’s side,” they acknowledge, even admitting that “Russia has actually gained more territory in 2023 than Ukraine has.”

Given that Ukraine’s stated goals of reconquering the Donbass and even Crimea are “unwinnable,” the authors propose instead that a ceasefire should be proposed.

The best opportunity for such a ceasefire, indeed, a peace, came in the spring of 2022, before pressure from the “West,” in such forms as Boris Johnson’s visit to Kiev, ended such discussions.

Haass and Kupchan are correct that Ukraine cannot win the war, and a path toward peace must be sought. Did it really take these supposed experts this long to realize that?