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Foreign Affairs Recommends To Give Up on Counter-Offensive, Look to the Long Run

May 11, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—In an article in the Council on Foreign Relations’ publication Foreign Affairs, “Beyond Ukraine’s Offensive” (with the subhead, “The West Needs To Prepare the Country’s Military for a Long War”), authors Michael Kofman and Rob Lee make the effort to shift the narrative away from the much-expected “spring offensive” in hopes of not losing their credibility entirely. It is becoming harder and harder to believe that Ukraine is inches away from re-taking all of its land, and running those demoralized Russians back to where they came from. Yesterday’s article is an example of those looking for a way to back out of the corner they’ve painted themselves into.

They write:

“Policymakers, however, have placed undue emphasis on the upcoming offensive without providing sufficient consideration of what will come afterward and whether Ukraine is well positioned for the next phase. It is critical that Ukraine’s Western partners develop a long-term theory of victory for Ukraine, since even in the best-case scenario, this upcoming offensive is unlikely to end the conflict.”

The article continues:

“By placing too many bets on the outcome of this offensive, Western countries have not effectively signaled their commitment to a prolonged effort.... For Ukraine to sustain momentum—and pressure—Western states must make a set of commitments and plans for what follows this operation, rather than maintain a wait-and-see approach.”

Kofman and Lee conclude: “The United States and Europe must make the necessary investments to support the war effort well beyond 2023, develop plans for successive operations—and avoid pinning their hopes on any single offensive effort.”

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