Times via marxmail//”America and Its Allies Want to Bleed Russia. They Really Shouldn’t.”

Here are the critical parts of this article, which says that the US is going too far.. The entire premise is based on the idea that a compromise is possible based on Zelensky’s offer of Ukrainian neutrality. What the author ignores is the fact that that offer was in effect rejected when Putin forbade the Russian news media from publicizing that offer. The author must know this, so what is he saying in effect? He’s saying that the US should pull back and allow Putin’s army to seize more territory than it had after 2014, just so long as they don’t go too far. Even from a US strategic point of view this is short sighted since this would leave Putin strengthened and as soon his military recovers he’ll go for even more. As for the Ukrainian people – who cares about them? Not the US capitalists and, evidently, not the majority of socialists in the West either! On that they are united. Here’s the key sections of the article:

“Top officials have made that quite clear. The U.S. secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, has said the goal is “to see Russia weakened.” The speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, said Ukraine is defending “democracy writ large for the world.” Britain’s foreign minister, Liz Truss, was explicit about widening the conflict to take in Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia, such as Crimea, when she spoke of evicting Russia from “the whole of Ukraine.” This is both an expansion of the battlefield and a transformation of the war.

Whereas once the primary Western objective was to defend against the invasion, it has become the permanent strategic attrition of Russia. The outline of the new policy began to emerge on April 13, when the Pentagon called a convocation of the eight biggest American arms companies to prepare arms transfers on a grand scale. The result was the pledge made by President Biden on April 28 that the United States would provide four times as much military aid to Ukraine as it had already supplied since the beginning of the conflict — a promise made good by a proposed aid package for Ukraine worth $39.8 billion.

This strategic shift has coincided with the abandonment of diplomatic efforts. Negotiations between Ukraine and Russia were always fraught but contained moments of promise. They have now stalled completely. Russia bears its fair share of responsibility, of course. But European channels to Moscow have been all but severed, and there is no serious effort from the United States to seek diplomatic progress, let alone cease-fires.

When I was in Ukraine during the first weeks of the war, even staunch Ukrainian nationalists expressed views far more pragmatic than those that are routine in America now. Talk of neutral status for Ukraine and internationally monitored plebiscites in Donetsk and Luhansk has been jettisoned in favor of bombast and grandstanding.

The war was dangerous and destructive enough in its initial form. The combination of expanded strategic aims and scotched negotiations has made it more dangerous still. At present, the only message to Russia is: There is no way out. Though President Vladimir Putin did not declare general conscription in his Victory Day speech on May 9, a conventional escalation of this kind is still possible.

Nuclear weapons are discussed in easy tones, not least on Russian television. The risk of cities being reduced to corium remains low without NATO deployment in Ukraine, but accident and miscalculation cannot be discounted. And the conflict takes place at a time when most of the Cold War arms control agreements between the United States and Russia have been allowed to lapse.

A weakened Russia was a likely outcome of the war even before the shift in U.S. policy. Russia’s economic position has deteriorated. Far from a commodity superpower, its undersized domestic industry is struggling and is dependent on technology imports that are now inaccessible.

What’s more, the invasion has led directly to greater military spending in second- and third-tier European powers. The number of NATO troops in Eastern Europe has grown tenfold, and a Nordic expansion of the organization is likely. A general rearmament of Europe is taking place, driven not by desire for autonomy from American power but in service to it. For the United States, this should be success enough. It is unclear what more there is to gain by weakening Russia, beyond fantasies of regime change.

Ukraine’s future depends on the course of the fighting in the Donbas and perhaps the south. The physical destruction of the east is already well underway. Ukrainian casualties are not insignificant; estimates of the number killed and wounded vary widely, but it is certainly in the tens of thousands. Russia has destroyed whatever sense of shared heritage remained before the invasion.

But the longer the war, the worse the damage to Ukraine and the greater the risk of escalation. A decisive military result in eastern Ukraine may prove elusive. Yet the less dramatic outcome of a festering stalemate is hardly better. Indefinite protraction of the war, as in Syria, is too dangerous with nuclear-armed participants.

Diplomatic efforts ought to be the centerpiece of a new Ukraine strategy. Instead, the war’s boundaries are being expanded and the war itself recast as a struggle between democracy and autocracy, in which the Donbas is the frontier of freedom. This is not just declamatory extravagance. It is reckless. The risks hardly need to be stated.”

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