US President Joe Biden’s administration is “quietly preparing for the possibility” that Ukraine’s much-heralded offensive doesn’t deliver the “total victory” Kiev wanted, Politico reported on Monday, citing several anonymous officials.
While the US government’s public support for Ukraine is “unwavering,” officials have expressed fears in private that the White House could be caught in a crossfire of criticism should the attack fall short of expectations, the outlet said. The ‘hawks’ would claim the US and its allies had not given Ukraine enough weapons and ammunition, while the ‘doves’ would see it as proof that Kiev can’t win.
“If Ukraine can’t gain dramatically on the battlefield, the question inevitably arises as to whether it is time for a negotiated stop to the fighting,” Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, told Politico. “It’s expensive, we’re running low on munitions, we’ve got other contingencies around the world to prepare for.”
One official, who requested anonymity, said the US had “surged” weapons and equipment to Ukraine and “nearly completed” all that Kiev had asked for. But behind closed doors, the US is “worried about what Ukraine can accomplish.”