Is The United States Losing Its Control Of Ukraine?

Authored by Ted Snider via The Libertarian Institute

In the very early days of the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was open to negotiating peace. A proposed peace could have ended the war before tens of thousands of Ukrainians died and Ukraine’s infrastructure was devastated, on terms that satisfied Kyiv’s goals. But the United States pressured Ukraine to go on fighting in pursuit, not of Ukraine’s goals, but of larger American ones.

Putting an end to Ukraine’s negotiations with Russia, State Department spokesperson Ned Price remarkably said, “This is a war that is in many ways bigger than Russia, it’s bigger than Ukraine,” and insisted that Ukrainians go on fighting and dying for “core principles.”

The United States got its way. Now a year later, with the war not going well for Ukraine and the country getting more and more desperate, Ukraine is forced to retreat to pursue its own goals. Ironically, that is increasingly taking the form of escalating the war in a way that now endangers American goals.

Ukraine is now pursuing its own security interests in a way that is extraordinarily dangerous to U.S. security interests. And they seem to be disregarding U.S. restrictions in pursuing them. Months of American permissiveness and failure to say no to Ukraine at each crossing of a red line have seemingly emboldened Ukraine to ignore U.S. limits and conditions on the use of American-supplied weapons.

One of the key goals of the Biden administration is to stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. That is Joe Biden’s promise to Ukraine. But a second key goal is to avoid being drawn into a direct war between NATO and Russia. That is Joe Biden’s promise to Americans. A recent wave of Ukrainian attacks on the territory of Russia—not Donbas or Crimea, but the internationally recognized territory of Russia—threatens that promise and threatens the security of Americans.

Ukraine has long promised, “not to target Russian territory with weapons provided by the West.” They recently reiterated that promise, saying British-supplied long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles “will be used only within Ukrainian sovereign territory and not inside Russia,” and when they provided the United States “flat assurances” that F-16 fighter-bombers won’t be used inside Russian territory.

But Ukraine did not keep those promises. In pursuit of their goals—understandably, since the U.S. insisted they postpone those goals and go on fighting the Russian military in pursuit of American goals—they have crossed the red line of U.S. limits and conditions on the use of American-supplied weapons and struck inside Russian territory. This defiantly independent military strategy is increasing the danger that the United States and NATO could get drawn into a war with Russia.

On May 3, two drones were disabled over the Kremlin in what Russia views as an attack on Russia and an attempt to assassinate President Vladimir Putin. Ukraine denied involvement, insisting, “Ukraine wages an exclusively defensive war and does not attack targets on the territory of the Russian Federation.” Zelensky said categorically, “We don’t attack Putin or Moscow. We fight on our territory. We are defending our villages and cities.”

But Kyiv’s insistence that it kept its promise not to strike inside “the territory of the Russian Federation” was disingenuous. Sources have reported that U.S. intelligence agencies now believe that the drone attack was carried out by “one of Ukraine’s special military or intelligence units.”

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Zero Hedge

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