Ukraine’s potential 2024 war loss offset by optimism in US Congress

December 18,2023 1657
Ukraine’s potential 2024 war loss offset by optimism in US Congress

Ukraine’s ability to sustain an independent war effort faces a limited several-months timeline without Western support, as per CNN‘s report referencing concerns raised by multiple American and European officials. The potential absence of a decision from the U.S. Congress on providing military aid to Ukraine is causing unease among politicians.

“There is no guarantee of success with us, but they are certain to fail without us,” a senior US military official said in an interview with CNN.

Currently, Western intelligence is analyzing how long Ukraine can hold out without assistance from the United States and NATO. According to one high-ranking US military official, it is a matter of “months,” with the worst-case scenario being a “significant setback or even defeat” by the summer of 2024.

Western officials say that without additional assistance from the US, Ukraine will first run out of long-range missiles, followed by missiles for air defense, and eventually artillery ammunition and short-range missiles, including anti-tank Javelin missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.

The inaction of the U.S. Congress regarding the approval of military aid to Kyiv is already affecting the battlefield in Ukraine. In particular, there is a shortage of ammunition, and Russia has a “five to seven times” advantage over them, according to CNN.

A senior Ukrainian military official told CNN that Ukrainian commanders believe the impact on their firepower has led to additional Ukrainian casualties,” journalists write.

The impact of the lack of aid on Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the east and south is the biggest concern in the West. “If looking at taking and holding further territory, it is hard to see how that could succeed without continued US support,” said one European diplomat.

The US Congress has still not approved Biden’s request for additional funding to help Ukraine due to opposition from some Republicans. On December 6, the draft law on providing assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan did not pass a procedural vote in the Senate. The lower house of Congress went on recess this week, making it impossible to pass aid before the new year.

At the same time, Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress have reported positive developments in negotiations regarding the security of US borders, according to The Hill. This issue is a prerequisite for approving aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle said Sunday they were “encouraged” with the direction the border security talks were going but that the timing of the potential deal remained uncertain,” journalists write.

On December 17, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said that “Republican and Democrat negotiators, who are really diligent, doing a great job.” The politician added that a potential border agreement could be concluded this week.

That’s what I’m really very hopeful for, and I think we’re gonna see something next week, and we’ll stay there until we get it done,” Manchin said.

Democratic Senator Chris Coons also expressed positive expectations regarding the timeline for reaching an agreement and added that the failure to reach an understanding “would be a huge gift to [Russian President] Vladimir Putin and [Chinese President] Xi Jinping and Hamas.

However, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham suggested that an agreement on the border may not be reached this year. “We’re not anywhere close to a deal, it’ll go into next year. The policy choices of the Biden administration [have] made the border a dangerous place to come to,” said Graham.

Cover: Samuel Corum Credit: 2022 Getty Images

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