A sad reality is setting in: The Russia-Ukraine war will not end anytime soon. This possibility had already been raised by the middle of 2022, but Ukraine’s massive counteroffensive in September resulted in rapid gains, raising hopes in the West of a quick path to victory. Those hopes are now fading.
Writing recently in Foreign Affairs, Jim Goldgeier and Ivo Daalder observed that Ukraine would have great difficulty regaining all its territory, including Crimea, “even with greater Western military aid,” as that “would require the collapse of dug-in and reinforced Russian defenses.” Similarly, retired British Air Marshal Edward Stringer recently told the Wall Street Journal, “By continuing to drip-feed just enough for Ukraine not to lose, what the West is doing is just prolonging the war.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s recent visit to Washington underlined the point: A key reason for the trip was to buttress continued U.S. support, which Zelensky referred to as an “investment” in his address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. He wouldn’t have made that speech if he thought the war would be over soon.