by Stephen Collinson
(MAINNEWS) – Ending the war in Ukraine on terms acceptable to its President Volodymyr Zelensky will require the West to convince Russian leader Vladimir Putin he’s losing.
Good luck with that.
Ahead of next week’s anniversary of the Russian invasion, US and Western leaders are gearing up for a show of unity and strength designed to establish once and for all that NATO is in the conflict for the long haul and until Moscow’s defeat.
“Russia has lost — they’ve lost strategically, operationally, and tactically,” the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said on Tuesday. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Wednesday that “Putin must realize that he cannot win” as he explained the rationale for rushing arms and ammunition to Ukrainian forces. And Julianne Smith, the US ambassador to NATO, told CNN’s Becky Anderson that Washington was doing all it could to “continue to apply pressure on Moscow to affect (Putin’s) strategic calculus.”
And in an opinion article by CNN’s Peter Bergen, retired US General and former CIA Chief David Petraeus said the conflict would end in a “negotiated resolution” when Putin realizes the war is unsustainable on the battlefield and on the home front.
The Western rhetorical and diplomatic offensive will ratchet up further as Vice President Kamala Harris heads to the Munich Security Conference this week. President Joe Biden will meanwhile visit Poland and a frontline NATO and ex-Warsaw pact state next week, bolstering his legacy of offering the most effective leadership of the Western alliance since the end of the Cold War.