Can the US inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ on Putin?

2 mins read
Can the US inflict a 'strategic defeat' on Putin?

A few days after Russia attacked Ukraine last year, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland declared that the US goal in the Ukraine war was the “strategic defeat” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A month after the attack, Nuland said, “It’s clear that Russia is going to lose this conflict. It’s just a matter of time.”

According to the analysis, written by Geoffrey Aronson, an analyst at the Middle East Institute, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen added the European voice to the US rhetoric in Davos a year ago, saying “Putin’s aggression must be a strategic failure.”

The analysis continued as follows;

“When you start hearing the sound of guns, it is good and to be expected that leaders will try to rally their troops to take up the cause. Recall former US President George W. Bush’s famous declaration of ‘Mission Accomplished’ long before the decisive conflict in Iraq began. But when the real work of waging war begins, US President Joe Biden and the public must answer the question in word as well as deed: What does such high-pitched rhetoric really mean? How do we know that we have achieved a comprehensive goal, however serious and vague, such as Russia’s strategic defeat?”

According to the analysis, Putin followed the statements from Washington very closely.

He cannot afford to have illusions about Washington’s goals or to dismiss its intentions as ‘exaggerations’.

Can the US inflict a 'strategic defeat' on Putin? 1

In one of his speeches, Putin said;

“The aim of the West is to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. To finish us off. This is exactly how we understand everything. The existence of our country is at stake. But they cannot help but realize that it is impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield.”

Washington’s commitment to Putin’s strategic defeat is aimed at weakening Moscow’s sovereign capacity to resist NATO expansion, as well as leaving Russia unable to pursue even the most modest war objectives in Ukraine.

The events of the past year have made it clear that the US commitment to Russia’s strategic defeat does not come with a guarantee of a ‘Ukrainian victory’.


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