When Russia invaded Ukraine, nobody expected the war (in Russian: special military action) to last this long. The main reasons it has are Russian military incompetence, Ukrainian spirt along with western military and financial (mainly via sanctions) support. Despite some recent successes, overall the Russian military isn’t really getting much better and certainly not stronger. The Ukrainians aren’t weakening! That leaves only western support in question.
The Ukrainians will run out of munitions well before they run out of people willing to fight to defend their country. In fact, many ethnic Russians living in Ukraine see themselves as Ukrainians in this conflict. (As an American in this melting pot that is easy for me to understand.) Russia certainly didn’t factor that into their pre-war calculations; in fact, just the opposite. My question is how long the west – primarily America and most of Europe – will continue to support them.
If you check in with the average American these days they do little more than complain about inflation. They base that mainly on food and fuel prices. Both of which are largely up because of the war in Ukraine. I don’t know about food prices but I know gasoline is a bargain in America when compared to Europe. Staying with petroleum prices for a bit, while many European countries are significantly reliant on Russian oil for heating it is not a factor in America. In other words, we have it pretty good by comparison to our allies.
Americans are largely a spoiled lot. My generation – the Baby Boomers – are the senior citizens and we largely never experienced widespread hardship. Our parents and grandparents are almost all gone. They experienced the Great Depression and World War II. They paid the price; we largely didn’t.
Ukraine will run out of munitions before it runs out of military personnel. The only thing keeping them in the war is western munitions. Ukraine can win the land battles; it’s the battle for “headlines” that concerns me.
When and if the defense of democracy – and make no mistake that is what is at stake here – takes second place to prices the aid will dry up as western politicians go into a “protect my office mode”.
Ukraine not only has to beat the Russians it has to win the battle to stay in the headlines. That is the battle that concerns me. If democracy loses in Ukraine the war will only resume on anther front in the not that distant future. Time, headlines, eyeballs, ears and clicks will determine where the war is fought.
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