Watch now (83 mins) | Chris Nicholson on getting to a settlement
You do not define winning. Russia stated the goals of the SMO as de-Nazification, de-militarization, and liberation of the people of Donbas. So when that happens, Russia wins. The Ukrainians want to take back the Donbas and Crimea. When that happens, Ukraine wins. Does either seem imminent now or in the next few months? No. Has either position changed since the beginning of the war? No.
As far as peace, Ukraine and Russia were on the brink of a peace agreement in April, until Boris Johnson came in and told the Ukrainians that if they signed it, the West would cut off aid. Ukraine is an economic basket case, and only Western aid is keeping the economy from going into hyperinflation. Zelensky is stuck, the only way he keeps his country going is by slaughtering his people to achieve telegenic victories for Western politicians, because if he makes a peace the West won't accept, then he is hung out to dry. Further, when the West gets sick of the war or is distracted, and wants a peace, then Zelensky will have to give up territory (at least Crimea) if he wants to get a peace deal. Guess what his friends in the Right Sector do to Zelensky if he gives up an inch of territory? Not pretty.
The point of this war is to weaken Russia, and maybe, to the really optimistic, to turn the Black Sea into a NATO pond. The West is willing to kill as many Ukrainians as it takes to do the job. The West cares about as much about the Ukrainian cause as Cardinal Richelieu cared about the Protestant cause in Germany.
Have to agree with Richard -- whether or not anyone thinks it's a good idea, the notion that the US is likely to withdraw support at this point seems profoundly ignorant.
Trump could try to do it, maybe, but he's not going to win in 2024, and even if he did that's 2 years away. The peacenik side of the Democratic Party has been successfully shouted down; the Republicans largely agree with this and even if they didn't, with their tiny House majority they'd have to be united in opposition to block continued funding which just won't happen.
It's also just not a thing that really happens in general. It's not how these things go. Afghanistan and Iraq aren't even the right analogies because Americans were dying in those wars. It would be more like the US cutting off aid to Afghanistan's mujahideen during the Soviet invasion there. The cost to the US is immaterial. There should be no doubt the US would still be sending Stinger missiles to the Afghans in 2022 if they were still shooting down Soviet aircraft with them.
The implication that I’ve seen from Richard on occasion, and from some commenters, that US support for Ukraine is actually counter-humanitarian does not withstand analysis. Without our support, the death toll would probably have been far higher, and would have been spread over a much larger extent of Ukraine. Also, in that scenario the war could easily end up lasting longer due to Russia’s inability to successfully subdue Ukraine.
There are situations in the world where our intervention has prolonged a war and made the humanitarian situation worse in the long run, such as Syria. But you shouldn’t just reflexively and shallowly jump to this conclusion in all cases, a la Michael Tracey.
Good podcast, some interesting things others just laughable speculation, but in general nice two bring the two side perspective here of the war. However, the moment you 2 revealed as a Pro military industry war mongerers was the best thing of this podcast. America has no obligation to help Ukraine at all and if it stops peace deals will immediately appear, but ivy league guys pushing for more war without putting physical presence in the deal is just perfect. Should we be called you two Canadian David Frum ?
Americans try to pronounce Russian names correctly challenge