Top Biden Official Attempts to Put Positive Spin on Ukraine’s Failing Counteroffensive

by | Aug 23, 2023

Top Biden Official Attempts to Put Positive Spin on Ukraine’s Failing Counteroffensive

by | Aug 23, 2023

president of ukraine met with national security advisor to the president of the united states (52477942215)

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan claims that the war in Ukraine has not reached a stalemate and Kiev’s forces were methodically capturing territory. The statement comes as other American officials say the Ukrainian offensive is struggling and Kiev should have negotiated with Moscow last year. 

At a press conference on Tuesday, Sullivan told reporters, “There is attacking and defending taking place on both sides at multiple points along a very extended front line of trace,” he said. Ukraine is taking territory on a “methodical, systematic basis…We do not assess that the conflict is a stalemate.”

The comments made by Sullivan conflict with other recent statements by American officials. Last week, the New York Times reported that Washington was concerned Kiev had become too “casualty adverse” to conduct the necessary maneuvers to retake territory. “American officials say they fear that Ukraine has become casualty averse, one reason it has been cautious about pressing ahead with the counteroffensive.” The outlet explained, “Almost any big push against dug-in Russian defenders protected by minefields would result in huge numbers of losses.”

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that American officials never believed Ukraine had the necessary military capabilities to wage a successful counter offensive. “When Ukraine launched its big counteroffensive this spring, Western military officials knew Kyiv didn’t have all the training or weapons—from shells to warplanes—that it needed to dislodge Russian forces. But they hoped Ukrainian courage and resourcefulness would carry the day. They haven’t,” the WSJ wrote. 

On Tuesday, the Times reported that American military officials blamed Ukraine’s military failures on war planners in Kiev. This report noted Ukraine’s lack of progress in the nearly three-month-long offensive. 

Additionally, Politico spoke with an American official who said Commander of Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley “had a point” when he called on Kiev to negotiate with Moscow last year. After Ukrainian forces reclaimed a significant amount of territory from Russian troops in last year’s Fall offensive, Milley believed that Kiev had reached its peak negotiating position. On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the US intelligence community assessed that the Spring counteroffensive would fail to meet its core objectives.

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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