Ukraine aid is working and Russia’s invasion is losing ground

By | September 9, 2022

It’s official. Ukraine is on the attack, and it’s working. On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a surprise visit to Kyiv promising help “for as long as it takes” and announcing $3 billion in aid. Then at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley confirmed Ukraine has launched a major counter-offensive in the south.

Ukraine’s been out of the headlines this summer, and the sheer mass of Russia’s army and their limitless barbarity stoked fears Russia might be too strong after all. 

The triple play by Blinken, Austin and Milley reversed all that. Milley described a “very deliberate offensive attack” by Ukraine that is “calibrated to set conditions, and then seize their objectives.” On Day 197, this is no stalemate. Russia and Ukraine are fighting on a curving, 300-mile front with Russia launching a renewed, grinding attack near Bakhmut in the east, while Ukraine pushes its successful counter-offensive centered on Kherson in the south.

UKRAINIAN SOLDIERS ADVANCE 30 MILES IN 3 DAYS IN KHARKIV AMID MAJOR COUNTER-OFFENSIVE

From what the Pentagon says, Russian President Vladimir Putin is losing, and Russian forces in Ukraine are having “great difficulty” with supplies, reinforcements and even basic command and control. Americans can be proud of this. The military training and tactical coaching by America and other allies is paying off on the battlefield for Ukraine. To my eye, there is a now a military plan in place to push Russia back. It took Team Biden a while, but Blinken, Austin and Milley made clear the military operations are in high gear. Ukraine is on the path to victory.

However, there’s a catch. On Sept. 2, the White House asked for another $11.7 billion in aid to get Ukraine to the end of the year. Granted, the money is covering everything from refugee assistance to replenishing U.S. weapons stocks, and of course, major weapons systems for Ukraine like HARM anti-air defense missiles and HIMARs precision rocket artillery. That’s on top of $40 billion authorized back in May. 

That’s a lot of cash. Are you wondering why this fight is worth your tax dollars? I get it. As Americans, we always have qualms about these “foreign entanglements” as George Washington called them. And given the mistakes Team Biden made early on, it’s smart to question the plan. Here’s why aid for Ukraine makes sense.

First, it’s the reason Ukraine is winning. Austin said Ukraine has “put to use, good use, the equipment that we’ve provided them.” Austin and Milley don’t want to say too much yet, but they clearly see Ukraine’s deliberate, precision attacks are choking Russia’s options.

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Second, Russia has got to lose this war, for so many reasons. Fifteen billion dollars spent so far with billions more to come to defeat Putin’s Russian imperialism is the best investment we Americans can make.

Third, military defeat of Russia is essential in our struggle to deter China’s rising military ambitions. Remember, China has relied on Russia for military equipment, training and advice over the years. Best for Xi Jinping to understand he’d better not risk military strikes. 

Don’t forget that the military aid to Ukraine is a group effort. America is not the only nation chipping in. NATO nations like Britain, Germany and Poland along with a total of 48 nations – including Ireland and Colombia – are providing money and assistance via the Ukraine Defense Contact Group set up by Austin.

However, continued U.S. military aid is essential. Winter is coming, and Putin will try to break up support for Ukraine by cutting off energy to Europe. Already, the Nord Stream gas pipeline is shut for “repairs” just as Germany and others are storing gas for the winter. It’s critical for Ukraine to make gains in the south and keep the military momentum now. 

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