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The perils of an “as long as it takes” war


  • President Zelenskyy is urgently seeking $61 billion in U.S. aid to strengthen Ukraine’s position in the conflict
  • There is growing doubt about the impact of past aid efforts and the effectiveness of the “As long as it takes” war strategy
  • The conflict lacks clear objectives and a defined path to victory
  • Ukraine is grappling with mounting costs, including a massive refugee crisis that is straining resources in Europe
  • Mobilizing Ukrainian soldiers has become challenging as support wanes, and there is a shortage of volunteers wanting to join the fight

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Just when you thought Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy would send his officials east to Moscow to begin peace talks with Russia, the star international politician is headed west to the White House and Congress. The goal is to persuade reluctant GOP legislators to approve Ukraine’s $61 billion aid package – a measure that failed last week in the Senate – to fight more war.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who has had to change positions numerous times about why the United States should fund Ukraine, tried a new tactic:

As Russia ramps up its missile and drone strikes against Ukraine, the leaders will discuss Ukraine’s urgent needs and the vital importance of the United States’ continued support at this critical moment.

If you thought that the over $100 billion in arms sent to Ukraine would have crushed Russia’s ability to fire missiles, you would be wrong again.

After 22 months of non-stop direct support for the beleaguered nation and the Biden administration firing on all cylinders – the CIA, the Pentagon, and the State Department – to unite Europe to provide more help, Washington NeoCons and Zelenskyy want even more. The Treasury is enforcing an elaborate and comprehensive regime on Russia that includes over 2,500 sanctions, the most against any one country in the history of the United States.

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The stark truth is that Biden’s “As long as it takes” war plan has failed miserably. Let’s review President Biden’s actions and justifications since the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

On November 10, 2021, the U.S. and Ukraine did what Russian President Putin had been lobbying against since 2008. Egged on by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Biden entered into a strategic agreement with an entire section devoted to countering Russian aggression that had not yet happened. It outlined how the U.S. would step up weapons delivery to Ukraine. It specified how Ukraine’s integration into “Euro-Atlantic institutions are concurrent priorities.” The deal was a radical departure from former President Obama’s reluctance to engage with Ukraine.

Within two months, Russia had amassed 150,000 troops on Ukraine’s border. Blinken did not pull out all the stops to prevent war, insisting that Ukraine had the sovereign right to align itself with whatever nation it wished. After Russia attacked on February 24, 2022, America threw all of its support behind Ukraine.

Speaking at the U.N. Security Council, Secretary Antony Blinken said:

We cannot – we will not – allow President Putin to get away with it. Defending Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is about much more than standing up for one nation’s right to choose its own path, fundamental as that right is. It’s also about protecting an international order where no nation can redraw the borders of another by force.

Blinken’s assertions would have had significant weight but for the fact that  America had been meddling in Ukraine since 2008, including openly advocating and engineering a coup during the Maidan revolution in Kyiv in 2014.

When Ukraine began fighting back and retaking territory last December, the administration aggressively used the term “Victory” in its communications. But no one defined what victory meant. Ousting Russia from territory it has acquired since February 24, 2022? Regime change in Russia? Testing out American weapons on the battlefield in preparation for a future war with China? Building up the American Military Industrial Complex? Creating well-paying jobs in American states?

Before Nancy Pelosi handed over the Speaker’s gavel to the GOP, she helped push through a $44 billion package to Ukraine, which Biden promptly signed. We were told “victory” was even closer when Ukraine would begin its counteroffensive in June 2023. The term had expanded its definition. It now meant crippling Russia’s access to Crimea by dissecting the land bridge, with Ukraine’s troops advancing all the way to the Sea of Azov. Reclaiming every square inch of Ukraine’s land going back to 2014 became the new goal.

But the counteroffensive was far from triumphant. The needle barely budged, and the war entered a stalemate as winter approached. Russia still controls more Ukrainian territory than it did before February 2022.

Meanwhile, the costs to Ukraine have continued to mount and include more than just the loss of life and limb. According to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), six million refugees from Ukraine have resettled, mainly in Europe, the largest migration since World War II. Many refugees have reported a severe drop in living standards as their inability to speak the language of their destination country, high inflation, and worsening economic conditions (Germany is in a recession) make it impossible to assimilate.

Frustrated, several were planning their return to Ukraine, but men aged 18 to 60 decided to hold back. The Washington Post reported that men in Ukraine are devising ingenious means to avoid being drafted to fight, so why would Ukrainian men who have already fled return to combat?

To drive home our point and consistent criticism of America’s failed policy in Ukraine, we cataloged over 50 tippinsights opinion pieces on these pages, highlighting the perils of an “As long as it takes” war.

But Zelenskyy and the Washington NeoCons are unmoved. On his third trip to Washington since the war began, President Zelenskyy  will try again to get the $61 billion and continue the fight, even when it is becoming clear that Ukraine’s fighting forces are dramatically shrinking in number and not many able-bodied Ukrainians wants to join the army. Unbelievable!

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TIPP Takes

Geopolitics, Geoeconomics, And More

1. Gaza Death Toll Surpasses 18,200 As Battles Rage – Al Arabiya

Heavy urban battles raged Monday in the bloodiest-ever war in Gaza, with more than 18,200 Palestinians and 104 Israeli soldiers reported dead amid a spiraling humanitarian crisis.

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Israel had urged civilians to seek refuge in the far south, but the army has kept striking targets throughout the territory.

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the Palestinian group to “surrender now,” Hamas has warned the remaining 137 hostages won’t survive unless Israel meets its demands and frees more Palestinian prisoners.

2. U.S. To Ask Israel About Use Of White Phosphorus In Lebanon Attacks – Al Arabiya

The U.S. plans to ask Israel about its illegal use of white phosphorus munitions during attacks inside Lebanon, the White House said.

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State Department says the U.S. expects every country it provides weapons to use them in compliance with laws of war, and “Israel is no exception.”

The Washington Post released an analysis based on shell fragments it obtained from 155-millimeter artillery rounds provided by Washington to the Israeli army previously.

While white phosphorus is not illegal to use, international humanitarian law calls for not using it near populated civilian areas or civilian infrastructure.

3. Houthi Missile Hits Norwegian-Flagged Tanker Off Yemen Coast – AFP

A missile launched by Iran-backed Houthis struck a Norwegian-flagged tanker off Yemen on Tuesday, causing a fire, U.S. Central Command said, adding that no casualties were immediately reported.

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The night-time attack occurred as the chemical tanker passed through the Bab-el-Mandeb, the strait between Yemen and northeast Africa. The strait leads to the Red Sea, a key route toward the Suez Canal.

4. Israel Open To Deal With Hezbollah If Security Guaranteed On Lebanon Border: Minister – Al Arabiya

Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, said that his country was open to a possible agreement with Iran-backed Hezbollah if it included a safe zone along the border with Lebanon and other security guarantees.

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Israel’s defense minister Yoav Gallant with with PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, the frontier between Lebanon and Israel has seen intensifying exchanges of fire, raising fears of a broader conflagration.

5. Russia’s Putin Unveils Two New Nuclear Submarines – AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to reinforce Russia’s “military-naval might” as he attended the inauguration of two nuclear submarines in the country’s Far North.

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The Russian leader took part in a flag-hoisting ceremony in Severodvinsk on the White Sea, where the “Krasnoyarsk” and “Emperor Alexander III” were built over the past six years.

In addition to these two vessels, which will join the Pacific fleet, Russia is building eight nuclear submarines.

6. Russia Claims Arrest Of Ukrainian Assassin Network – Al Jazeera

Moscow’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said that it has arrested 18 “agents and accomplices” of Ukraine’s special services targeting pro-Russian figures in the annexed Crimea peninsula.

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Russia’s claim that it has broken up the Ukrainian sabotage network comes amid fresh military strikes on Kyiv and fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine.

7. EU Looks To Raise 15 Billion Euros From Frozen Russian Assets To Aid Ukraine – RFE/RL

The European Union will unveil a plan to set aside profits from frozen Russian assets in the EU to eventually raise 15 billion euros ($16.1 billion) to benefit Ukraine, The Financial Times reported.

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EU’s President Ursula von der Leyen and Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy

The report said the European Commission’s plan had previously been delayed after several EU members and the European Central Bank raised legal and financial concerns about it.

8. Allies Say Russian Opposition Figure Alexey Navalny Removed From Prison – Al Jazeera

A spokesperson for Alexey Navalny has said that the Russian opposition leader has been removed from the prison where he was being held and that his whereabouts are unknown.

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Alexey Navalny

A Russian court handed the 43-year-old Navalny a 19-year prison sentence in August on charges of “extremism,” which he maintains are politically motivated. The disappearance comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares for an election campaign, hoping to secure another six-year term at the country’s helm.

9. Chinese Aircraft Carrier Passes Through Taiwan Strait – Taipei – AFP

Taipei’s Defense Ministry said a Chinese naval formation led by the Shandong aircraft carrier sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Monday.

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The Shandong has recently sailed through the Taiwan Strait as Beijing ramps up military pressure on the self-ruled island.

10. Iranian President Targeted With ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ Complaint In Switzerland – AFP

A legal complaint called for Swiss authorities to arrest Iran’s president during a potential upcoming visit and charge him with crimes against humanity connected to a 1988 purge of dissidents.

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

Ebrahim Raisi was expected to participate in the UN Global Refugee Forum in Geneva on December 13. Still, the UN said that Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian would lead the Iranian delegation, indicating that Raisi might not show.

11. Senior IMF Official Warns Fragmentation In Global Economy Could Trigger ‘New Cold War’ – WION

Gita Gopinath, a senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official, warned during a speech that the world economy is on the brink of a second cold war, which could “annihilate” progress made since the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

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Gita Gopinath

The IMF’s first deputy managing director also said that the fragmentation of the global economy into power blocs, such as China, the United States, and Russia, could impact global output and wipe out trillions of dollars.

12. UN Peacekeeping Mission In Mali Officially Ends After 10 Years – Al Jazeera

The mission, known as the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), has officially ended a 10-year deployment in the country, its spokesperson said, in a pullout by Mali’s military government.

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In June, Mali’s military government, which seized power in 2020, demanded the departure of the mission despite being in the grip of attacks by armed groups in the Sahel region.

13. Myanmar Overtakes Afghanistan As World’s Biggest Opium Producer: UN – AFP

Myanmar produced an estimated 1,080 metric tonnes of opium – essential for producing heroin – this year, according to the latest report by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

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Min Aung Hlaing, Prime Minister of Myanmar since 2021

The figures come after opium production in Afghanistan slumped an estimated 95 percent to around 330 tonnes following the Taliban’s ban on poppy cultivation in April last year, according to UNODC.

14. COP28 Draft Climate Deal Drops Mention Of Fossil Fuel ‘Phase-Out’ – RFI

The word “phase-out” of fossil fuels was deleted from a long-awaited draft of the UN Cop28’s flagship global stocktake and replaced with watered-down language a day before the climate talks in Dubai were due to end.

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Khalil Bendib /

Instead, it was replaced with looser ambitions on “reducing both consumption and production of fossil fuels … to achieve net zero by, before, or around 2050 in keeping with the science”.

15. Google Loses Monopoly Case To Fortnite Maker Epic Games – BBC

Epic Games sued Google in 2020, accusing it of unlawfully making its app store dominant over rivals.

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The case also challenged transaction fees of up to 30% that Google imposes on Android app developers and how the tech giant ties together its Play Store and billing service, which means developers must use both to have their apps in the store.

The ruling, therefore, could give developers more agency over how their apps are distributed and how they make money from them.

16. Eating Oily Fish May Benefit People With Family History Of Heart Disease – UPI Health

Oily fish, like salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines, contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained from the diet.

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People’s risk of heart disease increased by more than 40% if they had low levels of omega-3 fatty acids plus a family history of heart problems, a large international study concluded. However, if a person has adequate omega-3 fatty acids, their family heart history increases their risk by just 25%.

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Republished with permission from TIPP Insights

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