Costly Support

A bunch of Republican Congressmen object to the increasing cost of the US’ support for Ukraine’s fight against the Russian barbarian, and barbaric, invasion.

From the WSJ‘s front page teaser to the article:

Some lawmakers and a growing share of the American public are skeptical about how much US taxpayers should continue to fund Ukraine’s defense.

It’s a valid concern, but those Republicans are missing the larger problem. The cost has been, to a very large extent, artificially inflated by the Biden administration’s conscious decision to slow-walk, and on too many occasions to outright bar, delivery of the weapons Ukraine needs at the time the Armed Forces of Ukraine needs them and in the amounts the AFU needs them so they could defeat the Russian invasion and drive the barbarian back out much more promptly.

Dragging the war out, the way Biden has done and continues to do, not only runs up the financial cost, it runs up the casualty count of Ukrainian soldiers and Ukrainian civilians.

And it’s been dragged out—those weapons deliveries hold-ups—for two reasons. One is Biden’s timidity: he’s terrified of provoking Putin.

Here is General Philip Breedlove, former SACEUR Commander, quoted by Edward Hunter Christie:

Modern manoeuvre warfare, just like we taught the Ukrainians, starts with battlefield air superiority. Have we given Ukraine what they need to establish battlefield air superiority? No. No, we have not. And so you can be critical all you want, you just sort of demonstrate your lack of understanding of what manoeuvre warfare is and how it begins, and so let me just add one other big example. Manoeuvre warfare, and I would tell you especially American commanders, counts on long-range precise fire. We fight to hold the the enemy at risk before [stresses], before he brings his force to bear on us. We use long range precision strikes to strike them and then if they still persist in attacking, to strike them in depth. In depth and to strike them all along their lines of communication and supply lines before they can actually meet us, even after they begin an attack. And then we use long range precise strike to hold all the transhipment points, airfields and everything else, at risk when the fight is going on. Have we given Ukraine the ability to do that? The answer is no, we have not, and worse yet we in the West have forbidden Ukraine from using any of the kit that we give them to strike deeply and to hit the enemy before the enemy can bring his forces to bear on Ukraine. We have built sanctuary all the way around Ukraine. On the map, from Belarus in the Northwest all the way around through the East into Russia, all the way into the South, into the Black Sea, we have forbidden Ukraine from using our kit to strike into Russia and so [it] amazes me that people expect them to do manoeuvre warfare under that. So here’s my answer that was all to set the stage for my answer: we should give Ukraine what we would take to the battlefield. We should give Ukraine what it needs to set conditions on the battlefield like we would set conditions on the battlefield. We’re expecting Ukraine to fight a world superpower shorthanded and certainly demonstratively short of the kind of kit that we would use to fight that superpower.

I think, though, that Christie is being generous: this administration failure isn’t so much do to any ivory tower theoriticals so much as it’s due to Biden’s terror of Putin’s harsh rhetoric.

The other is arrogantly stupid: DoD Know Betters insist they know what Ukraine needs better than the AFU does, even though the AFU is the force actually in field facing the barbarian. These Wonders of the Puzzle Palace, comfortable and safe in their summer and winter climate-controled offices, are so full of their precious theories–Christie is correct to this point–that they have no contact with the realities of the battlefield inflicted on the Ukrainians by the barbarian.

Ukraine might not survive another year of Biden’s timidity or of Republicans’ misapprehension of the problem.

That’s the true cost.

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