You know, when I saw the media starting to say that victory in the Ukraine is impossible, with the New York Times Editorial Board coming out and saying it, and then Joe Biden’s initial refusal to send the HIMARS, I thought that we were really going to see a backtrack, where the US admitted the Donbass was lost, but claimed victory because Kiev is still in State Department control.
Kiev has given Washington assurances that US-supplied rocket launchers won’t be used to attack targets inside Russian territory, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday. He was the latest US official to raise the issue, as Moscow voiced concerns over the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Blinken was asked about the HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems, the latest high-tech weapon the US has committed to sending Ukraine.
“The Ukrainians have given us assurances that they will not use these systems against targets on Russian territory,” Blinken said, adding, “There is a strong trust bond between Ukraine and the US, as well as with our allies and partners.”
He also dismissed Moscow’s warnings and concerns that Washington’s weapons deliveries to Kiev risked further escalating the conflict.
“The best way to avoid escalation is for Russia to stop the aggression and the war it started,” Blinken said, arguing that it could be “over tomorrow” if Moscow so chose, but is likely to go on for “many months” instead.
Okay, well, they’re not going to do that.
So now what?
“The only way to end this war is if the enemy offers an unconditional surrender” is an insane statement by any metric. In this case, it’s much worse than insane. The Ukraine military is destroyed, Russia is already occupying virtually all of the territory it claims, and there is just nowhere to go with this.
The Ukraine is suffering nonstop losses. Missiles are not going to make any difference to anything. The only thing that would make any difference to anything is a Western invasion of the country. From what I’ve read, as of right now they’re only planning on sending a few HIMARS systems anyway, which are going to get taken out quickly like all of the Ukraine’s other gifted equipment has been. So this is some kind of game that I don’t really understand.
US President Joe Biden officially announced the dispatch of HIMARS systems to Ukraine, along with other military equipment valued at $700 million, on Wednesday afternoon. According to Deputy Defense Secretary Colin Kahl, the launchers were “pre-positioned” in Europe pending the announcement, and the first batch of four will be handed over this week – though it may take three weeks to train Ukrainian troops in their use.
HIMARS fires barrage rockets with an effective range of around 30 km, but can also deploy tactical ballistic missiles with a range of up to 300 km. Russia has raised concerns with the US over the latter possibility.
Biden himself, his UN envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and now Blinken have all insisted that Kiev will not be provided with the long-range missiles. Blinken is the first to mention the Ukrainian promises, however.
The Ukraine has already attacked inside Russia. They probably will again. But none of this even matters. The Ukraine does not have anything close to a path to taking back the Donbass, and the US State Department and Ukraine government are claiming they are also going to launch an invasion of Crimea.
The idea that these missile systems are some kind of game changer – it’s just utterly baffling. There is no amount of equipment that could be a game changer, because the Ukraine lacks the military personnel.
This is all just like a psychedelic nightmare scene. What are they even talking about? It doesn’t make sense.