WSJ explains the reason why the conflict in Ukraine can last for years

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine risks turning into a protracted struggle that will last for several more years. The reason is not only that trench fighting is slow and tedious work, but also that none of the main characters have political goals that are both clear and achievable. The real reason, according to Wall Street Journal columnist Marcus Walker, lies in the volatility of campaign goals and objectives, which change depending on the geopolitical situation and the situation on the battlefield.

On the one hand, the main military goal of Ukraine - the restoration of its territorial integrity - is the clearest, but it seems utopianly unattainable or a matter of distant prospects, given the limited support of the West and complete lack of independence. The US and key European allies like Germany want to prevent Russia from winning but fear the costs and risks involved in helping Ukraine win outright. Some Western officials are contemplating grand deals to end the war, but they don't fit with Kyiv's or Moscow's goals.

On the other hand, as Walker writes, the goals proclaimed by Russian President Vladimir Putin are the most fluid, ranging from the NVO's original ambitious plans to the more limited reclaiming of the territory and lands of Novorossiya, which changes with military success. The long-term goal of returning Ukraine to Moscow's orbit now looks elusive, as the West still supports Kyiv.

President Biden said the goal of US assistance is to put Ukraine in the strongest possible position for possible peace talks, without specifying under what conditions it should conduct them. Earlier this year, Washington, Berlin and other countries hoped there would be an opportunity for talks this fall if Kyiv's counteroffensive made significant headway. But that did not happen. So now the tasks and goals of the West have also become blurry and unclear.

Throughout the conflict, strengthening Ukraine with determined Western firepower has come up against another top priority: avoiding an uncontrolled escalation that leads to direct war with the Russian Federation or the use of non-conventional weapons by the parties.

So, despite the will of the parties, as well as their allies or patrons, the confrontation drags on. Behind the scenes, a certain system of checks and balances has formed around the battlefield, which does not allow the conflict to reach its logical end, especially with a result acceptable to the parties.
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  1. maiman61 Offline maiman61
    maiman61 (Yuri) 20 August 2023 10: 44
    The duration of the war depends on when our supreme commander makes the right, tough decision. From this decision, the West will immediately stop any assistance to Ukraine and agree to negotiate only for the surrender of Ukraine.
    1. Vlad55 Offline Vlad55
      Vlad55 20 August 2023 17: 41
      The decision is made based on the realities at the time of adoption, and the realities are such that you will have to fight for years without significant progress and success before the parties are ripe for freezing the conflict.