Washington’s first challenge in 2023: Ukraine

There will be several major challenges for Washington’s foreign policy during 2023. The first is its position in the new year on the development of the war between Russia and Ukraine, and the second is the development of the popular revolution against the Iranian regime. Two challenges facing Washington’s decisions, which will not be able to decisively end the 2022 crises in the first months of 2023, or at least find appropriate and decisive answers to them at the beginning of the year.

And based on the events of last year, we will try to anticipate the capabilities of the Biden administration to face the two above-mentioned challenges in the face of a more difficult international atmosphere and a change in the positions of alliances, expectations and the military and diplomatic policies of allies and partners. While we anticipate Washington’s positions on the aforementioned challenges, we take into account two additional factors: The first is the possibility of additional crises erupting this year that could complicate the evolving US positions toward the Ukraine war and the Iranian revolution. The last is the arrival of a new majority in the House of Representatives, and a split in the Senate, which will constitute a third internal challenge for the current administration at least during the next two years.

The war in Ukraine continues

In the past ten months, Washington has been unable to find a mechanism with its European and NATO partners to force a ceasefire on the one hand, or a military settlement on the other that would allow the Kyiv authorities to extend their sovereignty. over the territory of Ukraine, after the Kremlin imposed its occupation of the eastern and southern regions. The Russian forces tightened their control over the entire coast between Crimea and the Sea of ​​Azov, thus changing the geopolitical facts in the Black Sea. As we wrote in previous articles, although at the beginning of the war the Kremlin ordered advances towards the northern parts of Ukraine to the outskirts of Kiev, its main and long-term strategic goals were advances in the eastern regions to annex them to Russia, and advance in the southern regions to establish a belt between Crimea and Russian lands. And the announcement of the annexation of all those regions to Moscow by means of referendums, and that is what has already been done.

Although the Ukrainian forces were able to recover large lands in the north and some in the east and south, the Russian repositioning in the “red areas”, that is, which Putin and the Russian parliament “always” did not and did not abandon will not abandon, these lines have turned into de facto borders within Ukraine between the eastern and western.

It is worth noting that Kiev was able to regain large parts of its territory thanks to the massive Western military assistance in terms of ammunition, weapons, planning and intelligence information.

10 months of war in Eastern Europe led to great destruction and depletion of local, regional and international energy, and caused international crises that began in the Security Council, where it was unable to stop this war, and ended with the fuel and oil price crises, and of course diplomatic challenges and the repositioning of a large number of countries that chose to sit in Midway and try to have a dialogue or at least a negotiating role between the two big blocs, on almost all continents.

military and financial

On a purely military level, the NATO alliance, led by the United States, has great capabilities, and some consider them unlimited. However, some countries are seeking to rethink their defense policies, such as Germany and Poland. Therefore, the military efforts continue and grow in the West, with the resulting financial and economic requirements and the accompanying There are internal political challenges associated with this mobilization, which were not expected at the beginning of the year. At the American level, we have seen in recent weeks and months that the American taxpayer has been forced to provide some 70 billion dollars for the major war effort in Ukraine, which has created a deep division at home about American policy about its meaning and reasons. for fully engaging in supporting Ukraine against Russia.

This crisis now shows signs of its continuation during the year 2023. The new Congress, with its Republican majority, will not provide permanent support for the administration and the decisions that will be issued by a Senate divided between the two parties. A major strategic question will arise: Can the United States sustain this growing effort financially, and to what extent? The answers will be manifold. Of course, experts believe that the US military assistance through NATO or directly to Ukraine is something that will benefit the US military industries, and it is ready for it, as reports indicate about the volume of profits collected and collected by the military industrial companies . this great help to Ukraine.

It has become clear that the pressure forces associated with the military industries lobby are behind the push by the Biden administration and part of the last Congress to provide this large volume of aid because of the profits of this military defense bloc on the one hand, and the consulting companies in the United States on the other, as this lobby will continue to pressure To help Ukraine, regardless of whether the crisis is resolved or not.

However, the isolationist trend in general, especially the Republican popular trend, refuses to continue to slide in Ukraine’s aid, so that this war does not turn into an economic and financial drain in which big people in industries and lobbies profit and the average American citizen does not lose. its purchasing power, so taxes tighten and the US economy turns to more debt.

The Biden administration is trying to find a position or location between the two interests, the interest of the military economy on the one hand, which it considers necessary for the continuation of American leadership in NATO, and on the other hand, the determination of the rising critical voices within America not to extend support to Ukraine.

With the new Congress taking over, the Biden administration knows full well that criticism will spread widely within the House of Representatives, as the package approved with trillion and 700 billion for next year will be targeted and criticized by the House of Representatives . Representatives to a large extent during the following months, so what can we expect from the White House and its allies in the face of the Ukraine crisis.

Earth equation

First, the situation on the ground will control part of this decision, as the Ukrainians are determined to advance until they reach the Russian-Ukrainian border, even if it “costs them” a large part of the “American treasury”. And the Russians are determined to defend the regions they have declared Russian, even if it means using internationally banned weapons. In this dangerous comparison, the question arises, what can the Biden administration do?

Biden’s options

Some assessments say that the administration will follow two paths, overt and covert. The first is the continuation of the support as it is to enable the Ukrainian forces to achieve the maximum extent possible on the ground, which constitutes economic, psychological and media pressure on Russia, but the administration knows very well that indirect involvement limits before that turned into direct involvement in the fighting. And that is what Putin has been threatening in recent weeks.

The hidden equation is therefore the negotiations that have already begun between Washington and Moscow on the possibility of first finding a way for a ceasefire. As for the public way, it is represented in the crystallization of a mechanism for negotiations between the two parties to the conflict. Biden wants to show on the one hand that he is determined to support Ukraine, but in practice he fully knows that there is no solution. to this war except through negotiations between the two parties, as predicted by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. These are the scenarios we will be waiting for at least during the first months of 2023. As for Iran’s challenge to Washington, that is the subject of our next article.

Quoted from “Independent Arabia”

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All published articles represent only the opinion of its authors.

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