The three parties in the Russia-Ukraine conflict are approaching the threshold of a new strategic choice
On February 20, 2023, US President Biden arrived in Kiev to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This is his first visit to Ukraine since the Russia-Ukraine conflict in nearly a year. According to the original schedule, Biden was supposed to visit Poland; at the same time, in stark contrast, just a day ago, the Munich Security Summit, which focused heavily on Ukraine, had just ended. Biden did not go to Munich or Poland, but chose to stay in Russia and Ukraine. The airborne landing in Kiev on the first anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict undoubtedly sent a signal of firm support for the Ukrainian government to the outside world, apart from the domestic political showmanship and personal image building elements that must be included in it. This signal also means that global peace and security are approaching a new threshold of strategic choice.
If the time is pulled back to a year ago, the three parties that are currently anxious in Ukraine, whether it is Russia, Ukraine, or the United States and its NATO-EU allies that strongly support Ukraine, may not have the necessary understanding of the development of the situation. Knowledge building and mental preparation. Looking back on the development of the past year, the anxiety of the battlefield can be said to be beyond the expectations of all parties. Neither Russia nor Ukraine can quickly solve the problem; for the West, diplomatic isolation + limited military assistance + economic-financial The combination of fully supported tools has not achieved the desired effect: neither the highly praised “Javelin” system nor the “kicking some Russian banks and financial institutions out of the SWIFT system”, which the media called a financial nuclear bomb, has not achieved the expected results. It has the effect of “killing with one blow” expected by Western politicians.
On the whole, after about a year of continuous fueling and dismantling, the overall situation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict is somewhat similar to the frozen soil road in the Ukrainian plain after thawing, turning into a sticky mud pond. , in a way that would never have been thought of beforehand, and gradually fell into it:
Ukraine has basically entered a state of “aid-driven” operations, and can only continue to ensure the necessary manpower consumption on the front line, and continue to maintain relatively stable operations. Unless the United States and the West can truly continue to invest regardless of the cost and regardless of gains and losses, the subsequent development of the situation is expected to be relatively significant from the restoration of the 1991 border in Kiev. difference.
As for the United States and its NATO-EU allies, as the Russia-Ukraine conflict becomes “protracted” (according to the short-term and long-term judgment standards of Western economics, more than one year is long-term), the situation is becoming more and more certain, and the calculation of benefits and costs has changed. The choice is also more subtle: from the perspective of morality and domestic politics, the United States and major European and American countries (with very few exceptions such as Hungary and Croatia) have all been trapped in the moral-value It is difficult to break through 180-degree strategic and policy adjustments in the straitjacket. Of course, the United States can say that it has reaped a lot of money, whether it is strengthening its leadership position politically, strengthening NATO militarily, or economically and financially “eating Europe-Russia while gaining weight” and annual arms deals in the name of military aid. The harvested list is basically harvested.
The remaining question is, how long is the United States prepared to spend in the Russia-Ukraine conflict? Different from the United States, the distribution of interests and considerations of the United States’ European allies and the United States are forming subtle but significant differences: European allies cannot rely on unilateral intervention in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to realize European ideas and ideas, or even, More and more people of insight in Europe see that the United States is not only bleeding Russia, but also bleeding Europe. But this cognition needs to be converted and translated before it can be turned into truly revealing strategies, policies and behaviors.
Undoubtedly, the Russia-Ukraine conflict carries risks of getting out of control. Whether it is the three parties directly involved or other actors, if the one-year anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict is approaching, if they are willing to promote unconditional equipment and resource requirements to meet the situation in Ukraine as soon as possible, perhaps this conflict may become a broader issue. This is a key event in the deep adjustment of the power of the international system in the world, and deserves great attention from all parties.