By Tulsi Gabbard and Daniel L. Davis

After returning from a visit to the front near Kherson, Ukraine, on June 19, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that his military would continue to fight Russia and “return everything that’s ours,” after having earlier made clear his intent to “liberate our Crimea as well.”

While those goals are understandable, the harsh realities emerging on the bloody battlefields of eastern Ukraine make it increasingly likely that the longer Kyiv seeks to achieve military victory, the more likely it is ultimately to be defeated. U.S. policy, guided by U.S. interests, should change to reflect this reality.

Early in the war, many in Ukraine and the West were buoyed by the clear failure of the Kremlin’s army to conquer Kyiv and force the government to surrender, as evidenced by Russia’s shocking loss of thousands of tanks and other armored vehicles—and tens of thousands of its troops—especially on the Kyiv and Kharkiv fronts. The Ukrainian Armed Forces, in contrast, fought heroically and effectively, performing well above expectations. In response, the United States and dozens of other Western countries accelerated the delivery of weapons and ammunition to Kyiv.
As much as Ukraine welcomes every piece of equipment, however, the deliveries have been a clunky mixture of modern and antiquated, Western and Soviet. Numerous systems require specialized training, specific maintenance systems, and ammunition of various calibers that are often mutually exclusive to each weapon system. All of this requires a massive and complicated logistics system to keep the weapons supplied and functioning—one that doesn’t currently exist in Ukraine and continues to be improvised.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian leaders have been clamoring for more weapons, warning that the quantities sent or pledged so far are grossly insufficient. Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podolyak wrote last week that in addition to the equipment already promised, Ukraine still needs “1000 howitzers caliber 155 mm; 300 MLRS [multiple launch rocket launchers]; 500 tanks; 2000 armored vehicles; [and] 1000 drones.” The scale of these requests illustrates how difficult it will be for the Ukrainian forces to hold out against the Russian onslaught in their country’s east, let alone turn the tide to defeat it.

Since Russia changed tack and prioritized firepower over maneuver in the Donbas fight, its forces have been pummeling Ukrainian troops with upwards of a staggering 70,000 shells per day and a significant number of heavy rockets. Additionally, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces are conducting as many as 300 air sorties over Ukraine per day. Ukraine, in contrast, is firing an estimated one-tenth as many shells—and sometimes flies only three to five air sorties per day.

This disparity in firepower is driving Ukrainian casualties beyond what we believe it can sustain, with up to 200 soldiers reportedly killed each day and around 500 wounded. The toll on Kyiv’s equipment is just as devastating: Most of the Soviet-era equipment Ukraine possessed at the beginning of the war has been destroyed, and it has run out of entire categories of ammunition. No military can sustain those kinds of losses and continue to offer effective resistance—as evidenced by Ukraine’s recent loss of several towns and villages to the Russian invaders and near-encirclement on the Donbas front.

Policies in Kyiv and Washington seem to ignore these battlefield realities. Last week, Zelensky reiterated his plans to regain all Ukrainian territory lost to Russia since the first invasion in 2014—currently about 20 percent of Ukraine. On the prospects for a negotiated settlement, he added one day later that “there is no time for talking” to Russia.

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks recently said the Pentagon is “well equipped” to support Ukraine for five, 10, or 20 years into the future. Yet our own substantial experience deployed in combat leads us to wonder if Ukraine can hold out for five to 10 months, much less one or two decades.

While there is still time, and Kyiv still controls 80 percent of its territory, a change in U.S. policy would provide a chance to save Ukrainian lives and prevent further territorial losses. At minimum, the Biden administration should de-emphasize its goals of weakening Russia and instead prioritize diplomacy, helping Kyiv and Moscow find a negotiated end to the war.

It is in the U.S. national interest to prevent the war from escalating in Ukraine or expanding beyond it. Avoiding the risk of direct U.S.-Russian or NATO-Russian confrontation is vital because of the dire global consequences of a nuclear war. The world is already at a greater risk of nuclear war than at any time since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

By Tulsi Gabbard, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Daniel L. Davis, a senior fellow at Defense Priorities.


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  1. I don’t know what VT has turned into, but a cutting-edge presentation of the “clandestine community” it isn’t. Tulsi Gabbard is still trying to remain relevant, but sadly she’s bought into the very same bullshit reality that every US politician has bought into for the past 2 decades: ISRAEL NUKED US ON 9/11 AND GOT AWAY WITH IT!

  2. “The world is already at a greater risk of nuclear war than at any time since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.”

    There is a lot that the current players can learn from the Missile Scare but they are equipped differently and the information overload can lead to miscalculations which leads to the greater risk of nuclear war.

    But we are not near the point of confrontation that the world was facing in 1962. That was one year after Ike’s warning.

    Today the long game has been adopted with sanctions and resistance which are very gainful for the warring parties and I doubt if anyone wants to mess up this very profitable equation.

    Basically the MIC has the upper hand as usual with an unlimited budget and a complete carelessness for the economic misery of the world’s population. Some preferential treatment is given to white folks to keep them on ice while the looting continues.

    • Very good analysis. Same old, same old. The American public loses interest in these murderous flare ups unless there are pictures of dead bodies and victims of sexual torture. Conditioning.

    • Thanks …
      And when there are victims of sexual torture they put the madame in jail after cutting a deal to keep the rapists’s anonymity and it goes under the rug forever.

  3. Neither side can afford to lose this war, the Russians or the deepstate western elite, to do so would be catastrophic. The white pill, either a detente or ww3.

  4. Anyone who knows anything about military tactics knows that what seemed to be a drive to Kiev was a feint. The story about Russia losing thousands of tanks and personnel was just MSM media BS. Anybody who believes that at any point during the war the Ukraines have or had any chance of victory I have some nice ocean front property in Nevada they may be interested in🤣 Tulsi I love you but I recommend you get your intel from some other source than the Mockingbird media.

  5. Tulsi sometimes full of the required well rehearsed shit to get support for presidential bid in 2024 and tries her best not to stink too much, but she is the only reasonable presidential candidate out there so give her that.
    It could be possible Russia lost over a thousand tanks, APCs, artillery units, trucks and jeeps and construction equipment all included, and has had over 10,000 casualties, if you include all the wounded so who knows for sure Russia is not going to tell the truth no matter if it is 200 soldiers killed or 2000 as there is no “need to know” requirement for JQ public. The truth is, they are at war and you dont speak the truth in a war its stupid to do so.

    • some of these numbers are whaked.. 70K shelld a day.. thats a rail line 25 miles long – based on tonnaged…

  6. if the info on that’ last alamo stand is correct.. the Ninjas, are going to force the resudual uki army; heavy mek -2- move along that upper border on russia totatality of demise/impending-surrender.. numbers today si 6000 POW’s.. sounds like th Uki army is capitulated.. most of the fronts going to odessa hav gone silent ??? russian pulled off of snake island.. poles are making a deal w zel to occupy ukraine w/o a peacekeeper role.. the ninjas will move towards kieve as a permanent police force…. zel is headed to florida 2 B guarded by 18,000 G7 police 24/7 as king’ Something”

    ohhh ! putin has cancer – dementia – ingrown toenails – overthrown by his body double who is 2B replaced by Skippy His Evil George Bush – twinnn…

    and the russians are probably a ittle pissed they ad to put parts of donbas thru a paper shredder $$$ v/s the repair bills

    NATO is toast…

  7. How is it that Tulsi can speak of what is the closest thing to reality in Ukraine,as a United States Senator, and the Western media will only present the Zelinski/Ukraine NATO perspective? And US citizens lap it up. I think I would rather be invaded by Aliens than saved by Democracy. History has shown the former to be much more discrete at least. And actually more ‘humain’.

  8. No, early Russian losses were nowhere near that high.
    But the Neocons don’t want a settlement. They want WWIII and won’t stop until they get it or are kicked out of office.
    Does Trump have the guts to stop the madness? If so, I am for Trump in 2014.
    Either that or Europe will have to rise up and give the US and NATO the boot.
    Let’s keep hoping.

    • Richard,
      It all depends on what is in it for him. Be careful what you wish for. Russia has faired much better on its own than it and the world would under Kkking Henry Trump the VIII

  9. Looks like Joe ‘Dementia’ Biden announced another 800+ million military aid package for Ukraine today.

    Biden and his supporters always want to give more American military aid to Ukrainian Neo-Nazis and Zionists. They can never give enough.

  10. Tulsi, you’re tilting at windmills. Nobody in the USA is paying attention anymore to facts or evidence. That went by the way long before 9/11. When you’ve been told that three huge skyscrapers have been turned to dust by two airplanes piloting by 19 hijackers armed with boxcutters… You might as well believe that the Earth is flat and the Sun is its planet. Actually, fully one-quarter of Americans believe that. Just Google it and see for yourself.

    Ukraine, the nation that no one can find on the map, will be used as the pretext for a catastrophic war on Russia, one that will go nuclear within hours. It never had to make sense, just dollars and cents. Didn’t you know that by now?

    • It’s far worse than that. WTC 7 fell to the group at speed of gravity without being touched by an airplane. Total collapse. Then Larry Silverstein publicly bragged he had decided to ‘pull it.’

      Still, I’m one of what, maybe 200 Americans that believe it was a controlled demolition. Not too many out there who do.

    • Yeah, but she got most of the rest of her analysis correct. The actual number of casualties and fatalities in any war are pretty much hearsay. I suspect early Russian loses were not that high and she knows it. But, you can’t get into the big league political arena by demanding and speaking the truth across the board.

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