ITALY, June 12th, 2023. If for some reason Americans thought that the support for Ukraine’s war effort was only for noble reasons, a recent POLITICO report should re-calibrate that thought.
In part because of Biden’s executive drawdown authority, over $120 billion—about as much as the whole of the Dep. of Health and Human Services—has been spent to transform Ukraine’s military. The bipartisan support in Congress helped him achieve this, and their authorizations have accounted for three massive spending bills.
Now, a successful Ukrainian recapture of territory is believed to have the appearance, should it come to pass, of the necessary wisdom and resolution befitting a capable commander-in-chief on the world stage.
But should the counterattack stall, underwhelm, or fail altogether, officials are worried support in NATO and Capitol Hill will dry up, and with them Biden’s chances for reelection since he spent so much with so little to show for it.
At the outset, it appears to be going badly. CNN spoke with Pentagon officials who admitted Ukrainian forces were taking “significant losses” of Western military vehicles and soldiers. While they had overrun Russian positions in three villages in Donestk and Zaporozhzhnia, mortars, minefields, anti-tank missiles, and grenades had offered “stiff resistance”.
Still, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said the government was “happy about every meter”.
“It is not only about Bakhmut. The offensive is taking place in several directions,” Maliar said.
As at all times throughout the war, newspapers are having difficulties verifying or debunking claims made by both militaries. In a recent Reuters report, they found some evidence that claims of the villages being taken were true, while videos and stills released by the Russian Ministry of Defense showing the destruction of Ukrainian armor could sometimes be verified by date, and sometimes by location, but never both at the same time.