If any Ukrainian were under the impression that the White House and Pentagon were their allies, the last 7 days of news coverage on the disastrous counteroffensive would make grim reading for them.
Multiple named and unnamed US officials have been speaking to reporters and collectively they’ve made it clear that prior to Zelenskyy’s counterattack, the Pentagon did not think they would regain much territory, but that they shouldn’t stop fighting; that a Western military would never launch an attack like this without air superiority; that they knew Ukrainian forces were undertrained and under-equipped; that Ukraine was too worried about casualties after the first unsuccessful weeks; that they should be employing more combined arms tactics; and that they hoped Ukrainian “resourcefulness” would carry the day.
There’s no sign of the Biden Administration slowing down the infusion of aid and weapons, with the White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stating that the administration was moving “as fast as possible” to get F-16s into Kyiv’s hands by the end of the year; WH spokesman John Kirby said the same.
Observers might find it ironic that a NATO country would never have attempted an offensive operation like the one Ukraine is trying without air superiority, and that the coalition of 11 NATO countries providing the F-16s and the training for them is still nowhere near ready to provide the attackers that superiority.
“America would never attempt to defeat a prepared defense without air superiority, but they [Ukrainians] don’t have air superiority,” John Nagl, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who is now an associate professor of warfighting studies at the US Army War College, told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s impossible to overstate how important air superiority is for fighting a ground fight at a reasonable cost in casualties.”
Also related to the war in Ukraine is a recent DoD inspector general report that weapons and ammunition given to Ukraine are ending up on the black market.
“The Arms Control Act requires the White House to establish an inspection system for weapons the US sells or gifts to third countries,” writes news editor Kyle Anzalone at the Libertarian Institute. “The law mandates the monitoring continues to the end-use of the weapon. In Ukraine, the embassy in Kiev has been assigned responsibility for monitoring the weapons transfers.”
The report added that in some cases this is not taking place due to a lack of physical presence at the point of inspection.
“The DoD OIG found deficiencies in the DoD’s transfer of military equipment to the Government of Ukraine requiring [End Use Monitoring], including Javelin missiles, Javelin Command Launch Units, and night vision devices; and in Ukraine’s security and accountability of US.-provided military equipment requiring [End Use Monitoring],” the report, which spanned February to September of 2022, said.
In a section that was heavily redacted, the IG listed 3 instances of criminals who were caught selling US weapons on the black market, including rifles, ammunition, bullet-proof vests, and other weapons, and one instance of something like a terrorism plot organized by an “unnamed Russian official” that was to be carried out in the country with US-supplied equipment. WaL
PICTURED ABOVE: Zelenskyy and Biden at the 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius – CC 3.0. Zuma Press