“Could you please stand up so we can all see you – thank you!” said US President Joe Biden to thunderous applause in Congress. Oksana Markarova, the Ambassador of Ukraine, put her hand on her heart and nodded, visibly touched. “We will stand by your side – for as long as necessary,” promised the President in his State of the Union address in early February. “As long as necessary” is the key phrase with which the US President is now traveling to Poland.
In fact, the journey has mostly symbolic meaning. Shortly before the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he wants to show the states on the eastern edge of NATO that US support is unwavering. “Poland and its neighbors carry a heavy burden when it comes to refugees and acting as transit points for arms bound for Ukraine,” said Charles Kupchan, a professor of international politics at Georgetown University in Washington.
When will the war end?
To date, the US has committed well over $100 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Biden’s greatest achievement, however, was probably uniting the NATO members before the invasion. Biden said in his speech that he had built a global coalition and opposed Putin’s aggression. This coalition has lasted to this day, bringing NATO closer together. But now the question arises in the USA when this war will probably end.
Biden hesitates before delivering fighter jets
Some Republicans believe that if Ukraine won. “We have to give them everything they need to win this thing and not slowly bleed out into winter or spring,” said Rep. Mike McCaul on CNN.
The criticism is that the President has been hesitating for too long in supplying not only tanks but also aircraft, for example. Biden fears that doing so would drag the US deeper into this war.
Putting Ukraine in a strong negotiating position
But there is another reason, says politics professor Kupchan. It is recognized that a complete military victory for Ukraine is not likely. And that Ukraine may not have the fighting power to recapture Crimea and the whole Donbas.
Instead, the US government wants to help Ukraine take back as much as possible so that it can later enter the peace negotiations from a strong position. Biden has repeatedly emphasized when that will be, that Ukraine alone will decide.
Resolution to end grants
But maybe time is really running out in the USA. A group of right-wing Republicans has just tabled a resolution in the House of Representatives to end financial aid to Ukraine and sign a peace treaty immediately. On the one hand, the money is needed at home, on the other hand, this war is the business of the Europeans, says MP Matt Gaetz.
And the US continued the violence and carnage. According to Gaetz in an interview, nobody wanted this war to last just one more day. There is no majority for this – yet – but similar things can also be heard from the progressive left within the Democrats.
And the Americans are also turning their backs: less than half are still in favor of supplying arms to Ukraine. Last spring it was 60 percent.
From the battlefield to the negotiating table
So the pressure to move from the battlefield to the negotiating table will grow in the US, says Kupchan. He anticipates several months of intense fighting and believes that the implementation of this change will begin later this year. Celebrating the unity of the West, condemning the dictator in Russia and plotting a future for Ukraine – that will be at the heart of Biden’s visit to Poland.