The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington

  • “U.s. officials have downplayed Russian gains…”
  • There are estimates that both sides have lost tens of thousands of soldiers killed and wounded.  The Pentagon has declined to discuss its assessments of deaths and military losses.
  • Some analysts feel uncomfortable with the US reluctance to talk about losses because of years of rosy assessments during the twenty years the country was fighting in Afghanistan.
  • “Successive administrations insisted Afghan forces were “in the lead” even as their performance was often deeply flawed, and their survival depended on U.S. logistical support and air power.”
  • There has been criticism about American military officials patting themselves on the back for the weapons and support sent, while not acknowledging that they could be sent more quickly.
  • As one Ukrainian lawmaker said: “We need a lot of this for yesterday, not even tomorrow.”
  • Conservative analysts (from Defense Priorities) are arguing that Ukraine’s objective to push Russians out of Ukrainian territory seem “increasingly unrealistic.”  They advocate the Biden administration pressing Ukraine to negotiate with Russia and strive for a political settlement.
  • Benjamin Friedman, policy director for Defense Priorities has stated 1) hardly anyone wants Ukraine to cede territory, 2) you have to “assess the situation honestly” and trade peace for territory, 3) more should be done to pressure Ukraine.  Friedman sees himself and his organization as working for the benefit of the Ukrainians and others who are “suffering economic problems because of the war.”
  • Friedman accused the government of “spinning for Ukraine.”
  • Then, Representatives like Ro Khanna (D-Calif) are warning about getting involved in a “prolonged never-ending conflict that is wreaking havoc on the American economy and the global economy.”  (Note: He sounds as if he thinks this involvement is optional.)
  • Khanna has stated that he believes “we should declare victory for the president’s efforts…We should say we won.  The Russians lost.  They did not achieve their fundamental objective.”  People, he said, are not resigned to support Ukraine at all costs.

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