Biden zelensky visity speech congress
Volodymyr Zelensky and Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden is running out of time to score a "victory" in Ukraine, retired Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski told Sputnik's New Rules podcast.

Biden's announcement of a new weapons package for Ukraine at the G7 summit in Hiroshima last week coincided with Russia's liberation of Artemovsk (Bakhmut). Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky embarked on a diplomatic charm offensive in Europe, drumming up support for the much-discussed Kiev's "counteroffensive".

However, the former Pentagon analyst and US Air Force veteran told Sputnik that the Ukrainian armed forces were unlikely to achieve meaningful success, despite an influx of new Western weaponry.

"They have been put on the offense and yet they have been cleaned out militarily," Kwiatkowski said. "And the aid that they're getting from NATO isn't interoperable. It isn't compatible with what the Ukrainians are used to using. In many cases, it doesn't work together. So they can't put together a combined arms operation. They don't really have an air force. They are really at a disadvantage."

Many of the military plans announced by the Kiev leadership do not hold water, according to the military expert. For instance, earlier this year Zelensky pledged to seize Crimea, which reunited with Russia in response to the US-backed 2014 February coup d'etat in Kiev.

"Of course, Zelensky says, 'We're going to take Crimea'. With what? His armies are largely decimated and exhausted. They're recruiting teenage boys and 65 year old men. This is not a good sign," Kwiatkowski said.

She raised the question whether what is left of Ukraine is going to be governable: "Is there enough their territory, culture, people, industry? Is there enough there to constitute a continuing country? That conversation needs to happen. I imagine that Ukrainians are having this conversation."

Meanwhile, late last week the White House signaled the US will support a joint F-16 training program for Ukrainians paving the way for future transferals of the fighter jets to the front line. Citing sources familiar with the talks, the US mainstream press reported that the Biden administration would allow Washington's European allies to export F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.
"At every stage, the United States has played a critical role in making sure Ukraine gets what it needs when it needs it," National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told a US broadcaster on Monday. "And we will continue to do that."
Previously, the Biden administration hesitated to provide F-16s to the Ukrainian Air Forces, despite repeated requests from Kiev.

"Right now as long as this war goes on, any F-16 will be destroyed very quickly," Kwiatkowski said.
"Any F-16 pilot must be considered a kamikaze pilot, whether it's an American, a newly trained Ukrainian or a Pole. It doesn't matter who's flying it. There is no system in the battle space there to defend an F-16 and to allow an F-16 to do the kind of job that an F-16 is designed to do. It's inappropriate from an operational sense to stick in these. And they've done this not just with the F-16, but with other systems. Abrams tanks, they're sending over a handful of these complicated, highly dependent on complex logistics, hard to operate, takes tons of training and yet, we've promised Abrams tanks as well. So on the battlefield, none of these systems make any difference. They just get blown up."
Judging from the trend that has been taking shape over the last months, "the US policymakers and the military establishment and NATO are preparing to NATO-ize what's left of Ukraine," the former Pentagon analyst suggested.

Will There be US Boots on the Ground in Ukraine?

Biden is unlikely to send American troops to Ukraine in a bid to turn the tide back in Ukraine's favor, according to Kwiatkowski, noting that the US president would have a hard time justifying such an escalation to the American people.

"The politicians love proxy wars because they don't have to claim that it's a war. And it doesn't touch American people because we don't have our kids coming home," she said.
"We've lost 18 or 20 American retired soldiers or whatnot who have tried to fight with the Ukrainian side. Some of those guys came home last year after a few months. And what did they say? They said, 'Look, this is a mess. This is a hopeless nightmare. This is not working. All these data points that a common person can figure out. But our politicians haven't really got it yet.'"
Perhaps even more significantly, Washington would gain nothing financially from putting boots on the ground in Ukraine. Kwiatkowski noted that when the US sent troops to Syria, it did so in order to seize control of the country's oil fields.

"There's nothing to protect in Ukraine," she said. "There's nothing that makes us money in Ukraine. The whole purpose of our aid to Ukraine in this proxy war is about containing Russia, angering Russia, destabilizing Russia or whatever. Most of that hasn't worked."

Furthermore, Zelensky multi-billion aid requests have been growing unpopular with Americans, too, especially given swirling inflation and a looming recession, according to the military analyst.

"Americans are frustrated," she said. "Many of them were receiving government money during COVID. And of course, as that dries up, it feels like you're getting less money, which you are. Your money's going less far because of inflation. That's a fact. So people are feeling the pinch and if America had $100 billion to give to somebody, why would they give it to Zelensky instead of giving it to Americans?"

On top of that, reports of Zelensky's corruption appear to have aggravated the situation even further. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh remarked in his April 12 Substack post that while the US aid keeps coming to Kiev, the CIA estimates that the Ukrainian president and his entourage embezzled around $400 million last year alone.

Earlier, in October 2021, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) dropped a bombshell revealing that Zelensky and his associates founded a network of offshore companies in 2012 for questionable money transferals. GOP lawmakers have repeatedly called the Ukrainian president "corrupt."

How Does Ukraine Conflict Affect Biden Election Odds?

Meanwhile, Team Biden wants Ukraine to be put on the back burner before the 2024 presidential campaign, according to the analyst. The longer the Ukraine conflict goes on, the more politically toxic it becomes for the Biden administration.
Kinzhal ALBM
© KremlinA Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ALBM being carried by a Mikoyan MIG-31K
What's more, in addition to losing Artemovsk, the Kiev regime has recently lost its US-made Patriot missile defense system. The spectacular strike of the Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile that managed to withstand the launch of a whopping 32 Patriot rockets and destroy the Ukraine air defenses in Kiev has made a splash in the social media. Needless to say, the latest news from the front does not add to Joe Biden's popularity ahead of the 2024 US presidential elections
"I don't think this is going to be an issue they want to have in the front page of the newspaper," the retired lieutenant colonel noted. "Certainly, this is Biden's war. This is Victoria Nuland's war. This is Jake Sullivan's war. None of these people - Biden, Sullivan, Blinken - none of these people who are making this war, who are pursuing this policy, ever wore the uniform or qualify as an average American. They have no roots in the heartland of this country. They really are an elite, a very narrow elite. It's their war and it will be handed to them during the elections. We're already seeing it."
Kwiatkowski referred to Donald Trump's CNN interview in which the former president stated that he is going to stop the Russo-Ukrainian conflict in 24 hours. "Americans love to hear that," she stressed.

"The fact that he said it appeals to many, many Americans of both parties. And then you have a challenger in the Democratic Party, RFK Jr., who they're trying to block out completely, we don't want to hear about him. But in fact, he is advocating for much the same thing and he's very popular as a result of it. In fact, 18% of the Democrats (a few weeks ago he had no publicity at all) said they would vote for him," Kwiatkowski explained.
"The American people are ready for peace. Any politician who sells peace and who can claim he will end the US involvement in the Ukrainian situation will win. [The Biden administration] knows that, so they need to get out."
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