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Prof. ST Hsieh

Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum

626-376-7460

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December 12, 2023

If we trust the US intelligence, and we should, the proxy war in Ukraine has already achieved 90% of the goal. Because “nearly 90% of the Russian personnel it had when the conflict began, a source familiar with the intelligence said on Tuesday.” The US intelligence also assessed that: Moscow’s losses in personnel and armored vehicles to Ukraine’s military have set back Russia’s military modernization by 18 years, the source said.

It is public knowledge that the ultimate intention of the US stoked proxy war in Ukraine is to degrade Russian’s, or rather Putin’s, military strength which is second to the US. Thus, according to the US intelligence, only 10% of the Russian military manpower is left and it will take Russia 18 years to recover: Mission Accomplished! We won or Zelenskyy has defeated Putin!

Thus, Zelenskyy’s visit to Biden today should be a triumph tour, he should be welcomed as a hero. It is puzzling that both Biden and Zelenskyy were telling the public that “if the US funding ends now, Putin will win in 2024.” Does Biden get his daily classified briefing, or does he read US newspapers?

It is more confusing that “U.S. and Ukraine Search for a New Strategy,” and the war is expected to last till 2025. How many Russin military personnel will still be around then? How many Ukrainians will survive in 2025? How much more money would have to be wasted?

The proxy war in Ukraine should end soon and all they need is a new leader!

U.S. intelligence assesses Ukraine war has cost Russia 315,000 casualties -source

Jonathan Landay

Updated Tue, December 12, 2023 at 3:51 PM PST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A declassified U.S. intelligence report assessed that the Ukraine war has cost Russia 315,000 dead and injured troops, or nearly 90% of the personnel it had when the conflict began, a source familiar with the intelligence said on Tuesday.

The report also assessed that Moscow’s losses in personnel and armored vehicles to Ukraine’s military have set back Russia’s military modernization by 18 years, the source said.

The Russian army began the war with 3,100 tanks, lost 2,200 of them and has had to “backfill” that force with T62 tanks produced in the 1970s, leaving it only 1,300 tanks on the battlefield, the source quoted the report as saying.

Kyiv treats its losses as a state secret and officials say disclosing the figure could harm its war effort. A New York Times report in August cited U.S. officials as putting the Ukrainian death toll at close to 70,000.

The real figure was likely higher, they said.

U.S. and Ukraine Search for a New Strategy After Failed Counteroffensive

By Julian E. BarnesEric SchmittDavid E. Sanger and Thomas Gibbons-Neff

Dec. 11, 2023

American and Ukrainian military leaders are searching for a new strategy that they can begin executing early next year to revive Kyiv’s fortunes and flagging support for the country’s war against Russia, according to U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

The push for a fresh approach comes after Ukraine’s monthslong counteroffensive failed in its goal of retaking territory lost to the invading Russian army and after weeks of often tense encounters between top American officials and their Ukrainian counterparts.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine arrived in Washington on Monday for hastily arranged meetings this week with President Biden and Congress to discuss the way forward. The two presidents will attempt to demonstrate solidarity and bolster support for Ukraine at a critical moment, both on the battlefield and on Capitol Hill.

Ukraine’s setbacks have come as Republican support for continuing American financial assistance for Kyiv has eroded. Even some senior U.S. officials have expressed worries that if the war falls into a long stalemate next year, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia will gain the advantage.

“We can’t let Putin win,” Mr. Biden said last week as he pressed Congress for a new round of funding for Ukraine. “It’s in our overwhelming national interest and international interest of all our friends. Any disruption in our ability to supply Ukraine clearly strengthens Putin’s position.”

The Russian military, after its own failed drive to Kyiv in 2022, has begun to reverse its fortunes and is rebuilding its might. Moscow now has more troops, ammunition and missiles, and has increased its firepower advantage with a fleet of battlefield drones, many of them supplied by Iran, according to American officials.

The United States is stepping up the face-to-face military advice it provides to Ukraine, dispatching a three-star general to Kyiv to spend considerable time on the ground. U.S. and Ukrainian military officers say they hope to work out the details of a new strategy next month in a series of war games scheduled to be held in Wiesbaden, Germany.

The Americans are pushing for a conservative strategy that focuses on holding the territory Ukraine has, digging in and building up supplies and forces over the course of the year. The Ukrainians want to go on the attack, either on the ground or with long-range strikes, with the hopes of seizing the world’s attention.

The stakes are huge. Without both a new strategy and additional funding, American officials say Ukraine could lose the war.

The United States has given vast military and economic support to Ukraine, more than $111 billion over the past two years. But a significant number of Republicans now say they oppose further spending, and others are demanding to see a new strategy before they vote for any additional funds.

Many Ukrainian leaders do not realize how precarious continued U.S. funding for the war is, American officials said. These Ukrainian generals and senior civilian officials have unrealistic expectations about what the United States will supply, they said.

American officials say Ukraine will have to fight on a tighter budget.

Some in the U.S. military want Ukraine to pursue a “hold and build” strategy — to focus on holding the territory it has and building its ability to produce weapons over 2024. The United States believes the strategy will improve Ukraine’s self-sufficiency and ensure Kyiv is in a position to repel any new Russian drive.

The goal would be to create enough of a credible threat that Russia might consider engaging in meaningful negotiations at the end of next year or in 2025.

American officials say that without a change in strategy, 2024 could be akin to 1916, the deadliest year of World War I, when thousands of young men lost their lives and battle lines changed very little.

Ukraine has not released official numbers of its war dead, but the losses, officials concede, have been steep.

But there are some signs of compromise. Senior American officials said they are open to some of Ukraine’s new ideas. U.S. officials said that Ukraine’s deep strikes into Crimea this fall proved deadly to Russia and were a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing counteroffensive. American strategists believe the Ukrainians can build on that success next year, even if much of their energy is spent on rebuilding their forces.

Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, the top American commander in Europe, has been taking a bigger role in coordinating with Ukrainian officials.

The Pentagon has also decided to dispatch Lt. Gen. Antonio A. Aguto Jr., who commands the support of Ukraine from a base in Germany, to spend lengthy periods of time in Kyiv. General Aguto will work more directly with the country’s military leadership to improve the advice the United States is offering, American officials said.

By EricaL

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