As the Pentagon’s favorite think tank calls for a swift end to the Ukraine conflcit, is the mood shifting in Washington? — RT World News

The RAND Company, a remarkably influential elite nationwide stability consider tank funded instantly by the Pentagon, has published a landmark report stating that prolonging the proxy war is actively harming the US and its allies and warning Washington that it need to steer clear of “a protracted conflict” in Ukraine.

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The report has an unequivocal title, “Avoiding a very long war: US coverage and the trajectory of the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” which supplies a strong indicator as to its contents. 

It starts off by stating that the preventing represents “the most important interstate conflict in a long time, and its evolution will have important consequences” for Washington, which features US “interests” remaining actively harmed. The report would make it extremely apparent that while Ukrainians have been undertaking the preventing, and their towns have been “flattened” and “economy decimated,” these “interests” are “not synonymous” with Kiev’s.

The US ending its money, humanitarian and significantly army assist promptly would result in Ukraine to completely collapse, and RAND cites several causes why accomplishing so would be smart, not minimum since a Ukrainian victory is regarded as both of those “improbable” and “unlikely,” due to Russian “resolve,” and its armed forces mobilization having “rectified the manpower deficit that enabled Ukraine’s achievements in the Kharkiv counteroffensive.”

From the point of view of US “interests,” RAND warns that although the Kremlin has not threatened to use nuclear weapons, there are “several problems that make Russian use of nuclear weapons the two a plausible contingency Washington demands to account for and a massively critical element in pinpointing the long term trajectory of the conflict.”

And what are the hazards for the US 

The imagine tank thinks the Biden administration “has ample reason to make the avoidance of Russian use of nuclear weapons a paramount precedence.” In unique, it must seek to avoid a “direct nuclear exchange” with Moscow, a “direct conflict with Russia”, or wider “NATO-Russia war.” 

On the latter position, RAND anxieties that US typical Mark Milley’s desire that the conflict continue to be “inside the geographical boundaries of Ukraine”  is on the verge of remaining disrespected, as “the extent of NATO allies’ oblique involvement in the war is spectacular in scope,” which includes “tens of billions of dollars’ worthy of of weapons and other aid” and “tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assist,” along with “billions of pounds regular monthly in immediate budgetary support to Kiev.” 

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Such largesse could, RAND forecasts, prompt Moscow to “punish NATO members…with the aim of ending allied help for Ukraine strike NATO preemptively if Russia perceives that NATO intervention in Ukraine is imminent interdict the transfer of arms to Ukraine retaliate in opposition to NATO for perceived aid for internal unrest in Russia,” if the Kremlin concludes the country’s nationwide protection is “severely imperiled.”

These outcomes are “by no usually means inescapable,” but nevertheless depict an “elevated” hazard, specifically in light of incidents such as a Ukrainian air protection missile hanging Polish territory in November 2022 – a situation exacerbated by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky falsely professing it was a deliberate Russian strike. Whilst this event “did not spiral out of regulate, it did exhibit that combating can unintentionally spill above to the territory of neighboring US allies.”

One more incident like that could signify “the US military would quickly be associated in a very hot war with a region that has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.” This, as properly as a regular conflict concerning NATO and Russia, is a prospect Washington really should steer clear of at all charges, RAND argues. 

A distinct implication is the US could reduce such a conflict, a single crucial rationale being, as pointed out by RAND, “the intensity of the armed service assistance” becoming presented to Ukraine by its Western backers is currently approaching an “unsustainable” level, with US and European weapons stocks “running very low.” This as a result usually means a for a longer time war equals additional Ukrainian territory reunified with Russia.

Is there a remedy?

On the topic of territorial losses, RAND is unmoved by arguments Ukraine must endeavor to recapture all that it has lost since 2014, as “greater territorial manage is not immediately correlated with better economic prosperity” or “greater protection.” Land having been retaken by Kiev due to the fact September signifies “Russia has imposed much better economic prices on the place as a entire.” 

RAND also considers the really worth of arguments that “greater Ukrainian territorial control” need to be certain “to enhance global norms, and to foster Ukraine’s long term financial growth” to be “debatable,” as even in the “unlikely” function Kiev pushes “beyond the pre-February 2022 line of manage and manages to retake locations that Russia has occupied given that 2014,” the hazards of escalation from Moscow, which include “nuclear use or an attack on NATO” will “spike.” 

The Kremlin would probably treat the opportunity reduction of Crimea as a a lot more substantial danger both to countrywide stability and routine balance,” the report warns.

All these components make “avoiding a extensive war…the optimum priority right after reducing escalation risks,” so RAND suggests the US “take measures that make an finish to the conflict more than the medium term a lot more probably,” which includes “issuing assurances regarding the country’s neutrality,” something that Moscow experienced requested prior to the conflict commenced, to deaf ears, as properly as “sanctions reduction for Russia.”

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Even so, the report warns from a “dramatic, overnight shift in US policy,” as this would be “politically impossible – the two domestically and with allies,” in its place recommending the enhancement of “instruments” to carry the war to a “negotiated stop,” and “socializing them with Ukraine and with US allies” in progress to lessen the blow. This process ought to be started out speedily nevertheless, as “the alternate is a long war that poses important troubles for the US, Ukraine, and the rest of the world.”


What this proposal ignores is that Western leaders have continually demonstrated they can not be trustworthy to regard or adhere to treaties they have signed and brokered with Russia, this kind of as the Minsk Accords, which previous German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted had been by no means meant to be applied, but alternatively to obtain time for Kiev.

It may be the case then that Moscow won’t be interested in RAND’s solution at all, and pick out as an alternative to complete the war on its possess phrases.