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February 21, 2023
Biden and Putin's dueling speeches show why the end of the Ukraine war is a long way off
Journalist Jonathan Guyer
At the annual Munich Security Conference this weekend, the world’s national security influencers’ attention was on the war in Ukraine — particularly, on how to get Ukraine more weapons. That, at times, felt like an echo chamber. While the US has already provided or promised $29.8 billion of weapons to Ukraine, a number of prominent US foreign policy experts, like former George W. Bush official Eliot Cohen, claim, “the West continues to be dilatory in arming Ukraine.” Others continue to push for “What’s next.” Biden on Monday announced an additional $500 million in military aid to Ukraine, days after Vice President Kamala Harris delivered a speech in Munich that described Russia’s actions in Ukraine as crimes against humanity.
But in private, people reportedly expressed worry about the trajectory of the conflict.
“The corridor talk was considerably more anxious,” wrote Richard Fontaine of the Center for a New American Security think tank. “[W]orries about a prolonged war abounded. Western support cannot remain at current levels indefinitely. Political support may ebb, stockpiles are dwindling, and populations could grow less generous over time. In a long war of attrition, Moscow might have the upper hand.”
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