The United States is intensifying its military advice to Ukraine, encouraging Kyiv to consolidate its current positions and focus on building its forces and weaponry.
This advice, as reported by The New York Times, suggests a strategic pivot towards a 'hold and build' approach. U.S. military experts believe this strategy could increase Ukraine's self-sufficiency and enhance its capability to counter future Russian aggression.
The aim is to establish a credible threat that could bring Russia to the negotiating table by the end of 2024 or 2025. Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials are exploring various strategies, including those based on their successful deep strikes in Crimea last fall.
These include targeting Russian weapons factories, arms depots, and transport networks, along with achieving symbolic victories.
However, U.S. officials warn of the need for a new strategy and additional funding to prevent potential setbacks in the conflict. They caution that without these, Ukraine could face challenges similar to the deadlock and heavy casualties of 1916 during the First World War.
The United States has already provided substantial military and economic support to Ukraine, amounting to over $111 billion in the past two years.
Despite this, there's growing concern among U.S. policymakers about further funding, with some Republicans opposing additional spending without a clear new strategy.
High-ranking U.S. officials are also cautioning Ukrainian leaders about the limitations of further American support, particularly regarding the provision of artillery shells. The U.S. believes that Ukraine must operate within a tighter budget and focus on strategic and symbolic victories, rather than trying to regain all lost territory.
General Christopher G. Cavoli, commander-in-chief of U.S. forces in Europe, is reportedly taking a larger role in coordinating with Ukrainian officials. Additionally, Lieutenant General Antonio Aguto Jr. is set to work directly with Ukraine's military leadership to refine the advice offered by the United States.