More Air Defenses & Cross-Border Strikes Won't Change The Ukrainian Conflict's Dynamics

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Jun 22, 2024 - 11:00 AM

Authored by Andrew Korybko via Substack,

The US will redirect air defense orders to Ukraine and allow that country to strike Russian forces anywhere across the border that are preparing to cross the frontier in its newest policy evolution. Up until now, the US was still delivering other clients’ air defense orders and had officially limited its authorization of cross-border strikes to only those Russian forces that were entering Kharkov Region. The reason why both approaches changed is because Russia continues to gain the upper hand in this conflict.

Its military-strategic dynamics are such that Russia has already beat NATO by far in their “race of logistics”/“war of attrition”, so much so that Sky News cited a report last month to inform their audience that Russia is producing three times as many shells as NATO at one-quarter of the price. This sets the stage for a possible Russian breakthrough across the front lines that might in turn trigger a conventional NATO intervention, which risks spiraling out of control into a Cuban-like brinksmanship crisis.

More air defenses for Ukraine and cross-border strikes against Russian forces won’t have any significant effect on changing these dynamics, with their only potential impact being to temporarily delay what might very well be the inevitable. Nevertheless, the media attention that’s been given to the US’ newest policy evolution is intended to reinforce its reliance as an ally after it and Ukraine clinched a security pact this month. That too was over-hyped, but it helped maintain the Western public’s morale.

Therein lies the real reason behind these three latest moves – the US-Ukrainian security pact and the US’ newest policy evolutions of redirecting air defense orders to Ukraine as well as allowing it to strike Russian troops anywhere across the border – since they’re really all about perception management. The Ukrainians know that they’re getting trounced, the Russians know they’re gaining ground, and the West knows that only the scenario of a conventional NATO intervention might change this.

The Western public has wised up to these dynamics, however, so it’s imperative for their elite to make it seem like this proxy war hasn’t been for naught and that there’s still a chance of at least stopping Russia from achieving a military breakthrough despite its strategic defeat now being impossible. Even if this only delays what might soon be to come, it could also buy time for NATO to better prepare for conventionally intervening in Ukraine instead of rushing in out of panic like might otherwise be the case.

At the end of the day, the US’ newest policy evolution was predictable, but it’s being over-hyped just like all of its prior ones were as well for perception management purposes. The only variable that can change this conflict’s military-strategic dynamics is a conventional NATO intervention, though that’s fraught with the risk of sparking World War III by miscalculation, but it’s still being seriously considered. Everything else is just a distraction from this fact.