By most accounts from the front and according to the strategic information currently on hand, the war in Ukraine is all but over and Russia has essentially won. Russia continues to occupy at least 20% of Ukrainian lands and has solidified its lines. As expected, Ukraine’s much hyped counteroffensive was hot air and it is clear that their ability to field combat ready soldiers has been greatly diminished. Without an offensive capable military, Ukraine has nothing left except whatever mid range arms NATO gives them to harass Russian forces to minimal effect. All Putin has to do is bide his time until the money and weapons run out.
But even worse still for Zelensky and friends is the fact that the propaganda machine driving western sentiment and monetary support is quickly dying. Admissions of “war fatigue” among Americans and Europeans are beginning to surface and majority support for further funding has ended. Without a clear outline of what victory in Ukraine actually looks like, and with many in the west facing stagflationary crisis, enthusiasm has floundered. It should also be noted that the war in Ukraine never garnered any meaningful American support for the deployment of troops, and for good reason.
No one wants to jump headlong into WWIII.
With Ukraine becoming the ugly girl at the school dance, the attention of establishment warhawks (Neo-cons and Democrats) has swiftly shifted over to Israel, much to the dismay of Zelensky. The Ukrainian leader warned in an interview with a France 2 broadcaster:
“There is a risk that international attention will turn away from Ukraine, and that will have consequences…”
Zelensky has desperately tried to associate Ukraine with Israel as if the two nations are engaged in the same fight. He even went as far as to insinuate that Vladimir Putin was the mastermind behind the destabilization of the Middle East and insisted that NATO funding packages for Israel should be tied to funding packages for Ukraine.
Let’s not forget how disjointed and strange a Ukraine/Israel association would be, given Ukraine’s Nazi leanings. This is the same government that actually invited a real life Nazi SS officer to be applauded by Canada’s parliament as a war hero just last month. The disconnect may be the reason why the Israelis rejected military aid to Ukraine for so long.
The Biden Administration is running with the multi-war package idea, asking Congress to approve additional funding for Ukraine, but attaching it to a plan which would include funding for Israel, Taiwan, and US border security. In other words, if conservatives want the border to be protected, they must agree to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on two ongoing war fronts as well as a third potential front with China.
It is highly unlikely according to officials on both sides of the aisle that this will succeed. But, when the establishment piles on a host of different projects into a single funding plan, it is usually because this allows them to enter into false negotiations. That is to say, there are certain projects they actually want and others they don’t care about. They cut the funding programs they never intended to keep so that congress can feel like they gained something in the bargain. The question is, which war do they really want to fund, knowing they will not get congressional approval for both?
Israel is better placed to become the new warhawk darling, given the country garners more sentiment from US and European conservatives who are increasingly wary of Ukraine. The far-left support of Ukraine and their rabid anti-Russia propaganda has left many conservatives suspicious of the entire affair. Leftists are revealing a similar zealotry in favor of Palestinian intifada, which might convince people on the right to support Israel by default.
Right or wrong, it’s easier to find Republicans that favor Israel simply on religious grounds than it is to find those that care about Ukraine, and this seems to be the key to the future of the establishment agenda – A conservative majority must be onboard for any new war endeavor to last. Ukraine’s failures have proven that.
There may be an overestimation, however, in terms of how many conservatives are open to funding yet another foreign quagmire. Fears of Islamic extremism are justified, but not necessarily enough to compel Americans to ignore their own mounting problems at home. Selling them on a plan to commit US funds and even military forces to Israel might be more difficult than the establishment thinks.