The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that Western officials knew Ukrainian forces didn’t have enough training or equipment for their counteroffensive but hoped they would be able to break through anyway.
The report reads: “When Ukraine launched its big counteroffensive this spring, Western military officials knew Kyiv didn’t have all the training or weapons—from shells to warplanes—that it needed to dislodge Russian forces. But they hoped Ukrainian courage and resourcefulness would carry the day. They Haven’t.”
Leading up to the Ukrainian counteroffensive, which was launched in June, the Discord leaks and media reports revealed that the US did not believe Ukraine could regain much territory from Russia. But the Biden administration pushed for the assault anyway, as it rejected the idea of a pause in fighting.
Ukrainian forces have struggled to push through Russia’s defenses, which include vast minefields, resulting in heavy Ukrainian armor losses in the first few weeks of the counteroffensive. US officials speaking to The New York Times and The Washington Post have blamed the lack of success on Ukraine, saying Ukrainian forces are not using the “combined arms” tactics they learned from NATO countries.
But the Journal report noted that the US and its Western allies would never launch an offensive without air superiority, something Ukraine doesn’t have. Despite the situation on the battlefield for Ukrainians, the US wants Ukraine to try to push harder to break through against Russian forces regardless of the risk of major casualties.
The Journal report said that the prospect of a stalemate and long war would require the US and its allies to provide a “huge new infusion of sophisticated armaments and more training to give Kyiv a chance at victory.”