Nato British Royal Marines and US Army Green Berets training for Ukrainian war in Germany (Picture: Flickr/ Nato)

A majority of people in the United States don’t want their government to spend any more money on the Ukraine war, according to a poll last week. A CNN survey showed 55 percent of Americans now oppose further funding for Ukraine from Congress. It’s a big shift and the first time a majority has said no more cash for this war.

This comes as the New York Times reports that the number of Ukrainian and Russian troops killed or wounded since the war began in February 2022 is nearing 500,000. Quoting unnamed US officials, the paper said Russia’s military casualties are approaching 300,000, including as many as 120,000 deaths and 170,000 to 180,000 injuries. 

Ukrainian deaths were close to 70,000, with 100,000 to 120,000 wounded, it added. The Washington Post published an article reporting that US intelligence agencies think Ukraine’s offensive will fail to reach its main objectives. Their reasoning is that Ukrainians are not willing to die in large enough numbers.

The analysis underscores that for the US and Britain this is a proxy war. Ukrainians have to be ­slaughtered in vast numbers to advance Nato’s interests against Russia. “The US intelligence community assesses that Ukraine’s counteroffensive will fail to reach the key ­southeastern city of Melitopol,” the Post reported. 

This means “Kyiv won’t fulfill its principal objective of severing Russia’s land bridge to Crimea in this year’s push.” The Post added, “In the first week of fighting, Ukraine incurred major casualties against Russia’s well-prepared defences despite having a range of newly-acquired Western equipment, including US Bradley Fighting Vehicles, German-made Leopard 2 tanks, and ­specialized mine-clearing vehicles.”

The article says “war games” conducted by the US, British and Ukrainian militaries anticipated such losses. But they thought the Volodymyr Zelensky government would “accept the casualties as the cost of ­piercing through Russia’s main defensive line”. But, says the US media, it has now become “casualty averse”

Unfortunately for Nato, “Ukraine chose to stem the losses on the ­battlefield and switch to a tactic of relying on smaller units to push ­forward across different areas of the front”. Because Ukraine has not yet herded enough conscripts into human wave assaults through ­minefields, the military progress has been slow.

The US will keep demanding the fighting continue to the last dead Ukrainian. In another escalation, last Sunday the Netherlands and Denmark announced they will donate up to 61 F-16 fighter jets between them to Ukraine once pilot training is completed.

Recently the US told the Netherlands and Denmark it would support the transfer of the jets to Ukraine. It’s been 18 months since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On both sides ordinary people pay the bloody price as the rival ­imperialists battle for power and profit.

China retaliates over Taiwan

If the US humiliates Russia in Ukraine, it will be emboldened to confront China. Already tensions are growing. Last Saturday, China’s army launched extensive air and sea drills around Taiwan—an independent country that backs the US, and which China claims is part of its own state.

The military drills followed a visit by Taiwanese vice president Lai Ching-te to the US. Lai, the frontrunner for Taiwan’s 2024 presidential election, visited New York on his way to Paraguay. On his way back, Lai stopped in California.

China warned it would take measures in response. Some in the US Congress argue that the US must “arm Taiwan to the teeth” to prevent a Chinese attack on the island. But recent Chinese actions make clear that the more the US increases military and diplomatic support for Taiwan, the more military pressure the island will face.

US state behind Pakistan leader’s fall 

Secret documents confirm that the US state department encouraged the Pakistan government to remove Imran Khan as prime minister. It did this over his neutrality towards the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The move came just weeks before Khan’s parliamentary alliance fell apart and he lost the support of the country’s military, reports the Intercept website.

Khan then lost a no‑confidence vote and was removed from office. The country’s most popular politician has since been hounded by charges of corruption and sentenced to a three-year jail term. This is designed to bar him from contesting elections originally scheduled for this autumn.

Newly leaked cables, labelled “Secret”, include an account of a meeting between state department officials and Asad Majeed Khan, then Pakistan’s ambassador to the US. The day before the meeting, Khan addressed a rally and responded directly to the West’s demand that Pakistan rally behind Ukraine.

“Are we your slaves?” Khan told the crowd. “What do you think of us? That we are your slaves and that we will do whatever you ask of us?” he said. “We are friends of Russia, and we are also friends of the United States. We are friends of China and Europe. We are not part of any alliance.”

Assistant secretary of state Donald Lu used the pre‑overthrow meeting to express the US’s displeasure at Khan’s remarks, describing them as “aggressively neutral”. The Khan government’s neutrality on Ukraine was quickly reversed when a new, unelected government took office. And, as promised in the meeting, the US government quickly warmed to the new administration.

Yuri Prasad

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