Washington (AP) – President Joe Biden is not planning to send combat troops to Ukraine in response to a further Russian invasion. It is also possible for him to pursue a range of less dramatic yet still riskier military options, including supporting a Ukrainian resistance after the invasion.
We do not intend to directly participate in a conflict between Russia and Ukraine for a number of reasons. There are no treaty obligations between the United States and Ukraine, and a war with Russia would represent an enormous risk, given Russian potential for expanding in Europe, destabilizing the region, and even escalating to the point of risking nuclear war.
In his visit to Europe last week to meet with Ukrainian officials, consult NATO allies, and meet with his Russian counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken asserted that “the United States remains committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” However, he has not yet made public his commitment’s limits.
Therefore, what may be the United States and its allies’ reaction if the buildup of Russian forces along Ukraine’s borders results in an invasion?
CAN A RUSSIAN INVASION BE CONTESTED?
At a time when the Biden administration is attempting to focus on China as the primary security threat, a war against Russia in Ukraine could tie up U.S. forces and resources for years and take a heavy toll on American lives.
On Wednesday, 2022, Vice President Biden predicted that Russian President Vladimir Putin would end up sending troops into Ukraine, although he did not believe that Putin would want an all-out war.
In an interview with CNN, Biden said that he is unsure of how Putin will use the forces he has gathered near Ukraine’s border, but that the United States and NATO are rejecting what Moscow considers to be its main demand – a guarantee that the Western alliance will not expand further east.
Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 following the ouster of Ukraine’s Moscow-friendly leader, and Russia supported separatists in eastern Ukraine that same year. The fighting there has resulted in the deaths of more than 14,000 people.
DO BIDEN’S OTHER OPTIONS INCLUDE?
Ukrainian forces were unable to stop Russian forces from invading due to their clear military inferiority. By convincing Putin that the costs of action would be too high, Ukraine might prevent Putin from acting.
“The key to thwarting Russian ambitions is to prevent Moscow from having a quick victory and to raise the economic, political, and military costs by imposing economic sanctions, ensuring political isolation from the West, and raising the prospect of a prolonged insurgency that grinds away the Russian military,”
Jones and Wasielewski authored an analysis for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, both former CIA paramilitary officers.
According to reports, the Biden administration is thinking the same way.