The Pitfalls of an Endless War
Rescuer workers clear the rubble of a residential building destroyed by a drone attack in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, on Oct. 17, 2022 (Oleg Pereverzev/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Pitfalls of an Endless War

Al-Okaz, Saudi Arabia, January 13

With the onset of the new year, hopes rose that 2023 would usher in a new era of stability that would bring an end to the crises that have plagued us during the past few years: the war in Ukraine, inflation and the global pandemic. Unfortunately, the war in Ukraine is continuing to unfold without an end in sight. In fact, Russian forces are desperate to take over the city of Bakhmut, and have re-mobilized over half a million troops in an effort to occupy more territory. Meanwhile, Kyiv is hoping to receive additional Western support that would prepare it for a new wave of battles. On his recent visit to Washington DC, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy managed to secure additional American guarantees for armored vehicles and air defense systems. He also secured extensive military support, in the form of armaments and heavy weapons, from several European countries. The real crisis is that we are facing a zero-sum equation. There seems to be very little room, and willingness, of any of the sides to concede to the other. Russian President Vladimir Putin put all of his eggs in one basket. He can’t afford to lose the war. Russia considers itself a great power. Therefore, Putin must achieve his goals or admit a resounding defeat. On their part, the Ukrainians believe that the crisis with Moscow isn’t about borders, but rather about existence. Therefore, accepting any Russian demands would mean the elimination of the Ukrainian state. Thus, there is no other choice but to repel the Russian forces and recover all occupied territories and cities. The only party that has somewhat benefited from this situation to date is the United States, which succeeded in positioning itself as a global leader capable of rallying its allies together in support of Ukraine. – Rami Al-Khalifa Al-Ali (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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