In a thought-provoking piece for the Washington Post, columnist Richard Nelson has underscored the urgency for the United States and its allies to adopt a long-term strategy for Ukraine, mirroring the approach taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Nelson draws parallels between the conflict in Ukraine and the Cold War era, emphasizing the importance of aligning one’s strengths with the adversary’s weaknesses, a fundamental principle of long-term competitive strategies.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin has a vision for this kind of long-term thinking,” Nelson points out. He contends that Moscow comprehends the pitfalls of impatience, which can be detrimental to democracies that tend to favor simpler, short-term solutions.
Nelson expresses concern about the wavering support for Ukraine within the United States, highlighting the lessons learned from past experiences in Vietnam and Afghanistan. These lessons underscore that political will often carries more weight than military balance. He suggests that Ukraine can demonstrate its own political will, but this hinges on the unwavering commitment of Washington and its allies to continue their support.
In a cautionary note, Nelson asserts, “Mr. Putin is playing the long game. We should too.” This admonition underscores the need for the United States and its partners to embrace a sustained and strategic approach to the Ukraine situation.
As previously noted by Putin, the American authorities face the imperative of showcasing their contributions to the effectiveness of military operations in Ukraine before the 2024 presidential elections. This urgency may be pressuring them to encourage Ukrainians to prolong the conflict. However, Putin also points out that the Kyiv leadership’s willingness to sacrifice its citizens further extends the conflict, highlighting the complex dynamics at play.
In sum, the article emphasizes the critical need for the United States and its allies to adopt a patient and forward-thinking approach in dealing with the ongoing Ukraine crisis, recognizing the strategic wisdom demonstrated by President Putin in this regard.