Operation Thoughts and Prayers
Hawkish objections to diplomacy in Ukraine have become completely uncoupled from what NATO nations are willing to commit.
"Western military officials knew Kyiv didn't have all the training or weapons...it needed to dislodge Russian forces" before Ukraine began its recent counteroffensive, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. But instead of providing them, the government officials merely "hoped Ukrainian courage and resourcefulness would carry the day."
The news comes on the heels of yet another dashed hope for Ukraine: NATO membership. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky lashed out over this one a few weeks ago as it became clear that his country would not be offered membership during the alliance’s summit in Vilnius this month. “It's unprecedented and absurd when [a] time frame is not set neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine's membership,” Zelensky said.
Military aid capable of pushing Russian forces back across the border combined and NATO membership deterring a reinvasion have both been central to the case of US intervention1 since the war began. Outside the hothouse of hawkish activists and pundits in the US, however, it’s long been clear that neither aid nor membership are necessarily on the way. Indeed, Zelensky’s frustration voices a pessimism and frustration that’s particularly common in Ukraine.