The Exit Strategy For Europe From The American Plan Of War In Ukraine – OpEd


On February 24, 2022, Russia recognized the independence of the breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk and deployed troops to support them, declaring the start of “special military operations in Ukraine”. This raises the question: under what circumstances could the conflict in Ukraine spiral into a global crisis and turn Europe into a bloody battleground again? While both sides of the Atlantic agree on punishing Moscow, the United States has an interest in prolonging the war to weaken its rivals and dominate its allies, whereas European members would bear the brunt of the costs and consequences of a protracted war.

For the Russian leadership, losing the war is not an option, as it would entail a more devastating blow than the collapse of the Soviet Union. To secure its victory in Kyiv and reclaim the territories it lost, Moscow might resort to its ultimate weapon: nuclear weapons. Unless the parties involved can find a fair solution to the crisis, this war could either reignite the flames of conflict on the European continent after half a century or end in a nuclear catastrophe.

The war involves other actors besides Russia and Ukraine, who can be divided into three groups. The first group consists of countries that adopt a neutral policy and wait for the best opportunities. The second group comprises Ukraine’s allies on both sides of the Atlantic, who aim to achieve their goals by defeating Putin. The third group includes Russia’s supporters, led by China, which is a serious challenger to the US-led liberal order in the world. By cautiously backing Russia, Beijing is trying to exploit the economic opportunities of the war and weighing the pros and cons of a war with the West in order to annex Taiwan and create a unified China.

European countries view Russia’s actions in Ukraine as akin to Germany’s in 1914. They see it as an aggressive country that must be stopped from expanding its territory. Europeans want to crush Russia like Germany in 1945, and then contain it with long-term agreements, based on which they can normalize relations with Moscow and establish economic ties.

Europe prefers a war of attrition that can weaken Russia, but not annihilate it. The US national security strategy unveiled by the Biden administration, however, differs somewhat. According to Washington’s approach, Russia and China, as the two main powers that challenge US hegemony, must be restrained. Therefore, it can be argued that the US interests require that it engages its main rivals in wars of attrition and diminishes their global influence and reputation as much as possible.

Russia’s engagement in the war with Ukraine and the prolongation of this war, until Russia is on the verge of defeat, is precisely what serves America’s goals and interests, and it has become an American project. Currently, the United States restrains Russia and China with its European allies, and at the same time, controls and makes Europe more dependent. The question that European leaders face is: after witnessing the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, how long and to what extent should Europe bear the burden of America’s destabilizing and belligerent policy?

The outbreak of the war in Ukraine has exposed some European countries to the threat of economic collapse and various challenges such as infrastructure crises, high energy prices, and the inability of their armies to defend their nations. The recent turmoil in Europe also indicates that many Europeans think that the problems stemming from Europe’s alignment with the United States are unsolvable and have deprived European citizens of their prosperity and jeopardized Europe’s political and economic future.

The US is still pursuing its agenda to prolong the war. Washington is urging its allies to send more weapons with the goal of overpowering the Russian army in Ukraine and reaching the pain threshold, which is the stage before the use of nuclear weapons, and putting Putin in a position where he has to negotiate to end the war.

Ukraine pursues two plans in this war. First, it is lobbying its allies to obtain offensive weapons and push the war into Russian territory. If this happens, the world will have to brace for a nuclear war in the summer of 2023. The second strategy is opening a second front of war against Russia, with the aim of dragging Russia into the conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia, with the goal of turning Turkey from a mediator to a rival, and at the same time encouraging Georgia to reclaim the areas it lost in the 2008 war. In this regard, Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said that the Ukrainians are doing everything to bring the war to Georgia as well.

Moscow has faced very limited options to seize the initiative in the war in the previous year, and its oil and gas weapons have become futile. The army’s arsenal is progressively depleted under the sanctions, and with the loss of approximately half of its armored equipment, it is incapable of conducting a comprehensive attack with heavy fire. Now only expensive missiles maintain the equilibrium of the war fronts. On the other hand, the schisms among the army commanders and the discord between the politicians and the rivals have exacerbated Russia’s internal situation. Army commanders and politicians and even Putin himself are now involved in a kind of civil war in the army’s competition with the Wagner group, which is predominantly under the command of Russian oligarchs. 

The conflict in Ukraine has also led to Russia’s geopolitical isolation. Now, with Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Treaty, it has encountered new threats along its formerly tranquil and extensive Scandinavian borders, and effectively the routes to access the open waters of the North Sea go through the NATO axis.

Given the unwillingness of the parties to negotiate and the rejection of mediation by Turkey and China and Moscow’s inability to fund the war due to Western sanctions, Russia has few options to end the war. It seems that resorting to weapons with high destructive power or widening the scale of the war and attempting to entrap Ukraine’s allies and turning the Ukraine war into a world war are the only ones left.

Therefore, the outcome of the Ukraine war is a lose-lose situation for the European members, and it imposes more costs on the European countries. Perhaps the only way for Europe to avoid the heavy costs of the Ukraine war is to embrace international mediation despite the US demands. This is the path that China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and now Africa have taken in order to prevent the spread of war in Europe and remove the dreadful prospect of nuclear war in Europe. In the current situation, maybe the expansion of the war in Europe is a scenario that the US has been pursuing for years in the form of endless wars, and if it persists, it will continue until all parties are weakened in order to secure power for Washington.

Timothy Hopper

Timothy Hopper is an international relations graduate of American University.

2 thoughts on “The Exit Strategy For Europe From The American Plan Of War In Ukraine – OpEd

  • July 17, 2023 at 3:18 am

    Outbreak and engagement, are the terms used by the author, regarding Russia, but no mention of the fact that Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Also the author goes on theme, that the USA, is only interested in attrition of the Russian military, supposedly at the expense of European countries. Clearly the author is attempting to split the unity of the USA and it’s European partners. Russia has already shown during its unlawful invasion of Ukraine, that it will forcibly conscript civilians from the territories that it steals. If Russia were allowed to keep its unlawful encroachment on Ukraine territory, no one realistically expects Russia to not come back for another imperialist hegemonistic invasion.

  • July 21, 2023 at 10:15 am

    What they need to do is provide a fixed quantity of long range missiles for every civilian target destroyed by the Russians. This will incentivize the Russians to stop their terror war. Say 10 ATACMS for every attack on civilian infrastructure. Help Ukraine close the land bridge and blow the Kerch bridge. Then it will time to talk.


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