Feb. 24, 2023 will mark one year since Russian tanks rolled over the border into Ukraine. As it stands there is no end to the conflict in sight and the U.S. is facing increasing pressure to provide military aid in the form of high-tech equipment such as F-16 fighters and M1 Abrams tanks.
David Silbey is an associate professor of history at Cornell University where he specializes in military history, defense policy and battlefield analysis. He says the war in Ukraine is starting to resemble the kind of proxy conflicts we saw during the Cold War.
“The United States is gaining a substantial geopolitical advantage at low cost to itself while the Russians are bleeding themselves dry against a defiant enemy.
“For 2023, I wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. eventually sends fighter jets, though like tanks, it’s going to take them a while to get there and then train Ukrainians on them. They would be a substantial military help but also a challenging logistics burden for Ukraine.
“I seriously doubt American forces will get sent to Ukraine. I suspect there may already be U.S. special forces in-country, (though I have no evidence). It would escalate the war massively if regular troops were sent in, which is something the U.S. doesn’t need to do at the moment.”
Cristina Florea is an assistant professor and historian of Central and Eastern Europe, she says the Russian-Ukrainian war has become a war of attrition, where a Ukrainian victory is far from guaranteed.
“Despite Ukrainians’ unwavering will to fight, the fact of the matter remains that over one fifth of Ukraine’s territory is currently in Russian hands. What worries me is that after one year of fighting, the conflict will gradually recede into the background, and concern will give way to complacency.
“The war’s end will be decided on the battlefield. Since there are no signs that Russian support for the war is any weaker today, it is imperative that the U.S. and NATO throw their weight fully behind Ukraine. Halfway measures will simply prolong the conflict and put Ukraine at risk of running out of military equipment before Russia does.”