Three Ways the Ukraine War Is Changing the United States

From by Eli Okun:

Seven weeks after his forces invaded Ukraine, Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN is gearing up to take the war in a new, more narrow (but no less brutal) direction. How the coming Donbas offensive unfolds could determine the outcome of the conflict and the future of Ukraine’s sovereignty and borders.

In a world order remade by the war, even as we await its conclusion, the conflict is already changing the U.S. Three interesting stories this weekend highlight Ukraine’s ripple effects for America’s foreign policy, politics and military:

1. The West is rewriting its plans for Russia. Where coexistence and cooperation once ruled the day, American and allied officials are now reorienting their long-term strategies toward isolating and enfeebling Putin’s regime, WaPo’s Karen DeYoung and Michael Birnbaum report. Spanning “from defense and finance to trade and international diplomacy,” from the National Security Strategy to the National Defense Strategy to NATO’s next Strategic Concept document to energy imports to military budgets, the U.S. and Europe are fundamentally altering their approaches to Russia — perhaps for decades to come.

It’s Soviet “containment” redux, and it’s not sitting well with everyone (see the French election). But in the U.S., there’s broad support for the approach across party lines.

2. Ukraine has become a flashpoint in the Ohio Senate GOP primary, mainly due to J.D. VANCE’s outspoken isolationist views. But in Troy, WSJ’s Joshua Jamerson finds that Republican voters mostly disagree with Vance, believing that the U.S. can play an active (though not direct military) role in supporting Ukraine while also addressing issues here at home. The state has a large Ukrainian American population, but it remains to be seen how much the conflict will sway votes in the heated primary. Vance says the war’s images are “disgusting,” but he’s sticking to his guns: “Whatever is going on in Ukraine, we have to separate our personal reaction to it from … how we should respond as a country.”

Related reads: JOSH MANDEL is centering his bid on stops at evangelical churches, running a race “steeped in Christianity” — even though he’s Jewish, AP’s Jill Colvin and Julie Carr Smyth report. And The New Yorker’s Benjamin Wallace-Wells, who writes that the race is a bellwether for the GOP’s future, finds that in a primary swamped by big money and national media hits, “the ground game in Ohio can seem like an afterthought.”

3. The U.S. Army is incorporating takeaways from the war into its own training, with an eye on potential great-power conflicts with Russia or China, AP’s Lolita Baldor reports from Fort Irwin, Calif. They’re focusing on fighting in the “information domain” against a powerful propagandist foe: “The role-players have their phones ready to film and post quickly to social media.” U.S. training is also taking note of Russia’s tactics — like its willingness to bombard cities into oblivion to win them — and its supply-chain/logistical failures on the ground.


— Russia is on the verge of seizing Mariupol, but the outnumbered remaining Ukrainian forces haven’t given up yet, even after Russians gave them an ultimatum that passed this morning. It would be a key gain for Russia, but a victory very hard won after two months of siege tactics. More from the NYT

— Russian attacks hit Brovary in the Kyiv area, where they said they destroyed an ammunition factory, and JOSÉ ANDRÉS’ community kitchen in Kharkiv, killing three.

— Ukraine and Russia failed to reach agreement on humanitarian corridors for civilians to escape today, per Reuters.

— Devastating read: “‘They Are Gone, Vanished’: Missing Persons Haunt Ukrainian Village,” by NYT’s Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Natalia Yermak in Husarivka: “In a Russian-occupied village, five men went off to feed cattle. Their relatives and neighbors are wondering what happened to them.”

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