A nearly nine-year-old war – a war that has already lasted nearly as long as WW1 and WW2 combined – is about to become “protracted.” Starting 20 February 2014, the war is presently only 540 days shy of surpassing the two in duration.
The war became protracted years ago. The Russian strategy was always long-term and its attempted “Blitzkrieg” in February was the exemption, not the rule. The strategy has long reverted to its original long-term effort believing that Russia can outlast the Western short-term attention span, its perceived lack of resilience as winter is taking grip and frustration spreads among European and US voters.
The western strategy has helped ensure that it remains a protracted war:
- Firstly, due to 8 years of inaction, refusing Ukraine to rebuild deterrence.
- Secondly, by keeping all military options off the table, leaving Ukraine vulnerable to threats from Air and Sea.
- Thirdly, by refusing Ukraine the tools it needs to defeat Russia.
- Fourthly, for failing to strengthen its own military capabilities and sustainability when the war started in 2014.
- And lastly, for failing to acknowledge that Europe is exposed to a Russian Hybrid War and that Ukraine is defending European security, stability, and prosperity.