The ongoing delay in the United States' aid package for Ukraine is causing growing concern among US and European officials. As the conflict continues, the potential impact of this stall on Ukraine's defense capabilities and the broader implications for European security are coming into sharp focus.
Assessing the Immediate Impact on Ukraine
The most pressing issue is the effect of this delay on Ukraine's current military efforts in the east and south. Despite previous support from the US, Ukrainian forces have found it challenging to achieve significant gains in these regions.
A European diplomat expressed doubts about Ukraine's ability to advance without continued American support:
“If looking at taking and holding further territory, it is hard to see how that could succeed without continued US support”.This sentiment is echoed by others, including Democratic Representative Mike Quigley, co-chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus.
He warned that a decline in US support could lead to a similar withdrawal of support from other allies: “If we go south, our allies will too”.
The Broader European Perspective
Western intelligence agencies are now trying to determine how long Ukraine can withstand Russian aggression without aid from the US and NATO. Some estimates suggest a matter of months before experiencing a significant setback or defeat.
The implications of a Russian victory extend beyond Ukraine, posing a severe threat to European security and marking a considerable blow to the US's global standing.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, speaking to CNN from Brussels, highlighted the critical nature of continued support: “We can’t talk about war fatigue right now because if we do and give in, then Putin wins and that will mean a catastrophe to everybody."The lack of US aid could lead to Ukraine rapidly depleting its arsenal, starting with long-range missiles and eventually impacting other critical supplies.
This scenario raises deep concerns among America's European allies.
A European diplomat underscored the gravity of the situation: “I don’t think people fully realize what Ukraine’s fall would actually mean.
We would see ethnic cleansing and total destruction of Ukraine. Remember what they did in Bucha. So, it is already success if we can prevent that from happening. And that is why we must carry on”.