IISWU expert group
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Biden’s administration has to accept its blunder

Frederick H. Fleitz published in “The Federalist”, a popular conservative online magazine, the article in support of Richard Haass’ idea that the ceasefire in Ukraine is inevitable, even if the territory occupied by Russia is not liberated.

Frederick Fleitz is an influential figure in the America First Policy Institute, a think tank closely connected with the former president Trump. Richard Haass has been for two decades the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, which considered that a foreign policy based on Trump’s approach to the global issues could destroy Transatlantic partnership and undermine the US leadership in the world.

But they are not the only example of people with completely different views who agree that the cease-fire in Ukraine should be established as soon as possible.

Vivek Ramaswamy, a candidate in the 2024 Republican Party presidential primaries, urged Ukraine to make concessions to Russia in order end the war. Ron Desantis, another Republican candidate, has called for truce. And some progressive democrats, who are not connected with Biden’s administration, stated their support for ceasefire in Ukraine. Political leaders of China and Indonesia did the same. There has been a delegation of African head of states, who wanted to help to start negotiations on truce.

Because if this war impedes your trade relations, restricts your political activity or you just want to stop the bloodshed, you realize that  the only way to end in is to establish truce without any preliminary conditions.

It is obvious that Ukraine does not have combat power to overcome Russian defense. Moreover, the exhaustion of the Ukrainian army in pointless attempts to launch an offensive in the current conditions can diminish its ability to counteract Russian operations. There is a strong risk that the situation on the battlefield can become much worse in several months. It is obvious to me that the immediate ceasefire should be established to give Ukraine to a chance to avoid a deep political crisis and an irrevocable destruction of democratic institutions caused by military defeat.

The main obstacle on the way to cease-fire seems to be the incumbent Ukrainian government, which inevitably lose its popularity if it becomes clear that it failed to fulfill its promise to liberate occupied territories. The political career of Zelensky will be over soon because he will be destined to lose the upcoming elections and will never be able to regain its public support.

And the Biden’s administration does not want it to happen. It invested a lot in creating Zelensky’s international image and secure his political dominance within Ukraine. Biden himself has been personally involved in the Ukrainian political process since he was a vice president Obama. And it seems to be difficult for him to admit that it was a mistake to inflate international expectations of Zelesky’s activity and connect the global perception of America’s effectiveness  with Ukraine’s military success.

But the Biden’s administration has to acknowledge that it was wrong to stake so much on Zelensky’s success. It should admit that a military victory over Russia cannot be achieved in the current circumstances and start providing the conditions for truce negotiations. Otherwise, the Biden’s administration will find itself hopelessly entrapped and Ukraine will senselessly lose thousands of     lives more without ensuring its political freedom and democratic development.


Molchanov Kyryl,

director of the International Institute for study of the Consequences of the war in Ukraine