The politics of the US advising or indeed negotiating with Ukraine are admittedly very delicate, but we are in this war up to our waists already.
There is something at once simple and complex about President Joe Biden’s position that although we are essentially funding Ukraine’s war effort against Russia, it is entirely up to Ukraine what their goals are in this war. Regarding a negotiated settlement where Ukraine trades land for peace, Biden has said repeatedly: “I’m not going to tell them what they should and shouldn’t do,” and “Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine.” Since we are providing Ukraine with the means to maintain its status as an independent sovereign nation, and since we have not supplied any American troops to help fight this war, Biden seems confident in his position that Ukraine must make its own decisions about what it wants. The simple dimension to this relationship we have with Ukraine – and admittedly other Western countries, including the UK, France and Germany are also supplying military hardware and imposing financial sanctions – is that it is not our position to tell them whether to trade land for peace. The complex dimension of our relationship with Ukraine tells a different story. Ukraine is not Jamaica, an island in the Pacific or a small country in Central America.