Why Washington Wants Prolongation of the Russia-Ukraine War?

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While one year has passed in the Russia-Ukraine War that started on February 24, 2022; Although the intensity of the conflicts decreases with the winter months, there is no significant development in terms of signing a ceasefire and ending the war. On the contrary, the West’s military support to Ukraine has increased recently. This indicates that the conflicts of the Kyiv administration may intensify from the spring of 2023 and the Ukrainian Army may attack.

It is seen that the expectations of the parties regarding the ceasefire search are extremely different. As a matter of fact, while Russia wants a ceasefire in which the regions it currently controls remain under its control; Ukraine, on the other hand, is in an approach that demands the withdrawal of the Russian Army from the occupied areas, including the Crimea. Finally, it was seen that the President of Russia Vladimir Putin’s “Christmas Truce” proposal was rejected by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky with a harsh language.[1]

According to the Kyiv administration, Russia’s preparation for a new mobilization is on the agenda, and the Moscow administration will use such a ceasefire for military procurement. Of course, this is a serious possibility. But more important is the support Ukraine receives from Western states. Because this support increases Kiev’s resilience, courage and self-confidence. Undoubtedly, the United States of America (USA) is one of the leading actors who want to increase Ukraine’s resistance.

At this point, it should be noted that; Moscow is aware of what the Washington administration is trying to do. As a matter of fact, on January 6, 2023, Russian Ambassador to Washington Antoli Antonov criticizes the decision of the US officials to allocate a new military aid package to Kiev that will include Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, claiming that the US is not seeking a political solution in Ukraine.[2] When Antonov’s words are taken together with the visit of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to the USA on December 21, 2022, the picture becomes clearer. Because during the said visit, the White House announced that Ukraine would be given Patriot air defense systems.[3]

In fact, this situation indicates that the USA has a reading that the conflicts will intensify in the Russia-Ukraine War and that air strikes that may target Kiev may take place.

As it is known, it is claimed that the Moscow administration wants to make Belarus a front country and force Ukraine to a two-front war. There is a possibility that the USA may also have intelligence information on the developments in this regard. Therefore, the Washington administration may have come to the conclusion that the defense capacity of the Ukrainian Army should be increased. However, it is not possible to state that this is the only issue.

To explain the situation in question, it can be argued that the USA did not want a result in which one of the parties outclassed the other or achieved victory in the Russia-Ukraine War. Because the USA sees the Russia-Ukraine War as a proxy war at one point and believes that the struggle takes place between Russia and the West. In this environment, the priority of the White House seems to be prolonging the war.

In this sense, it is necessary to open the question of what the USA aims at. It should be emphasized that; The Washington administration considers the prolongation of the war as a tool that contributes to two goals. The first of these, which is the traditional “other” of the West and aims to regain great power status after Putin became the President of Russia; therefore, it is the attrition of Russia, which desires to gain a greater share in the global system. The United States wishes to turn the war in Ukraine into a war of attrition, considering that the war in Ukraine might have similar consequences to the situation the Soviet Union faced in Afghanistan in 1979. Therefore, the prolongation of the war is in line with the expectations of the White House.

Secondly, the USA interprets the war in Ukraine as a development that will ensure the European dimension, which is the main pillar of its global hegemony. Because the crack in the Trans-Atlantic relations was largely resolved due to the war, and the West, despite some objections, was able to take a united stance by developing a collective stance within the framework of the argument of defending democratic values against autocracies in general. This can be described as a situation that will serve the survival of the US-centered unipolar world in the 21st century, when the search for multipolarity becomes evident. In other words, the Washington administration considers the prolongation of the Russia-Ukraine War as a development that serves its global hegemony. Because, if the war ends, European states may turn to re-establish a relationship of interdependence with Russia. This, in turn, could bring the demand for multipolarity to the fore, accelerating challenges to American leadership.

As a result, there is no concrete development in the search for a ceasefire in the Russia-Ukraine War; on the contrary, as Moscow prepares to expand the area where the war is taking place by transforming Belarus into a front country; Western states also provide support to increase the defense capacity of the Ukrainian Army. This means that the war will be prolonged. The main actor who wants to prolong the war is the USA. Because Washington, on the one hand, wants the process to turn into a war of attrition for Russia; on the other hand, it uses war to strengthen the unity in Trans-Atlantic relations.

[1] “Зеленский отверг предложение президента РФ Владимира Путина о рождественском перемирии”, Argumenti,, (Date of Accession: 07.01.2023).

[2] “Посол РФ в Вашингтоне Антонов заявил, что США не стремятся к политическому урегулированию на Украине”, Argumenti,, (Date of Accession: 07.01.2023).

[3] Doğacan Başaran, “Zelenski’nin ABD Ziyareti: Rusya-Ukrayna Savaşı’nda Nasıl Bir Gelecek?”, ANKASAM,, (Date of Accession: 07.01.2023).

Dr. Doğacan BAŞARAN
Dr. Doğacan BAŞARAN, 2014 yılında Gazi Üniversitesi İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nden mezun olmuştur. Yüksek lisans derecesini, 2017 yılında Giresun Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Uluslararası İlişkiler Anabilim Dalı’nda sunduğu ‘’Uluslararası Güç İlişkileri Bağlamında İkinci Dünya Savaşı Sonrası Hegemonik Mücadelelerin İncelenmesi’’ başlıklı teziyle almıştır. Doktora derecesini ise 2021 yılında Trakya Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Uluslararası İlişkiler Anabilim Dalı‘nda hazırladığı “İmparatorluk Düşüncesinin İran Dış Politikasına Yansımaları ve Milliyetçilik” başlıklı teziyle alan Başaran’ın başlıca çalışma alanları Uluslararası ilişkiler kuramları, Amerikan dış politikası, İran araştırmaları ve Afganistan çalışmalarıdır. Başaran iyi derecede İngilizce ve temel düzeyde Farsça bilmektedir.