By Shabbir Rizvi
The United States has splurged billions of dollars in fuelling the flames of war in Ukraine. It has rarely been challenged congressionally with funding for the protracted war enjoying bipartisan support.
US President Joe Biden says he is in favor of every financial package for Ukraine’s “defense”. Senator Lindsay Graham believes it's the “best money we ever spent in specific regard to” killing Russians.
The long-awaited Ukrainian counter-offensive is now finally here - though it does not seem to be very successful. In recent months, President Volodymyr Zelensky has toured various countries asking for financial support and of course, military support.
Germany, France, Canada, Poland, the United States and others have donated an assortment of arms, and now the United States is even handing over depleted uranium rounds.
However, instead of penetrating past the Russian defenses, Ukraine has been struggling.
Nearly a week into the counter-offensive, only minuscule gains have been made - and then lost. But even worse, the images of burning and destroyed NATO armor have circulated the internet - destroyed American Bradleys, German Leopards, and more.
Not only is it a military defeat for Ukraine, but it is a marketing catastrophe for NATO.
Even Russian President Vladimir Putin is now commenting on the destruction of NATO’s finest weaponry, asserting that since the beginning of the counteroffensive Ukraine has lost over 300 armored vehicles - including over 150 tanks.
Images circulating the web verify that among these are NATO-supplied tanks and armor.
Ukraine’s underperformance is a bad look for the Biden administration. Since the outbreak of the war, Biden has unapologetically given Ukraine arms worth billions of dollars – from taxpayer money.
Despite this support, Russia seems to be meeting most of its special military operation’s objectives - even holding a referendum on newly gained territories with positive results for Moscow.
Simultaneously, the Biden administration has cut SNAP benefits at home, taking millions of people off much-needed food benefits. His presidency has also seen record inflation, and his ambitious “Build Back Better plan” - which sought to pull America out of a dark hole - was gutted nearly entirely.
The failure of Ukraine’s counteroffensive thus far is but one of many blemishes for the Biden administration. With election season drawing nearer, Biden will have to politically salvage whatever he can to draw public support and retain the chair.
The beginning of the war saw Ukraine's efforts to fight Russia completely legitimized. They could virtually do no wrong in the eyes of the American media and political apparatus. But as Ukraine’s abilities to fight Russia weakened, so did political and media support.
Recent weeks have shown that Washington has become critical of Ukraine’s efforts. Take for example the adventurous (and risky, militarily and politically) attack on the Russian Belograd region by Ukrainian troops.
Washington committed itself last year to not helping Ukraine attack Russia on Russian soil. However, this attack goes against this statement completely - and since some of the troops were using NATO weapons, Washington is forced to take a critical position.
A similar stance was taken when allegedly Ukrainian drones hit an apartment complex in Moscow just a few days apart.
But now comes the big revelation: the Ukrainians may have been behind the attack on the Nord Stream pipeline, and the CIA might have known.
A New York Times article published Wednesday suggests Dutch officials tipped off the CIA about a Ukrainian plot to destroy the pipeline. The destruction of the pipeline from the very start was linked to Washington, as Seymour Hersh noted that US intelligence may be involved in at least a cover-up.
Though Washington was opposed to the construction of the pipeline from the start - with Joe Biden saying it will never be built - an admission of this magnitude spells a serious escalation in the war.
It also means the American public may be questioning to what reckless extent the Biden administration is willing to go to in order to weaken Russia.
The destruction of the pipeline hurt many of the United States European allies - particularly Germany - which is now headed into a recession.
If Washington did indeed help cover up the destruction of the pipeline, then the deepening divide between the United States and its European allies would worsen - and that would be on Biden.
On the flip side, this is also a perfect opportunity for the Biden administration to clearly state they did in fact know about these various Ukrainian adventures - and advised against them.
It could also mean pulling support for Ukraine entirely. Another scenario would be if Ukraine does in fact lose - and at this point, it is looking likely - that Washington can attribute their loss to Kiev’s inability to take their advice.
If Biden can successfully spin Ukraine’s loss as their inability to heed military advice - it might be less of a political blow come election time.
The leaks from insiders such as the New York Times article do come at a peculiar time - as this kind of leak would not have happened a year ago when the Western media war drive was perhaps at its highest.
Though the Biden administration has not yet thrown in the towel - announcing more financial support for Ukraine the same day as the Times article - it has now planted the seeds necessary to play the blame game in the event of a Russian victory.
If the Ukrainians didn’t listen to Biden’s officials, then who is really at fault?
With the United States currently facing different dilemmas on different fronts, Joe Biden will likely need to salvage all he can politically. The administration has seen a cataclysmic series of issues - issues that it has time and time failed to resolve.
One thing is for certain, however - you can count on the American taxpayer to lose yet again as the conflict escalates into perhaps its final stretch.
Shabbir Rizvi is a Chicago-based political analyst with a focus on US internal security and foreign policy.
(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV)