CIA Chief Warns Ukraine Could Lose War Without More US Military Aid

CIA warns Ukraine could lose war against Russia by 2024 without more US military aid, highlighting the geopolitical stakes and urgency for Congress to approve a $61B aid package.

Nitish Verma
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CIA Chief Warns Ukraine Could Lose War Without More US Military Aid

CIA Chief Warns Ukraine Could Lose War Without More US Military Aid

CIA Director Bill Burns has issued a stark warning that Ukraine could lose the war against Russia by the end of 2024 unless the United States provides more military aid. Burns stated that with additional US assistance, both practically and psychologically, Ukraine is capable of holding its own through 2024. However, without supplemental aid, the situation looks dire, and there is a "very real risk" that Ukraine could lose on the battlefield by the end of 2024 or be forced into a political settlement on Russia's terms.

The warning comes as the US House of Representatives is set to vote on a $61 billion aid package for Ukraine that has been delayed for months by Republican lawmakers allied with former President Donald Trump. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said the delay has already cost Kyiv precious lives and territory.

Burns provided specific examples of Ukrainian forces' lack of ammunition, with two brigades having only 15 artillery rounds per day and 42 mortar rounds in total. He emphasized the urgent need for more ammunition and other military supplies from the US.

Why this matters: The outcome of the war in Ukraine has significant geopolitical implications, with the potential to reshape the balance of power in Europe and beyond. The level of US support for Ukraine could determine the country's ability to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russian aggression.

German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, who recently visited Ukraine, said the mood in Kyiv was strong, but Ukraine needs more air defense systems to fight off Russia. Habeck said Germany has delivered another Patriot system and is urging other NATO countries to do the same. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said Ukraine has an urgent, critical need for more air defense systems.

The Kremlin has dismissed the potential US aid as part of a colonial policy that only serves to enrich the United States. However, CIA chief Burns argued that supporting Ukraine is crucial for countering China's ambitions and maintaining the reliability and determination of the US and its allies.

The US House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a larger $95 billion aid package that includes $61 billion for Ukraine's war effort against Russia, $13 billion in military assistance for Israel, and funds to counter China's influence and boost Taiwan's defenses. While the package is a result of a compromise between Democrats and Republicans, it has faced backlash from the far-right wing of the Republican Party.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has implored the US Congress to approve the military aid package, stating that the aid is essential for Kyiv's efforts to repel Russian forces. Shmyhal warned that further delays in the aid could have catastrophic consequences, potentially leading to further conflicts and even World War III.

As Ukraine braces for a looming Russian offensive in the summer, which could overwhelm its struggling forces, the Biden administration has said that Congress' inability to pass Ukraine aid is a major reason for Kyiv's struggles on the battlefield. CIA Director Burns' warning highlights the critical importance of US military assistance in Ukraine's fight against Russian aggression and the potential consequences of failing to provide adequate support.

Key Takeaways

  • CIA warns Ukraine could lose war by 2024 without more US military aid
  • US House to vote on $61B Ukraine aid package delayed by Republican lawmakers
  • Ukraine faces critical shortage of ammunition, needs urgent US support
  • Outcome of Ukraine war could reshape Europe's balance of power, counter China
  • Delay in US aid could have catastrophic consequences, potentially leading to WWIII