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Premature self-congratulation won't help the US in Ukraine

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To hear the Biden administration talk, the war in Ukraine is nearly won — and the United States wants some of the credit for winning it.

"Russia is failing. Ukraine is succeeding," Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said last month.

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III went a step further. The United States isn't merely helping Ukraine win, he said; it's using the war to undermine Russia's status as a world power.

"We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can't do the kind of things that it has done in invading Ukraine," Austin said.

Last week, U.S. officials disclosed that American intelligence helped Ukrainian forces kill as many as 12 Russian generals and sink the flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet — humiliating setbacks for Moscow's once-proud armed forces.

It's good news, of course, that Ukraine is holding its own against Russia's invasion. And yes, the United States and its allies deserve credit for helping the Kyiv government survive.

But several things are wrong with this picture.

For one thing, Ukraine hasn't quite won yet. The chest-thumping is premature.

Russian forces are close to taking full control of the port city of Mariupol; that will........

© Olean Times Herald

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