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If Russia Wins in Ukraine, the US May Be Stretched So Thin It Would Leave the Door Wide Open for China, War Analysts Warn

With US military aid to Ukraine jammed up in Congress and Kyiv pleading for more help, a think tank is sounding the alarm.

A Russian victory would not just mean the end of Ukraine, the analysts warn.

It would give China the green light to flex its power over a weakened US and cost US taxpayers an “astronomical” sum to pay for beefed-up defense spending.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a Washington, DC-based think tank, warned that if Russia wins, the United States would be forced to move American troops and stealth jets to Eastern Europe, stretching the US so thin that it could allow for China to claim Taiwan, expanding its territory and influence.

Analysts said in a lengthy assessment published on Thursday that the US “has a much higher stake” in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s grinding, nearly two-year war with Ukraine “than most people think.”

The war analysts argued that if Western aid to Ukraine were to suddenly be cut —as Republicans in Congress are now threatening — it “would likely lead sooner or later to the collapse of Ukraine’s ability to hold off the Russian military,” and ultimately allow Putin to take over the country.

Helping Ukraine hold the line against Russian forces through Western military aid would be “far more advantageous and cheaper” for the US than if Ukraine were to lose the war, according to the war experts.

Republicans in the US Congress have been blocking new aid to Ukraine, with President Joe Biden accusing them of holding the funding “hostage” in a bid to “force through an extreme Republican partisan agenda” for the US-Mexico border.

While some Republicans say they want tougher immigration politics and more funding for border security in exchange for helping Ukraine, other right-wing lawmakers have ruled out giving Ukraine any more money.

According to the ISW, a Russian take-over of all of Ukraine “is by no means impossible” if the US cuts off all military aid and Europe follows suit.

“Such an outcome would bring a battered but triumphant Russian army right up to NATO’s border from the Black Sea to the Arctic Ocean,” said the war experts.

That would mean that the US would be forced to deploy a “sizable portion” of its ground forces to Eastern Europe to “deter and defend against a renewed Russian threat following a full Russian victory,” ISW said.

Additionally, the US would have to station a large number of stealth aircraft in Europe, the think tank said, since Russia could move air defenses directly to NATO’s border.

“Building and maintaining those aircraft is intrinsically expensive, but challenges in manufacturing them rapidly will likely force the United States to make a terrible choice between keeping enough in Asia to defend Taiwan and its other Asian allies and deterring or defeating a Russian attack on a NATO ally,” said ISW.

The undertaking would cost a fortune that could potentially last indefinitely, the war analysts warned.

This would erode America’s capability to defend Taiwan if China decided to invade, the war experts said.

“The requirement to commit a significant stealth aircraft fleet to Europe could badly degrade America’s ability to respond effectively to Chinese aggression against Taiwan since all Taiwan scenarios rely heavily on the same stealth aircraft that would be needed to defend Europe,” ISW said.

The think tank added, “The cost of these defensive measures would be astronomical and would likely be accompanied by a period of very high risk when US forces were not adequately prepared or postured to handle either Russia or China, let alone both together.”

Source : Business Insider