The Kremlin has defeated its aims by diddle-dallying with war
Ukraines government has responded to Russias formal annexation of the four eastern and southern regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia by submitting an accelerated application to formally join NATO.
As I have said dozens of times, the Kremlins ill-advised limited drawn- out campaign is ever widening into World War III.
This is a serious development.
As I have said over and over, the Kremlins go-slow limited military operation is a fatal mistake resulting in a wider war. An operation that should have been concluded in a week is now in its seventh month and seems destined to continue indefinitely as the Kremlin does nothing to disrupt the Ukrainian governments war effort or the endless supplies of weapons that the West pours into Ukraine. The long-running conflict has allowed Western propaganda to portray the Russian military as unsuccessful and to convince Western decision-makers that Russia can be defeated in Ukraine. This conviction has led to ever higher states of Western involvement.
With the Pentagons creation of a Ukraine Command, we move closer to the introduction of US troops. In fact US military forces are already involved. They train Ukraines soldiers at the US Armys European Headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany, thus committing Germany to the intervention in Ukraine. US military personnel provide targeting information for Ukraines attacks on Russian positions. Yet, despite the growing involvement of US/NATO, the Kremlin holds on to its limited operation, dangerous in its failure and miscalculation, as Russias dilly-dallying has convinced the West that the Kremlin has no stomach for real conflict, encouraging Washington to take another step toward sending troops by forming a Ukraine Command.
Putins emphasis on legalisms might be the undoing of Russia. The Kremlin could have avoided the Ukraine conflict by doing in 2014 what it is doing, belatedly, in 2022accept the Donbass Russians request to be returned to Russia. The Kremlin could have avoided the US/NATO military commitment to Ukraine by knocking out Ukraine before the West had time to react.
Blunders have a cost, and the cost of the Kremlins blunders is developing into direct conflict between US and Russian soldiers.