US sets the goalposts on the war in Ukraine

If Ukrainian “victory” is now the U.S. goal, Biden needs to clarify what a win would look like. He needs to better explain to Americans why such a win is vital for our country’s security — and for democracy worldwide.

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Columnists

May 4, 2022 - 3:28 PM

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, right, is escorted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as she arrives with a congressional delegation at the Mariyinsky palace, May 1, 2022, in Kyiv, Ukraine. Pelosi is the highest-ranking elected U.S. official to visit Kyiv since the Russian invasion. (Ukraine Presidency/Ukraine Presi/Planet Pix via ZUMA Press Wire/TNS)

It was a dramatic moment for U.S. involvement in the Ukraine war.

Nancy Pelosi, one day after her surprise meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, told the press in Poland on Sunday: “America stands with Ukraine. We stand with Ukraine until victory is won.” For good measure, she added: “Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done.”

I’ve put those two phrases in italics because the House speaker used words the administration avoided for weeks when addressing Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine — notably “victory” and “win.” And even on the rare occasion when the win word was snuck in, the level of military aid didn’t match.

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