One part of the strategic shift, therefore, will probably be an intensification of negotiations, seeking to divide the Ukrainians and the West by offering cease-fires, temporary withdrawals to new lines, and the like. This, then, is as good a moment as any for the West to reconsider its own objectives and its strategy, for the months and years ahead.
For Western powers to accept, let alone advocate for, anything less than what Ukrainians are willing to accept is unthinkable, even by way of an interim settlement. Their land, their blood, and their struggle have bought time for other post-Soviet states. Beyond this, the West wants a Ukraine that is both free and strong: free because morality and interest demand it, and strong because without military power, freedom will remain unachievable.
A free and strong Ukraine is not, however, simply a matter of decency, though it is that. Ukraine will be the barrier behind which the West can repair its shocking neglect of military power in the past decades. If Ukraine prevails, its example will be at least a partial deterrent to further adventures by Russia, and perhaps by China. And it will deny Russia its most important objective—the re-creation, in subtler form, of the old Russian empire.