U.S. mistakes in Ukraine can’t all be pinned on bad intelligence

Some early mistakes made by the U.S. government are too obvious to ignore. Congressional Republicans rightly blame the Biden administration and Democrats for failing to give Ukraine more and better weapons before the attack and in its early weeks. Ukrainian officials, when asked, claim that this cost their country precious time and lives.

“We would have trained all the people, and the situation on the ground would have been much different, would have been much better,” Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said last week. “This is where all of us lost time and allowed Putin to gain what he shouldn’t have.”

Senior Biden administration officials say they were being careful not to escalate or provoke Russian President Vladimir Putin. Privately, officials often said they didn’t think Ukraine could win. The Biden administration was preparing to support a Ukrainian insurgency. The United States offered Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky an evacuation; he refused and asked for more ammunition.