Should US weapons be used against Russian targets?

A red line has been crossed. President Joe Biden “secretly gave Ukraine permission to strike inside Russia with U.S. weapons,” Politico said. That’s a dramatic change in policy after two years of war in which Biden has conspicuously attempted to balance Ukraine’s defensive needs against the risks of escalating America’s tensions with a nuclear-armed Russia. Until now, that meant no direct attacks on Russia with U.S.-made weapons. “Worsening conditions for Ukraine on the battlefield … led the president to change his mind.”

The move means Washington is “abandoning a pillar of its strategy for the past two years,” Foreign Policy said. It comes out of desperation. Ukraine’s “strategic position is becoming progressively more perilous” — the defenders are losing ground and undermanned while Russia has been able to replenish its depleted invasion forces faster than anyone expected. Biden’s decision may help Ukraine, but it means “accepting the potentially escalatory consequences that might follow.”

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