The failure to prosecute American officials and other powerful nations for war crimes has created a jurisdictional mess.

by Jeremy Scahill, The Intercept

The United States and its NATO allies are doubling down on their support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s assertion that Russia can and will be defeated “on the battlefield.” Over the past year, there has been an open spigot delivering tens of billions of dollars in weapons and other military hardware. As the war has dragged on, earlier hesitation expressed by leaders of NATO states, mainly in the U.S. and Germany, over transferring more potent weapons systems has been overtaken by a zealous policy of NATO escalation.

It seems clear at this point that the Biden administration’s position is that increasing Ukraine’s military capacity is a win-win scenario: Even if Kyiv does not expel Moscow’s forces and retake of all of its territory — including Crimea — as Zelenskyy has stated is the central objective, the proxy war will nonetheless deliver a series of potent punches to the vital organs that constitute Vladimir Putin’s reign. Russia will continue to sacrifice the lives of its soldiers and deplete its economic and military capacity — and Putin will be weakened internally and internationally. The goal is that one way or another, Putin loses without having to sacrifice U.S. or NATO lives.

War in Ukraine. Thousands of residents of Irpin have to abandon their homes and evacuate as russian troops are bombing a peaceful city. War refugees in Ukraine

But what if none of that happens? What if Putin survives this brutal war with his grip on power intact? What if Gen. Mark Milley, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was right when he said last November that a Ukrainian victory “is maybe not achievable through military means”? What if Ukraine is forced to accept a negotiated solution where it formally concedes the loss of its territory? What type of accountability could then be brought to bear for Putin’s decision to invade a neighboring country?

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