Editor’s Note: David A. Andelman, a The Sunday Review is a contributor. It has twice been awarded the Deadline Club Award. a Author of chevalier of French Legion of Honor “A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen” You can also visit our blogs Andelman Unleashed. He was once a The Sunday Review correspondent and CBS News Europe and Asia. These views are his. See more opinion The Sunday Review

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A truce Now, in the War in Ukraine would This is essentially victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin Putin.

Russian hopes of becoming a world leader are now nine months old a The rapid seizure of its army was well and truly defeated. It was largely on the defensive over more than 600 miles battle lines that run along the eastern and south reaches of Ukraine.

Indeed a truce For the Russian leader, negotiations are the only way to victory at the moment. His manpower is exhausted and supplies of weapons are shrinking.

There is also a flagging will of the West that could prove equally toxic for Ukraine – and that Putin It is almost certain that they are counting on.

“The only thing a premature truce does is it allows both parties to re-arm,” Michael Kofman, Director of Russian Studies at the University CNA Think tank a In an interview, a leading expert on Russian military affairs spoke to me.

“And because Russia is the most disadvantaged now, it will benefit Russia the most and then renew the war. So all a truce buys you is a continuation of war. It wouldn’t resolve any of the underlying issues of the war,” He concluded.

Experts believe that Russia is starting to rearm already. “Ammunition availability” One of the “most determinative aspects of this war,” Kofman. “If you burn through 9 million rounds, you cannot make them in a month. So the issue is what is the ammunition production rate and what can be mobilized?” He concluded.

Kofman cited available information showing that the manufacture of munitions – which have been the staples of the exchanges so far along Ukrainian front lines – has gone from two, and in some factories to three, shifts a Day in Russia This means that “they have the component parts or otherwise they wouldn’t be going to double and triple shifts,” He stated.

Yet a truce Negotiations are the main focus of senior American and Western officials.

“When there’s an opportunity to negotiate, when peace can be achieved, seize it. Seize the moment,” General Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said recently.

But Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky isn’t buying it. “We will not allow Russia to wait out and build up its forces,” He told The G-20 meeting was held in Bali earlier this year.

As Ukrainians dig in for a Russian aggressions on critical power infrastructure have made it a brutal winter. It’s no wonder that they are wary about diplomatic wrangling.

In a pharmacy in Lviv, a man uses the light on his phone to  help the pharmacist find products, amid rolling blackouts, on November 16.

“Please imagine how Ukrainians understand negotiations,” Petro Poroshenko, former president of Ukraine told Monday, the Council on Foreign Relations “You are sitting in your own house, the killer comes to your house and kills your wife, rapes your daughter, takes the second floor, then opens the door to the second floor and says, ‘OK come here. Let’s have a negotiation.’ What would be your reaction?”

There is very little value in any of these things. truceIt can be linked to or apart from negotiations. A truce Russia gets vital breathing space, despite having its back to the wall militarily.

“As well as giving the Russians time to regroup and rearm, importantly it would relieve the pressure on their forces at the moment,” General Mick Ryan, a I was contacted by a colleague of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “They have been at it hard for nine months. Their forces are exhausted.”

This sentiment was voiced last month by Jeremy Fleming, head of Britain’s top-secret electronic espionage agency GCHQ. “We know – and Russian commanders on the ground know – that their supplies and munitions are running out,” Fleming.

Since then, the Russians are still in trouble. The British Defense Ministry provided some of the most accurate and up-to-date intelligence regarding the Russian military operations in Ukraine on Monday. reported that, “Both Russian defensive and offensive capability continues to be hampered by severe shortages of munitions and skilled personnel.”

Le Monde, a French newspaper, has also taken this initiative. a major analysis Satellite images and video on the ground “Russia’s arms and ammunition stockpiles have been severely dented by Ukrainian targeted attacks.”

These images proved that “in total, at least 52 Russian ammunition depots have been hit by the Ukrainian military since the end of March 2022.” It’s a According to the report, a large portion of the 100-200 Russian depots analysts believe are on the Ukrainian side are located.

Problem is, the Russians have largely solved this threat. “The Russians have seemingly adapted to the presence of HIMARs [American-supplied artillery] on the battlefield by pulling their big ammo depots back outside of the range,” Chris Dougherty a I spoke with senior fellow for Defense Program, and co-head of Gaming Lab at Center for New American Security in Washington.

That’s “basically any big command post or ammo dump they pulled back beyond the 80-kilometer range,” He explained. And in many cases, just inside Russian terrItory – which Ukraine has given Washington assurances it would Rocket systems from the USA should not be used to target.

Dougherty, along with many other experts, believes that truce No or yes truceThe West must increase the capabilities of Ukraine.

“Otherwise, Russia will just wait it out,” Dougherty. Now, after being pushed back in Ukraine’s Fall offensive, “they have a smaller front” to defend.

He added that the Russians are “willing to trade mobilized soldiers and artillery shells.” Russians expect that “over time, NATO and the Western allies and Ukrainians won’t be willing to continue to make those trades. And eventually it’ll push them to negotiate. That, I totally believe, is Putin’s bet,” Dougherty.

History has shown that any type of adversity can be overcome. truce With Putin Negotiations on the back foot would They are meaningless. As Poroshenko observed: “From my personal experience communicating with Putin: Point number one, please don’t trust Putin.” If he doesn’t want to seize control of Ukraine, he will certainly not be bound to any agreement.

The truth is that the US, and the west alliance, must look as far into the future. Putin and those within the Kremlin that could succeed him. What will be the end result of this commitment to the fight?

The Russians’ thinking, Dougherty observes, is: “We can stabilize the front and we’ll wait out Ukrainians. We’ll wait out NATO, we’ll wait out the United States.”

But at some point, they’ll also get tired of this war, he added. The Russian mindset could become “we may not have everything we wanted. But we’ll have a big chunk of the Donbas and will annex that into Russia and we’ll hold onto Crimea. And I think that’s kind of their bet right now.”

Gleichzeitig, a truce would Also, allow the West rebuild rapidly depleting arsenals that have been drained by materiel sent to Ukraine, even upgrade what’s been supplied.

But were the war to resume months or years from now, there’s a The real question is whether the US and its allies are truly united. would Be prepared to return. a Many are starting to wish that conflict was over.