The Washington Post reports the White House is planning for an extended conflict in Ukraine. Leaders in NATO, the UK and Germany have joined the US in support of a long war. However, there is anxiety among some in the Western alliance that war fatigue will set in and support for Kiev will dry up.
The Post reported an unnamed senior State Department official said, "Biden administration officials had discussed the possibility of a protracted conflict with global spill-over effects even before February, as U.S. intelligence suggested Putin was preparing to invade."
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said, "We’re here to dig in our spurs." Austin made the comment during a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. At the conference, the defense secretary announced Germany was sending long-range rockets to Kiev, and Slovakia was sending Mi-series helicopters.
The White House followed the conference by announcing a $1 billion weapons transfer to Ukraine. The package includes Harpoon anti-ship missiles and 155MM howitzers. On Friday, Ukrainian officials claimed a Harpoon missile was used to sink a Russian tug boat in the Black Sea. In a now-deleted tweet, a Ukrainian official said that Western countries were planning to arm Ukraine with the anti-ship missiles to sink Russian ships in the Black Sea.
On Sunday, NATO Secretary-General Jen Stoltenberg said, “We must prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not let up in supporting Ukraine.” He added, "Even if the costs are high, not only for military support, also because of rising energy and food prices.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his second trip to Keiv since Russia invaded on February 24. While meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Johnson pledged the UK would train 10,000 Ukrainian troops every 120 days. "The UK is with you, and we will be with you until you ultimately prevail,” Johnson said.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz indicated Ukraine should expect more support from the West. He said at an upcoming Group of Seven summit the attendees will make clear Kiev can expect to receive the support it needs "for as long as necessary."