The planned Ukraine spring counter-offensive is about to begin, with no end in sight. No world leader has been able to bring Russia and Ukraine to the negotiating table. Stone Age war has been going on for over a year with one commentator, Luke Coffey of the Hudson Institute, stating, “US policymakers should see this war as a series of campaigns that will stretch for years instead of a disconnected series of battles lasting months.”

The United States has spent $40 billion already, since February 24, 2022, helping Ukraine, and has appropriated $115 billion overall. This represents two percent of America’s budget. Making peace between Russia and Ukraine would be a lot less expensive. The right leadership, I believe, can make this happen. It won’t be easy, but little or no progress has been made thus far. I have mentioned in previous articles on this subject that it took a President Teddy Roosevelt to bring peace in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. The war also started in February. It ended in September 1905. The Russians actually lost that war. They lost 60,000 soldiers. It is estimated that the Russians have already lost 200,000 men in the current war with Ukraine.

The spring counter-offensive by Ukraine should be used as a catalyst to bring Russia to the negotiating table. I fully support Ukraine in its quest for freedom and autonomy. This counter-offensive must be bold and decisive. The Ukrainians must be given all of the equipment, munitions, and weapons they need to make the Kremlin think twice about continuing their aggression. Otherwise, Luke Coffey’s prediction that “this war will be long and measured by years, not months” will be proven correct. It has already taken its toll on the world’s economy. European countries have had to divert money, allocated to its social programs, to defense and the Ukraine fight. The United States’ stockpiles of munitions in Israel have been severely depleted, having been sent to Ukraine. This puts Israel in a more precarious position, as it faces a multi-front war on the eve of destroying Iran’s nuclear bomb ambitions.

Preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is still the number one priority in foreign affairs, but the Russia-Ukraine escalation is a close second. We need strong leadership more than ever.

Joseph M. Frager is a physician and lifelong activist.