As Putin’s swift plan to invade Ukraine has evolved into the invasion of the Donbas region, the United States and its allies set their sights on a long-term war goal which is to incapacitate and weaken the Russian military to a point it can no longer launch attacks like this again.

“We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine,” Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last Monday. “So it has already lost a lot of military capability. And a lot of its troops, quite frankly. And we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability,” he added.

The Pentagon chief was in a press conference in Poland after a quick visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv last Sunday with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. During the conference, Austin first mentioned that Washington wants to see “Ukraine remain a sovereign country, a democratic country, able to protect its sovereign territory.”