Is the West giving up on Ukraine? In Washington, domestic squabbling is preventing a $60 billion package of support from being approved, while in Brussels the Hungarian Prime Viktor Orban has vetoed €50 billion in EU aid.

I’m hopeful, though far completely confident, that ways can be found to release the funds for these packages soon.

More worrying for those of us who think that Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s illegal invasion is critical to the ongoing contest between democracy and autocracy across the world, is the dilution in President Biden’s stated goals for the conflict.

Back in 1940, when the Churchill became the Prime Minister of the UK, his goal for the war with Germany was clear and simple: “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

President Biden has always been more equivocal in his desired outcome for the Russo-Ukraine war but has consistently said that the US would support Ukraine “for as long as it takes”. This week, Biden made a subtle, but depressingly important shift in his goal, saying that America will continue to support Ukraine “for as long as we can”.

Goals matter. Goals establish focus, guide decisions and shape actions. They matter at a personal, organizational, national and international level. If you are clear on your goals, you are likely to be far more productive and better able to get things done.

Sadly, in my view, Biden’s vagueness and increasing obfuscation about the US’s goals for this conflict will not only lead to a worse outcome for Ukraine but will help create a more dangerous world in the years ahead.

Off The Record: It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by REM

This means no fear, cavalier, renegade and steering clear

A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies

Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline

It’s the end of the world as we know it

It’s the end of the world as we know it

It’s the end of the world as we know it – and I feel fine