Espreso. Global

Playing long war may be disaster for West and Ukraine

21 December, 2023 Thursday

The longer Europe and the US deny Ukraine the necessary support that would turn the tide on the war fronts, the more expensive it will be for them in the future

The attempts of the radical part of the Republican Party in the US Congress and the pro-Russian prime ministers of Europe - Hungary's Viktor Orban and Slovakia's Robert Fico - to play "every man for himself" with Ukraine will lead to the defeat of the West itself. Now the situation around the Russian-Ukrainian war is developing in such a way that these short-sighted politicians are ready to block support for Ukraine at any cost. They do not think at all that such a decision will boomerang back to America and Europe.

At this decisive and fateful moment in world history, to stop or minimize assistance to the Ukrainian state would be to play along with Putin. It is very important for the Russian dictator to split the unity of the collective West. To find the weakness of the European populists Orban and Fico, for whom cheap Moscow gas and the fear of refugees are much more important issues than helping neighbors who are heroically fighting the imperialist Russian Federation.

The main thing for them is that they are doing well now. And it doesn't matter that Ukrainians are defending Western democratic values with their lives. It is clear, however, that the longer Europe and the United States deny Ukraine the necessary support that would turn the tide on the war fronts, the more expensive it will be for them in the future.

Due to the changing political mood in the West, the Ukrainian Armed Forces had to launch an offensive in order to maintain public support in Western countries. NATO would never have dared to attack under such circumstances. The Ukrainians, however, did manage to achieve some notable successes that could not have been expected, given the long-term preparation of the Russians for the defense of the occupied territories and the lack of air superiority of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Therefore, partial success is not a failure, but only preparation for future victories of the Ukrainian army after the promised fighter jets, tanks, and long-range artillery systems arrive.

“Russia's war in Ukraine has tested the Western world's resilience and solidarity. Therefore, investing in Ukraine's future is a very profitable investment. And if this is not done, the international community is threatened by a new world order where the stronger does what he wants and takes what he wants by force.”

We can confidently say that, among other things, the constant delay in providing the assistance that the Ukrainian Armed Forces really needed resulted in a terrorist attack by Palestinians on Israel. Russia and Iran sensed the West's weakness and decided to play the Palestinian card to divert our allies' attention from Ukraine. All of this could have been foreseen in advance if Europe and the United States had provided the weapons needed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on time, rather than inventing any allegedly objective reasons to slow down the supply or postpone it indefinitely.

The Ukrainian state has become a battlefield for world powers

Ukraine had to be equipped with everything necessary for a decisive response to the Russian terrorist invasion as of yesterday. It was necessary to urgently increase arms production to compensate for the deficits identified. But this, like many other things, was not done in time. And now, after the terrorist attack on Israel, the Western alliance is facing a second war, in which the lack of competence of European and American policy is once again becoming apparent.

“What is wrong with all these governments that, for very different reasons, simply do not want to hear the first and now the second shot? After all, Europe, America, the political West as a whole and all liberal democracies are under merciless attack by a united international of totalitarian countries. We must honestly admit that the Western world has entered into a long-term systemic confrontation with Russia, China, and Iran and their vassals like North Korea, who are determined to change the world order to suit themselves forever.”

The Ukrainian state, by the choice of history, has become a battleground for global forces of good and evil. Ukraine has repeatedly surprised its allies with its creativity, perseverance, and strategic skill. However, combined with the Westerners' hope that good would prevail, a general picture emerged that determined the military realities, and there were several of them:

  1. No country has ever launched a major counteroffensive when the enemy had air superiority.
  2. No country has ever had to fight its way through minefields that are uniquely dense and long, and that are miles long.
  3. No country has ever experienced the extent to which the use of drones undermines all the foundations of traditional warfare.

Under such extremely difficult conditions, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have done much more than they could have done, at a time when some of those who helped us hoped to win the war with little effort. Now it's time to change the paradigm of approaches to the Russian-Ukrainian war, and to act so that victory over the cruel and insidious Moscow enemy can no longer depend on the desires and decisions of those who have never been under rocket fire in their lives and therefore still perceive Russia's war in Ukraine as some kind of television abstraction that does not concern them personally.

Although Western tanks and howitzers are qualitatively superior to Russian weapons, they have not been able to provide a decisive advantage given the number of them currently being supplied. Now that there is already a possibility of a shortage of Western artillery ammunition, this could be compensated for to some extent if Ukraine finally received more powerful weapons. It would make it possible to permanently destroy supply routes such as the Crimean bridge or the extensive system of railroads that the Russian Federation uses to deliver equipment, ammunition, and manpower to the war fronts with relative ease.

Considering the situation that is objectively emerging, we need to think about the spring offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces now. However, by that time, the artillery and aviation balance of power must be completely changed in favor of Ukraine. And only then will we be able to see great achievements in liberating Ukrainian territories from the Russian occupation.

“Decision-makers in America and Europe must finally realize that they need to supply Ukraine with more weapons than it needs in order to avoid losing.”

At the beginning of the war, Putin managed to dampen Western enthusiasm by bluffing geopolitically. He claimed that he would not be afraid of a nuclear war or World War III if the West got too involved in the conflict unleashed by Moscow. When every new step taken to support Ukraine allegedly put the situation on an extremely dangerous escalation trajectory. Therefore, it turned out that Ukrainians were constantly supported just enough to prevent Ukraine from gaining an advantage. And the Russian strategy is aimed at the fact that a prolonged war of attrition will eventually tire the West, and it will agree to an "understanding" with Russia. At the same time, Ukraine's future potential is being destroyed, as the enormous material damage will slow down the country's economic development for a long time.

Moscow's defeat is postponed to 2024

The situation is complex, and the collective West must finally wake up. The problem is that after almost two years of a major war and ten years of a local war waged by Russia in Ukraine, there is still no common military strategy developed by the European Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom. It would clearly define military goals, set military priorities, and take into account how many weapons Ukraine needs to be supplied with in order to win.

Because this is not only a war of Ukraine, it is a war of the entire Western civilization. Therefore, the West must realize that it has to move to a war economy. This has already begun to happen, but slowly. However, it was obvious from the very beginning that without sufficient ammunition, fighter planes, and other weapons systems, the Ukrainian counteroffensive might not achieve its goal.

“The initial Western concept that Ukraine "cannot lose" did not mean that Ukraine "must win." And this is a significant difference, and as we can see now, it is costing us a lot of money. Because it is precisely this difference that has led to these half-hearted decisions, constant hesitation and delay in making important decisions, with the corresponding consequences.”

Today, the reality is that funding for the Russian military machine has been increased to one third of the state budget. This can be interpreted as a de facto declaration of war on the rest of the world. Similar to Hitler's fascist regime, the majority of state revenues are invested in weapons and in equipping military personnel. Putin is deliberately working to prepare for World War III, and democratic countries cannot turn a blind eye.

As well as the fact that the loss of Ukraine's independence or acceptance of Russia's occupation of 20% of Ukrainian territory dramatically increases the risks of further theaters of war. This means that the threat to the sovereignty of many European states will grow exponentially. Westerners have always made the mistake of emphasizing that Ukraine receives a lot of support, but they have not recognized that Ukraine receives insufficient support. Therefore, the top priority for the European Union, which makes Putin's Russia look like an economic dwarf despite its gigantic size, should not be to cut costs in supporting Ukraine, but to dramatically increase military aid to the Ukrainian state.

If the Ukrainian counteroffensive had been completely successful, the war would have ended. Putin would no longer be in power, and the entire Russian system would have collapsed. Now, Moscow's defeat is postponed until 2024. Russia's war in Ukraine was lost by the Kremlin back when Russian troops were a few kilometers from Kyiv, but they failed to capture it. And now we are talking about the existence of Russia in its current form.

And if things go on like this, the Russians face the threat of the Russian Federation turning into a North Korean-like state with its large parts being integrated into the new Chinese empire.


About the author. Viktor Kaspruk, journalist.

The editors don't always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.

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