Biden administration needs to openly state it wants Ukraine to ‘win’ war against Russia, says former Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges Newsweek.
As the Battle of Bakhmut in Donetsk rages on, the former US Army European Commander said: Newsweek “Liberation of Crimea” would be a “decisive” part of the war, but I believe it would require a more explicit declaration by the United States of Ukraine’s victory.
“Even if we could kill all Russians within 200 kilometers of Bakhmut, the strategic outcome would not change, but I think liberating Crimea would completely change the whole strategic context,” he said.
Hodges has consistently insisted that Kiev should be provided with all the weapons it needs to retake Crimea, a peninsula illegally annexed by President Vladimir Putin in 2014 and occupied by Moscow. In the meantime, Ukrainians said they would never be able to relax or rebuild their economy.
Weapons could include the ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System), which would allow Kiev to conduct long-range precision strikes on the peninsula, knocking out targets such as headquarters and ammunition depots. Explosions have previously rocked Russian military bases in Crimea, and an attack on the Kerch Bridge, which connects the peninsula to mainland Russia, has hit Moscow.
“If we want Ukraine to win and decide to agree that the liberation of Crimea is key to Ukraine’s victory, the tide of war could turn very quickly,” Hodges said. .
He praised “all the good things the U.S. government has done” by providing military support along with its allies. I didn’t declare it.”
“Instead, they say things like ‘We will be with them as long as we need to.’ What does that mean? Or ‘We want Russia to suffer strategic losses.'”
“Just say ‘I want Ukraine to win,'” Hodges said, adding that this would mean “total restoration of sovereign territory”, including Crimea.
“Instead, I’ve heard from very good, smart and hard-working officials, ‘I want to do whatever I can to put Ukraine in a good, strong position when they come to the negotiating table. I want to be in the best condition in the strongest position.’
“Why don’t you want them to win? That’s what’s missing.”
Hodges believes the reason is that the US is “still not confident about the outcome.” He added that while Biden has done a good job of uniting the allies, the United States and its European partners are “also worried about what will happen if Putin is gone.”
“People are not racking their brains over the idea that Russia will lose here. I think I do,” he said.
Hodges, like many analysts, does not believe Putin will escalate the aggression to include nuclear weapons.
When contacted for comment, the U.S. State Department noted Newsweek In response to recent comments by Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Brinken, the United States has said it will stand firm with Ukraine until it defeats Russia’s illegal aggression.
When Biden was in Kiev on Feb. 20, the US president said, “Americans stand with you and the world stands with you,” adding, “We stand here together.” added.
State Department spokesperson also mentions Newsweek To Blinken’s comment when asked on February 23rd, Atlantic What would Ukraine’s victory look like and would it involve Russia staying in any part of Ukraine, including the occupied territories in 2014?
“That’s for the Ukrainians to decide,” Brinken told the press.