NewsFormer NATO chief criticizes western support for Ukraine

Former NATO chief criticizes western support for Ukraine

Ukrainians have been fighting against Russian aggression for almost two years now, there is no end to the war in sight.
Ukrainians have been fighting against Russian aggression for almost two years now, there is no end to the war in sight.
Images source: © Getty Images | Anadolu Agency
7:35 AM EST, December 1, 2023

The former head of NATO in Europe, General Philip M. Breedlove, has criticised the support western countries have given Ukraine in their fight against the invader. According to him, there seems to be no political will to conclusively defeat the Russians. He identified a dire lack of advanced equipment, ammunition, and adequate support. So why do politicians fear a defeat for Vladimir Putin?

Ukrainians have been combating Russian aggression for nearly two years now, starting from when Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of its neighbour on February 24, 2022. The battle is intense, with Ukrainians having defended Kiev and pushed the enemy eastwards, but they are presently held at the so-called Surowikin line. Although many posit that the conflict may soon "freeze," the end of the war is not currently in sight.

It seemed until recently that the Ukrainian Armed Forces would be successful in driving out the invader from their lands and reclaiming the territories Russia occupied as early as 2014. Unfortunately, the counter-offensive has been less effective than hoped, and a lack of military equipment and a strategy for strong Russian fortifications have had their impact. Victory is slipping away from Kiev, and Russia is adjusting its strategy.

The former NATO chief in Europe, General Philip M. Breedlove, has harshly assessed this stage of the war. He is of the opinion that the West fears the defeat of Vladimir Putin due to the civil war it could potentially incite in Russia.

General Philip M. Breedlove, who served as NATO commander in Europe from 2013-2016, remains closely involved with the conflict in Ukraine. He's affiliated with the Atlantic Council and CNAS think tanks, where he offers his analysis of developments in the East. He doesn't hold back in his criticism of the level of support the West has offered Ukraine.

The officer asserts that victory is still achievable, but it requires more and more intelligent support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Breedlove points out that the West has failed to equip Kiev with the crucial military tools needed to win the conflict and hints that Russian strategies of deterrence might be working. Moscow has assumed control in various combat locations, engaging Ukraine in a war of attrition regarding both equipment and personnel. It's clear Russia has significantly more resources than the defenders.

He boldly suggests that leading Western politicians don't want Ukraine to defeat Russia in this conflict. Why? Because they fear the potential fallout inside Russia.

In a Putin-led country, defeat at the front could very well precipitate the president's downfall and a power struggle. This struggle might not be confined to Kremlin offices, as demonstrated by Yevgeny Prigozhin's rebellion, illustrating how little it takes to spark a civil war in Russia - a nightmare scenario for the West.

Many policymakers seem to anticipate restoring normal relations with Moscow after the war. Numerous countries still desire trade and resource exchanges with Russia.

So, as Russia postures and exaggerates its strength, many Western politicians are swayed by their narrative. Breedlove believes fear is paralysing these politicians, as the repercussions of a potential Russian defeat are unpredictable. They seemingly prefer maintaining the status quo - the balance of forces on the front line and the current war stalemate.

The irony is that such a "draw" is costly, particularly for the Ukrainians. People lose their lives daily, and the war is ravaging the country. Russia can drag this conflict on for years and then strike anew. General Philip M. Breedlove hopes this won't transpire because then the war's outcome could go either way, undoubtedly impacting Western nations.

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