NewsPutin believed he could act with impunity. Powerful remarks on the conflict in Ukraine

Putin believed he could act with impunity. Powerful remarks on the conflict in Ukraine

General David Petraeus criticized the West and its approach to the war in Ukraine.
General David Petraeus criticized the West and its approach to the war in Ukraine.
Images source: © US Army
11:35 AM EST, December 3, 2023

General David Petraeus, former CIA Director and supreme commander of the coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, has expressed disappointment with the West's response to the conflict in Ukraine. He believes that Vladimir Putin might escape accountability for the invasion, and could even win the war, due to the hesitant actions of allies in Kyiv.

General David Petraeus, a prominent U.S. Army commander for many years, made significant decisions in Iraq and Afghanistan. He later led the CIA (from 2011 to 2012), and currently works as a military commentator. Speaking with the BBC, the 71-year-old assessed the situation on the Ukrainian front and criticized Western countries sharply.

The former officer believes that Western countries should be more assertive in supporting Kyiv and mobilizing to win the war in Ukraine. He pointed to the disappointing summer counteroffensive by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, highlighting the delay in armaments delivery and the inadequate amount of equipment sent to the east as significant issues.

Petraeus cited numerous such instances in recent years.

According to his assessment, the West made its largest error a decade ago by not thwarting Putin and his regime. The annexation of Crimea and destabilization of Eastern Ukraine should have elicited a stern response from NATO and Western nations. It was at this juncture that Russia's president realized he could push boundaries further, culminating in the invasion.

"Putin realized that he could avoid responsibility for the invasion of Ukraine because we did not take enough measures", the officer opined.

The conflict has been ongoing for two years, so the priority should be on addressing the immediate issues. The West's error is its sluggishness in supplying equipment and weaponry to Kyiv, which General Petraeus believes should be done without restriction. Leopards, Abrams, cluster bombs, ATACMS missiles, or F-16 aircraft could have been beneficial for the Ukrainian military in the summer, but their delivery to the front line was late.

Should this continue, Ukraine may not emerge successful from this war. Why? Because Russia is defending effectively, and capitalizing on the mistakes of Western nations.

According to NATO military doctrine, Ukraine will require advanced equipment to penetrate Russia's robust defense, achieve air superiority, and secure a greater number of ground-based equipment. Only then will it be possible for Ukraine to drive out the aggressors. "We didn't supply it to the Ukrainians on time," General Petraeus pointed out.

Another esteemed officer, General Philip M. Breedlove, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, recently voiced similar concerns. He chastised Western countries for their inadequate support of Ukraine in combat. He believes that there's a lack of political will to decisively defeat Russia, citing a dearth of advanced equipment, ammunition, and proper support.

Why? Because the consequences of Putin's downfall in Russia are uncertain. Consequently, the current deadlock in the East is viewed as "beneficial and relatively safe" by the West.

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