NewsUK and France weigh 'strategic ambiguity' over Ukraine troop dispatch

UK and France weigh 'strategic ambiguity' over Ukraine troop dispatch

War in Ukraine. Voice from Great Britain
War in Ukraine. Voice from Great Britain
Images source: © Licensor
7:21 AM EDT, May 11, 2024

Keir Giles, an expert at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London, argues on the institute's website that the UK and France should maintain "strategic ambiguity" regarding the potential dispatch of troops to Ukraine.

Keir Giles stresses that despite nuclear threats from Vladimir Putin, the UK should not capitulate to Russia as it would be the worst possible decision.

Russia's Panic Reaction

Giles mentions that the Kremlin reacted with threats after the British Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, stated that Ukraine has the right to use weapons supplied by the United Kingdom to launch attacks on Russia.

In retaliation, Moscow orchestrated a diplomatic and nuclear display: summoning the British ambassador to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and announcing plans for tactical nuclear weapons drills in the near future.

Regrettably, Giles remarks that shortly after these events, Cameron declared that Britain's aid to Kyiv would now be primarily in the form of financial support, as the capacity for weapons supply had been depleted. Even more troubling, Cameron dismissed the idea of deploying Western troops to Ukraine.

Macron's Perspective

French President, Emmanuel Macron, has cautioned that European forces may need to step in if Ukraine can't fend off Russian aggression. Giles underscores that Russia must grasp this warning because the last thing Moscow wants is a direct conflict with NATO members.

Giles argues that publicly ruling out the deployment of Western troops in Ukraine is misguided, regardless of the feasibility for some NATO members. Such declarations, he asserts, only reassure Putin that he can persist with the conflict without fear of escalation.

Giles advocates for European leaders to adopt Macron’s strategy of "strategic ambiguity" by not disclosing what they won't do to adversaries.

In conclusion, Giles deliberates on the extent of Europe’s support for Kyiv and whether it should permit Moscow’s belligerent actions to claim more lives.

In an early May interview with The Economist, Macron reiterated his position, affirming that should the Russians breach the front line and Kyiv seek assistance, the West ought to consider dispatching troops to Ukraine.

The French President initially broached this prospect in February after talks with European heads of state and government, asserting that vanquishing Russia is vital for Europe’s security. Macron highlighted that the future option of sending Western ground forces to Ukraine should not be dismissed.

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