July 1, 2022

S and NATO betting on a Ukrainian victory

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 15 April 2022
WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND
Today’s Events in Historical Perspective
America’s Longest-Running Column Founded 1932
U.S. and NATO betting on a Ukrainian victory
By Douglas Cohn and Eleanor Clift          WASHINGTON — The war in Ukraine enters a new phase with Russia bearing down on the disputed Donbas region. Neither side is in the mood for a negotiated settlement, and for the first time, NATO and the Biden administration are playing to win.
          The realization has dawned on the Western allies that Ukraine can win, and that Russia is losing the war of choice it started. Putin said in talks with Austria’s prime minister that he will not back down and was forced to invade Ukraine to protect Russia from NATO.
          It's Putin’s version of the Big Lie. Based on his unsubstantiated 82 percent approval rating in Russia, people are buying it, at least for now. By pulling his forces back to regroup, Putin has given Ukraine a respite that NATO and the Biden administration have put to good use.
          After some initial hesitation, President Biden signed off on another $800 million of weapons suited to wage an aggressive campaign against the Russians in the Donbas. Eight to 10 planeloads of materiel from the United States and other nations have landed daily in Poland in recent days and are headed through reliable supply routes into Ukraine.
          This is the age of missiles and drones and after some initial hesitation, the Biden administration and NATO are all in. For all intents and purposes, NATO has entered the war, doing everything it possibly can to arm and defend Ukraine short of putting NATO troops on the ground.
          That’s why Churchill’s words echo in today’s conflict. Churchill issued his call for help in a radio broadcast on February 9, 1941, “Send us the tools, and we will finish the job.” America did not enter the war until 10 months later, after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
          We will soon learn whether Russia has also put this respite to good use in terms of retooling its strategy and its army. Its initial approach of taking Kyiv in a matter of days failed, and its backup plan of destroying Mariupol and unleashing terrible brutality against innocent civilians has revealed the weakness and the depravity of its military.
          Russian General Alexander Dvornikov will oversee the coming battle. As the commander of the genocidal battles in Syria, he is known as “the butcher.” Dvornikov takes over after a quarter of the Russian units in the invasion have been rendered ineffective, and he faces a daunting challenge to restore morale in an army that has been humiliated.
          It's a feature of the Russian Army that it lacks a professional non-commissioned officers’ corps – the backbone of any army. This has contributed to the army’s lack of discipline in carrying out its mission and has been exceeded only by the sadism many soldiers have exhibited in their disregard for human life.
          Putin reportedly wants a victory by May 9th, the anniversary of his country’s victory in World War II, but he may be surprised with what he finds as his troops enter the Donbas, which has been the site of fighting among Ukrainians and Russian separatists for at least the last eight years. Both sides know the terrain well, but this time around the Ukrainians will have state-of-the-art weapons that function as force multipliers to offset Russian numbers.
          If the “Butcher of Syria” thinks he can mow down the Donbas, blitzkrieg fashion, he’s in the wrong century. Missiles and drones are 21st-century warfare, and Ukraine sent a welcome message to Russia by sinking the flagship of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea.
          The Russian Army does not hold the advantage in Donbas, and it is up against NATO in every respect except troops on the ground. The Ukrainians are fighting for their homeland, and they have convinced NATO they can win, and winning is the only way to stop Putin.
 
          See Eleanor Clift’s latest book Selecting a President, and Douglas Cohn’s latest books The President’s First Year: The Only School for Presidents Is the Presidency and World War 4: Nine Scenarios (endorsed by seven flag officers).
          Twitter:  @douglas_cohn
          © 2021 U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
          Distributed by U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
END WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND
IMMEDIATE RELEASE 15 April 2022
WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND
Today’s Events in Historical Perspective
America’s Longest-Running Column Founded 1932
U.S. and NATO betting on a Ukrainian victory
By Douglas Cohn and Eleanor Clift
          WASHINGTON — The war in Ukraine enters a new phase with Russia bearing down on the disputed Donbas region. Neither side is in the mood for a negotiated settlement, and for the first time, NATO and the Biden administration are playing to win.
          The realization has dawned on the Western allies that Ukraine can win, and that Russia is losing the war of choice it started. Putin said in talks with Austria’s prime minister that he will not back down and was forced to invade Ukraine to protect Russia from NATO.
          It's Putin’s version of the Big Lie. Based on his unsubstantiated 82 percent approval rating in Russia, people are buying it, at least for now. By pulling his forces back to regroup, Putin has given Ukraine a respite that NATO and the Biden administration have put to good use.
          After some initial hesitation, President Biden signed off on another $800 million of weapons suited to wage an aggressive campaign against the Russians in the Donbas. Eight to 10 planeloads of materiel from the United States and other nations have landed daily in Poland in recent days and are headed through reliable supply routes into Ukraine.
          This is the age of missiles and drones and after some initial hesitation, the Biden administration and NATO are all in. For all intents and purposes, NATO has entered the war, doing everything it possibly can to arm and defend Ukraine short of putting NATO troops on the ground.
          That’s why Churchill’s words echo in today’s conflict. Churchill issued his call for help in a radio broadcast on February 9, 1941, “Send us the tools, and we will finish the job.” America did not enter the war until 10 months later, after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
          We will soon learn whether Russia has also put this respite to good use in terms of retooling its strategy and its army. Its initial approach of taking Kyiv in a matter of days failed, and its backup plan of destroying Mariupol and unleashing terrible brutality against innocent civilians has revealed the weakness and the depravity of its military.
          Russian General Alexander Dvornikov will oversee the coming battle. As the commander of the genocidal battles in Syria, he is known as “the butcher.” Dvornikov takes over after a quarter of the Russian units in the invasion have been rendered ineffective, and he faces a daunting challenge to restore morale in an army that has been humiliated.
          It's a feature of the Russian Army that it lacks a professional non-commissioned officers’ corps – the backbone of any army. This has contributed to the army’s lack of discipline in carrying out its mission and has been exceeded only by the sadism many soldiers have exhibited in their disregard for human life.
          Putin reportedly wants a victory by May 9th, the anniversary of his country’s victory in World War II, but he may be surprised with what he finds as his troops enter the Donbas, which has been the site of fighting among Ukrainians and Russian separatists for at least the last eight years. Both sides know the terrain well, but this time around the Ukrainians will have state-of-the-art weapons that function as force multipliers to offset Russian numbers.
          If the “Butcher of Syria” thinks he can mow down the Donbas, blitzkrieg fashion, he’s in the wrong century. Missiles and drones are 21st-century warfare, and Ukraine sent a welcome message to Russia by sinking the flagship of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea.
          The Russian Army does not hold the advantage in Donbas, and it is up against NATO in every respect except troops on the ground. The Ukrainians are fighting for their homeland, and they have convinced NATO they can win, and winning is the only way to stop Putin.
 
          See Eleanor Clift’s latest book Selecting a President, and Douglas Cohn’s latest books The President’s First Year: The Only School for Presidents Is the Presidency and World War 4: Nine Scenarios (endorsed by seven flag officers).
          Twitter:  @douglas_cohn
          © 2021 U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
          Distributed by U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
END WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND

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