According to the context, Biden’s promise to support Ukraine “as long as it takes” appears to suggest that America will do so until Ukraine has won, which is defined as forcing Russia out of all of its territory. And therein lays America’s geopolitical dilemma.
William Burns, director of the CIA, stated in May that he believed Vladimir Putin was “in a frame of mind where he doesn’t believe he can afford to lose.” Putin is currently in a corner; this is likely when he is at his most dangerous, according to Tobias Ellwood, Chair of the British Parliament’s Defense Select Committee, who made this statement last month.
It is not a prudent move to corner the man who has exclusive launch authority for the nation with the largest nuclear weapon stockpile on the planet. But some of the highest-ranking Western officials and retired generals seem to have no awareness of that fact.
Putin said he would not hesitate to deploy nuclear weapons if he felt Russian territory was in danger along with his declaration that Russia would unilaterally seize parts of eastern Ukraine. The pushback from the West was understandable and immediate. It was not, however, well thought-out.
David Petraeus, a former general and director of the CIA, urged that the US should assume the helm of a NATO operation to “defeat every Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine, as well as in Crimea, and every ship in the Black Sea.” Josep Borrell, the head of EU policy, issued a warning that if Russia ever deployed nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the West as a whole would reply with a “strong answer” with conventional weapons, ending in “the annihilation of the Russian Army.”
How A Nuclear War Could Start
Ben Hodges, a former U.S. Army-Europe commander, stated that the West should assist Ukraine in driving out all Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, including Crimea, in order to highlight the threat to Putin’s rule. Hodges stated that “the goal, of course, is the complete restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty.” Between the strategic goals, the United States is seeking and an understanding of what “winning” may produce, there is an odd and unsettling gap.
If the adversary in question were to be compared to the Taliban, the Iraqi insurgency, ISIS, Qaddafi’s Libya, or the terrorist group al-Shabaab, the West would be free to pursue any military goal of their choosing (regardless of whether doing so would be wise), and the adversary would be powerless to stop the execution of such a campaign. As was the case with the Taliban, Western military strength might not ultimately prevail, but as with each of those historical cases, there would never be more than minor tactical dangers involved.
However, unlike all of our military adversaries from the previous several decades, Russia has nuclear weapons, which means that in a moment of panic or desperation, they could start a nuclear war that could figuratively wipe the United States out of existence. This is something that far too many of our current leaders and enthusiastic Washington hawks fail to understand.
Think about that for a minute.
It should not be difficult to understand that Putin will be cornered if the United States and NATO finally provide Ukrainian troops with sufficient firepower, intelligence, and training to enable them to physically drive Russian forces out of all of Ukraine, particularly the highly charged emotional areas of Donbas and Crimea.
Let me repeat unequivocally what should be obvious: nothing about the crisis between Russia and Ukraine justifies the nuclear destruction of one NATO or American city.
This fact should prompt an immediate review of Washington’s policies and the establishment of fresh goals. According to the Constitution, Congress and the President are only required to protect our country and its potential to prosper. It should never be considered to invite an unnecessary nuclear catastrophe, especially while our security is not in danger.