Retired U.S. Army LTC Alexander Vindman, who gained fame for helping Democrats impeach President Donald Trump for a phone call Trump had with Ukrainian officials in July 2019, is urging the Biden administration and its Western allies to swiftly and dramatically increase military aid and supplies to Ukraine to help the Ukrainian armed forces credibly threaten to take back Crimea, which Russian forces seized in 2014.
He lays out a Ukrainian military campaign--armed and funded by the United States and its NATO allies--that he claims will cause Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate a Russian withdrawal from Crimea and reduce the risk of a wider war.
Vindman is reminiscent of those European statesmen and generals before and during World War I who thought that mobilizing for war would somehow prevent it and, if not, would result in a swift victory.
In the past, American statesmen recognized the importance of maintaining the geopolitical pluralism of Eurasia.It is why we sided with Stalin against Hitler.It is why we sided with Mao against the Soviet regime.
But all the Vindman approach does is to push Russia even closer to China.And as tensions increase in the western Pacific over Taiwan, Vindman’s counsel may get us into a two-front war that nobody should want.
The United States’ recent promise to ship advanced M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine was a swift response to a serious problem.
The problem is that Ukraine is losing the war.
Not, as far as we can tell, because its soldiers are fighting poorly or its people have lost heart, but because the war has settled into a World War I-style battle of attrition, complete with carefully dug trenches and relatively stable fronts.
Such wars tend to be won — as indeed World War I was — by the side with the demographic and industrial resources to hold out longest.
Russia has more than three times Ukraine’s population, an intact economy and superior military technology.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in an interview posted to his YouTube channel on Saturday that the US and its Western allies “blocked” his efforts of mediating between Russia and Ukraine to bring an end to the war in its early days.
On March 4, 2022, Bennett traveled to Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin. In the interview, he detailed his mediation at the time between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which he said he coordinated with the US, France, Germany, and the UK.
Bennett said that both sides agreed to major concessions during his mediation effort.For the Russian side, he said they dropped “denazification” as a requirement for a ceasefire.Bennett defined “denazification” as the removal of Zelensky.During his meeting in Moscow with Putin, Bennett said the Russian leader guaranteed that he wouldn’t try to kill Zelensky.
The other concession Russia made, according to Bennett, is that it wouldn’t seek the disarmament of Ukraine.For the Ukrainian side, Zelensky “renounced” that he would seek NATO membership, which Bennett said was the “reason” for Russia’s invasion.
Reports at the time reflect Bennet’s comments and said Russia and Ukraine were softening their positions.Citing Israeli officials, Axios reported on March 8 that Putin’s “proposal is difficult for Zelensky to accept but not as extreme as they anticipated. They said the proposal doesn’t include regime change in Kyiv and allows Ukraine to keep its sovereignty”.
Discussing how Western leaders felt about his mediation efforts, Bennett said then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took an “aggressive line” while French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz were more “pragmatic”.Bennett said President Biden adopted “both” positions.
But ultimately, the Western leaders opposed Bennet’s efforts.“I’ll say this in the broad sense. I think there was a legitimate decision by the West to keep striking Putin and not negotiate”, Bennett said.
When asked if the Western powers “blocked” the mediation efforts, Bennet said, “Basically, yes. They blocked it, and I thought they were wrong”.