Western blood cannot be shed, or what the allies keep back
Blog Andrey Piontkovsky
In the headquarters of the command of the US ground forces in Europe and Africa (USAREUR-AF), located in the most Russian resort town of Germany, Wiesbaden, in January-February, joint headquarters games of the military leaders of Ukraine and the United States were held. Read more in the exclusive blog for Channel 24 website.
There must be candor between allies
At the final stage, the first persons participated in them – General Mark Mili and Valery Zaluzhny. By the way, last week Zaluzhny again visited the beloved city of Dostoevsky and Turgenev, clarifying some questions with his American and British colleagues.
As The New York Times told us, the “game” was the joint development of a plan by the allies for the spring offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which was supposed to break the enemy’s defenses primarily in the south, and force him to carry out the “Zelensky plan”, supported by two G7 statements of October 12 and 12 December.
The main demand of Ukraine and the G7 is the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from the territories of Ukraine they have occupied.
In parallel with the joint planning of the spring offensive by the allies, their political solidarity was emphasized at the meetings held one after another (Munich conference, EU summit, visits of the US president to Kiev and Warsaw). A number of game-changing breakthroughs in the supply of weapons (armored vehicles, doubling the HIMARS fire radius) were implemented as part of the Rammstein format.
However, it is difficult to get rid of the feeling of a certain understatement and ambiguity in relations between the allies. With such a mood, it is unacceptable to go to the decisive battle, which will determine, without exaggeration, the fate of the world in the 21st century. Allies must be extremely frank with each other, even if it means saying something unpleasant to each other.
How Ukraine's hands are tied
Let's start with the standard stuck in the teeth meme. Every, even the most resolute and uncompromising, statement by a Western politician in support of Ukraine is invariably accompanied by the following caveat: “At the same time, an escalation of the conflict must not be allowed. Therefore, a direct military clash between NATO and Russia is absolutely unacceptable.”
To whom is this constant appeal to the West directed “to prevent the escalation of the conflict”? Putin, with massive rocket fire on Ukrainian cities, has already risen to the highest level of his escalation – the genocide of the Ukrainian people. The event quite rightly creates a special court to try the systematic crimes against humanity of Putin and his accomplices. And the West, at the same time, ties the hands of the victims of these crimes, preventing Ukraine from effectively protecting its civilians from destruction.
Long-range missiles and aircraft are either not handed over to Ukraine, or they are handed over on the condition that Western weapons not strike at Russian territory. How not to inflict them on airfields from which planes with missiles destroying Ukrainian cities are raised?
What is the West afraid of? Nuclear escalation by Putin?
Indeed, nuclear blackmail has been an element of Putin's foreign policy for 15 years. But it was during this war that the United States finally realized that it was impossible to endlessly retreat before the bluff of an adventurer who was inferior to them in everything. They very convincingly explained to him what would happen to him personally if he tried to use tactical nuclear weapons.
It immediately became clear that Putin is no Shahid, who dreams of meeting 72 girls in paradise. He feels great with one Kabaeva, sitting on a golden toilet in their luxurious, tasteless palace, and greatly appreciates this earthly lifestyle of his.
Unacceptable price for the West
Why is the West so afraid of a possible military clash between NATO and Russia?
Well, let's say, seriously injured by the supply of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, Putin in desperation will strike (conventionally) at a Romanian or Polish airport. Well, that's great! NATO will finally be able to deliver on its thousandfold warning to the world: “We will unwaveringly defend every inch of the sacred territory covered by the guarantees of Article 5 of our Charter.” In this case, the war with the “second army of the world” will end in a few days at the most.
The lives of tens of thousands of Ukrainians who were destined to die in this damned war will be saved. However, during these few days of the war, apparently, hundreds of NATO servicemen, and perhaps European civilians, will also die. But this is already unacceptable damage for the West.
The West understands perfectly well what Ukraine is doing and what Ukraine has done for the entire free world at the cost of its huge sacrifices. No wonder NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “Yes, we pay with money, but the Ukrainians pay with blood. And if they fail and Putin succeeds, we will pay the same price.”
The West has made up its mind. He firmly stands for the victory of Ukraine and the full restoration of its territorial integrity. However, without the shedding of Western blood. Ukraine does not fully understand, but accepts this position.
The operation, designed in Wiesbaden, will take place on time. However, Ukraine must provide the ATACMS missiles necessary for the success of this operation, covering the entire territory of Crimea, and front-line aviation. Ukraine is ready to accept the condition not to use these means for delivering strikes on the territory of Russia. There must be complete clarity on the understanding of all these issues among the Allies.