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Dreaming Victory For Ukraine – OpEd

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“Victory will be ours,” Ukraine will emerge victor in the war started by Russia, President  Zelensky said on June 3 as Moscow’s invasion  entered its 100th day. “If the world would like to end this war, it needs to supply us with modern,heavy weaponsWe need support to survive and win… the longer this war will last more people will die.” 

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Putin said;“We have heard many times that the West wants to fight us to the last Ukrainian. This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but it seems that everything is heading towards this.

With such stand of the leaders mutual hostility will not subside because there are incompatible geopolitical interests and both sides are raising the stakes. The only way to prevent the conflict from spiraling out of control before it is too late would be to reach a negotiated settlement for a reasonable degree of stability. 

West’s  Victory Dreams for Ukraine!

Ukraine’s US led NATO backers have dream of three options OR a combination of them to Ukraine’s victory over Russia. 

  • The first led by the proxy war through Ukraine the one which is ongoing with  the outright support of the West of war material to fight the Russian forces and defeat Russia on the battlefield.US led NATO is confident that the war can be won on the ground.In this scenario, Ukraine would destroy the Russian army’s combat power, causing Russian forces to retreat and that Russia will be defeated through attrition.Ukrainians, because they are defending their homeland, are more motivated than the Russians, but there is no reason to believe that they are inherently superior to the Russian army.It is not obvious that special technology (Javelin-NLAW-drones) the West supplied would so advantage the Ukrainian military that it could crack Russian defenses though the weapon systems have proved to be advantageous causing destruction to the Russian war machinery. This US led NATO appreciated victory rests on  no logic, as the Russian army is  strong enough to defend most of its gains and Putin can not be forced or convinced into giving up the territorial gains. The conflict is likely to be a prolonged and  indecisive. A costly conflict  in terms of the loss of human life to both sides especially to Ukraine.Russia still remains as a force to be reckoned with. 
  • The second option is Economic War of Sanctions.The US and its European allies are responding to Russia’s military invasion through economic sanctions including the rare step of cutting Russian financial institutions off the global financial system  of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system.However,the sanctions against Russia have worked  well so far but Russian economy has been able to cope up with the sanctions so far. Because of the globalization the fall outs are being felt across the world with higher prices for gas everywhere and other negative economic factors have started showing up.How long will the American public and European nations be willing to accept these consequences at home in exchange for protecting the freedom of the Ukrainian people and the broader value of a stable global world order? World dependence on Russia for energy to a large extent has been a saviour for  Russia to fight the Western Economic War of Sanctions.
  • The third  option Moscow Regime change. With some combination of battlefield gains and economic pressure, the West can convince Russian President  Putin to end the war—or  replace him through regime change which Americans feel they are expert at.US president declared in a major speech that “Vladimir Putin cannot stay in power.”However,the White House and the US president clarified later that it was not meant to be.In this theory mobilizing the family members of slain and suffering Russian soldiers against Putin. Putin is a veteran intelligence professional who presumably knows a lot about conspiracies, including how to defend against them.Dwindling Russian economy is unlikely to produce meaningful political pressure against Putin. This alone makes a possible US dream strategy of regime  change  in leadership  in Moscow unlikely.

The Ukrainian and Western theories of victory have been built on weak reasoning and are fantasies against a strong nation led by a strong leader. 

“If the world would like to end this war, it needs to supply us with modern,heavy weaponsWe need support to survive and win… the longer this war will last more people will die.” If that is the most likely eventual outcome, then it makes little sense for Western countries to supply  more weapons to Ukraine that results in more death and destruction with every passing day. Rather, the West should move toward the negotiating table now but will the Western theories of victory allow Ukraine to do this. It seems President  Zelensky is confused that what action should he really take ‘a negotiated solution or continue fighting the proxy war on behalf of the West against Russia.’ 

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A negotiated solution to the war would no doubt be hard to achieve.Russia would have to curtail the aggressiveness of its strategy and moderate its ambitions in exchange for reliable guarantees and, in turn, the West would have to make concessions.  Each side would have to make concessions and acknowledge the legitimacy of such arrangements. The West would need to agree to relax many of the economic sanctions it has placed on Russia. Ukraine’s President  Zelensky  and its US led backers have been speaking as if victory is just around the corner. But that view increasingly appears to been blown into thin air. Ukraine and the West should therefore reconsider their ambitions and shift from a fantastic fantasy strategy of winning the war toward a more realistic approach to find a diplomatic compromise that ends the fighting to save Ukraine and the Ukrainians. “This war will have No Victors but will only have Losers on all sides.” Nonetheless, a solution inspired by cool-heads seems elusive  at least for the time being as hot heads are looking for victories.

Refrences:

Ukraine’s Implausible Theories of Victory By Barry R Posen

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

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