The war in Ukraine has travelled more than one year …but the situation on the ground continues to be stale
Indeed, as the two sides are getting ready for another round of large-scale offensive and counteroffensive operations, the war seems to have no end in sight. Ukraine is finally getting some of the weapon systems that may help break the Russian defenses. The United States has, and its NATO allies have just announced their decision to send tanks and other maneuver warfare equipment to Ukraine in the hopes of breaking the stalemate in this coming fighting season as we move into spring, but with deliveries weeks and months away, the situation on the ground won’t change significantly anytime soon. The battle lines have been essentially static
On the other hand, the Russian military has created extensive defensive positions all across the battlefield and is also amassing forces for a large-scale offensive.
What may tilt the scales is force generation, in other words in recruiting, training, equipping, organising, and employing additional forces, which Russia seems to be concentrating on now. For Ukraine, on the other hand, the latest very important promises of Western contribution of German Leopard 2 tanks, U.S. M1 Abrams tanks, and also UK Challenger tanks become the last piece that they need to assemble combined arms capabilities, that is, mechanized forces that include tanks–the centerpiece–infantry, engineers, artillery, close air support, air defense, explosive ordnance disposal, drones, all of this. And if they can put that together, and once again out generate Russia in this force generation battle, then in a few months we’ll see the Ukrainians able to resume counter offensive operations. But these are all dreams. The US is currently persuading Korea to sell shells to Ukraine, while Russia is in talks with Iran for the supply of missiles and drones.
In all wars, leadership is important. Russia’s inability to have a successful limited campaign in 2022 shows some weakness in leadership – political and military. The miscalculations were too many. Ukraine’s thinking of drawing in NATO and expectations of NATO joining in total active involvement was very infantile.
My worry is the third aspect of war and leadership. – The International Community. Global leaders seem to want to profit from the war and instead of creating the enabling atmosphere for de-escalation, Ukraine is being urged on. Good global leaders, even if they are winning wars, begin to think about a post-war architecture and around which they start a conversation of ending the war.
Talk of the Churchills, Roosevelts, Stalins! Today, we have hawkish leaders all around and all they desire is geopolitics whip the enthusiasm of the rest of the world around their position in order to isolate the enemy. It seems that all the West desire is the defeat and implosion of Russia. Even those who were neutral at the start of the war Are being forced to join sing the swan song. German President is the latest to be forced to join the chorus.
Ukraine did not start today. Since 1992 Russia had been complaining about the continued existence and expansion of NATO. And indeed, of what use is NATO today if there is no Warsaw Pact or any opposing military alliance? The only reason Gorbachev allowed the implosion of the Warsaw Pact was in return for NATO extinction. This is being denied today. But well, in Realist thinking no country would want its territory to have enemy weapons close by. That was the reason for the Cuban Missile Crisis. Grenada was invaded by the US for fear Cuba and Russia were planning to use its territory to threaten the US. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, were all invaded because they posed a threat to the sovereignty of the US and its allies Bernie Sanders the VETERAN us Senator, back in 2016 said”Let us not be hypocritical about russia’s Security concerns’ Henry Kissinger, now 99years old, a veteran in geopolitics and a Realist par-excellence had on many occasions berated the West for the treatment being meted out to Russia, where security is concerned Now fourteen (!$) out of the countries that originally formed the Warsaw Pact have joined NATO. Poland, now houses NATO Missiles directed towards Russia. The most dreaded US 101st Airborne Unit is now in Romania practicing drills with the latter’s Military. NATO used to be made of only 12 countries. Now it’s a 30-member military organization. Now it still wants four more, Sweden, Finland, Georgia, and Ukraine.
If global leaders are worth anything, they need to think of global peace instead of stoking the fire always.
This goes to leaders like Boris Johnson, EU leaders and President Biden. Let’s always look for peace.
That the Palestinian Question, the Yemeni War and Ukraine linger on is a blot on the conscience of those calling themselves global leaders. And why may smaller countries not come together to help design peace?
BY VLADIMNIR ANTWI-DANSO.