Suddenly, a top NATO man comes up with an idea that makes Putin sit up and take notice

Selenskyj contradicts Russian rumors and taunts Putin

The Americans, says ex-US General Ben Hodges, would never send troops into battle without first establishing air superiority. But that’s exactly what the Ukrainians are doing in the fight against the Russians, whom they just call the “Orcs” in reference to the hideous villains in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”.

That’s why the counteroffensive that started in early June is running so slowly and so deadly. The West delivered tanks late, late enough for the Russians to dig in their positions. The Federal Chancellor is delaying the delivery of cruise missiles of the “Taurus” type according to the “established” model, because these “bulls” can fly 500 kilometers, i.e. on Russian territory.

But the decisive factor is the Americans. This year, that’s for sure, Ukraine won’t get any more F-16 fighter jets. So Ukraine can no longer establish air superiority this year to protect its troops on the ground in such a way that the infantry, despite all the Russian minefields, could throw the Russians out of their country.

Things are no longer looking so bad for Putin’s army

That’s why, says former American general Ben Hodges, the “momentum” has changed. I want to say: it doesn’t look so bad for the Russians anymore. Hodges assigns responsibility for this to his own government – which, like in Afghanistan, has no clear strategic goal in Ukraine. If she said: Ukraine must win because it is in our interest, she would give everything she can. And Ukraine would win.

Why is a victory for Ukraine in America’s interest at all? Because the Chinese observe whether the Americans are protecting the international order, for example the inviolability of borders. If they don’t, the security of Taiwan will come to an end – that’s where the semiconductors for American prosperity are built.

Unless the Americans safeguard Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the security of Europe would be at risk. And Europe is America’s most important trading partner. The security of the international order protects American prosperity. And that’s why defending Ukraine’s sovereignty, promised, by the way, by Washington and Kiev in the 1997 Budapest Memorandum, is in the interest of every single American household. It’s the economy, stupid. This is how Ben Hodges explains it, following ex-US President Bill Clinton. What does this have to do with – peace?

Conditions for peace are created on the battlefield

The connection between war and peace goes like this: The conditions for peace negotiations are created on the battlefield. Even now, in the middle of the war, arguing about a possible peace solution is damaging Ukraine in three ways.

First alone saws such a discussion at the thickest branch on which Ukraine is sitting – the morale of its soldiers.

Secondly it undermines the West’s willingness to continue helping so much, militarily and humanitarianly.

Third there is a tailwind for the Russians.

This explains why Ukraine was so excited about a peace proposal straight from NATO headquarters. And why Vladimir Putin’s people were so happy about it. Although this joy is perhaps too early. What is it about?

Proposal: Eastern Ukraine to Russia, rest to NATO

Stian Jenssen is Jens Stoltenberg’s office manager. Stoltenberg is NATO Secretary General. At a public discussion in Norway, Stoltenberg’s homeland, Jenssen said one solution could be to give the Russians occupied areas in Ukraine and, in return, to include the western part of the country in NATO.

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, one does not know. In any case, the Ukrainians were fuming, and Jenssen made a diplomatic retreat shortly afterwards. A diplomatic one, but none on the merits. The bottom line is that the idea is in the world.

Maybe that was the point. Because: This publicly blurted out idea puts pressure on the Ukrainians. Time pressure, although this is not the first time. The US administration has already let the Ukrainians know via the New York Times that they want to see military successes in the fall in view of the upcoming presidential election campaign.

Division of Ukraine according to the German model?

For Ukraine, it is a scenario like a cartoon:

Because Americans and Europeans, especially the Germans, deliver “too little, too late” (CDU man Roderich Kiesewetter), the Russians can build up a strong defense. Against which the Ukrainians are now running without air support and without cruise missiles. And then the Allies call out to them: Make it faster! And if you don’t speed it up, you’ll lose part of your land. But you can join NATO with the rest. (Olaf Scholz whispers: Maybe…)

Jenssens – or should I say: Stoltenbergs? – Scenario has an advantage: You already know it. We know it particularly well. Because it’s pretty much the Germany model. The western part goes into NATO and the European Union as a sovereign country, it is called the Federal Republic of Germany. The eastern part remains Moscow’s vassal, it is called the German Democratic Republic.

Maybe that’s how it ends up, maybe not. The preliminary decision falls on the “Killing Fields”. And if there is a trench war, one without a victor? And then a Ukraine West and a Ukraine East? One with prosperity West, the other poor in Russia? In between a highly guarded fence?

Hodges: Division of Ukraine would cost the West dearly

In any case, Germany did well with the division – for a good 40 years there was “only” a cold war, but not a hot one. And then came reunification because the Soviet Union collapsed from systemic insufficiency.

One thing, however, is wrong with this analogy: Germany’s division was the result of Germany’s collapse after a totalitarian dictatorship. After opting for the Western model, Ukraine was invaded by a totalitarian dictatorship in 2014 and again in 2022. Their division, albeit secured in the West by NATO, would be a (partial) success for Stalin. Sorry, Putins. Which, according to Hodges, could cost the West dearly.

Ulrich Reitz


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