Two War Eagles, Paula Dobriansky and Richard Levine, emphatically argue in today’s Wall Street Journal the reasons NATO (and therefore the U.S.) must wage an active direct proxy war against Russia:
We cannot pretend a negotiated peace is possible in Ukraine. Ukraine must be victorious. Ukraine can only “challenge” Russia for control of the industrial Donbas region and the ports on the Azov Sea with heavy and light armour and artillery, first Soviet-era weapons then our most modern weapons systems. Control of the skies with Mig aircraft that Ukrainian pilots can fly is crucial, so NATO must find a way to “smuggle” these aircraft into Ukraine. Likewise American Patriot missiles and French/Italian SAM/T missile systems must be brought in. The Russian navy cannot be allowed to use the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to assault Ukraine nor land troops or supplies there. Our two military hospital ships should be immediately sent to Romania to provide care for civilian and military casualties. Once again America must serve as the Arsenal of Democracy.
What reckless posturing.
All wars end in negotiated peace, usually compromising the goals of each party. Ukraine has been fed to the Russian Bear’s slaughterhouse by NATO and the U.S.A. with decades of empty promises of joining the EU and NATO while falsely declaring to Russia that we would do no such thing to a prior member state of the U.S.S.R. and the Warsaw Pact. Victory for Ukraine would be what? Regaining Crimea, a return of the Donbas region and the southern coast, and eviction of all Russian troops (and Russian speakers)? Challenging Russia’s current control of these areas can only result in a Ukrainian defined success with the help of allies directly engaged in warfare against a now superior Russian force. Smuggling substantial numbers of aircraft and maintenance parts, as well as Soviet-era armour, artillery and newer weapons systems and missiles, is probably impossible given current electronic warfare and satellite capabilities (and commercial photo reconnaissance satellites as well). Upfitting with current NATO heavy equipment and missile systems would take many months of training to enable Ukrainian forces to use them effectively despite their prior partial integration into NATO exercises. Where would this training occur, and how would Ukraine’s army contend with the temporary loss of these warfighters? The Russian navy is already held at bay by Turkey who is not allowing them transit to the area.
The one sensible recommendation in this compendium of Vietnamization of the Ukraine conflict is sending our hospital ships to Romania and importing as many civilian and military casualties as possible for advanced initial treatment then transfer when necessary to European medical centres. Would the Russians “accidentally” attack medical transport planes or ground transports? That new war crime might at last be the act that draws NATO and the U.S. into a borderline nuclear confrontation. The West should continue its current supportive measures, and perhaps guarantee that all Russian assets seized under sanctions be used to rebuild Ukraine when and if peace returns by whatever means. Putin’s Stalinist brutalism must be addressed completely but separately, with the Russian Federation shunned internationally until that takes place.
© Nik Bednarski, M.D. 2022