U.S. President Joe Biden should seek an end to the war in Ukraine by arming Kyiv for victory, not just for prolonging the struggle, the former U.S. Army commander in Europe, retired U.S. General Ben Hodges, wrote in a column in the UK newspaper The Telegraph on Nov. 13.
Hodges said a variety of armaments need to be sent for this purpose. The United States should send ATACMS missiles with unitary warheads and a range of 300 kilometers to Ukraine. This is necessary for destroying Russian military-naval, aviation, and logistical objects in Crimea, rendering the peninsula untenable for Russian forces, Hodges said.
He said this should complement the M39 ATACMS missile with cluster munitions, which has a shorter range.
“This will hopefully inspire Germany to provide the very effective 500-kilometer-range Taurus (cruise missile), which would add decisive capability to Ukrainian efforts to destroy Russian headquarters, artillery, and logistics,” Hodges said, adding that Ukraine’s victory would also be hastened by the delivery of promised F-16 fighters equipped with a full range of weapons.
“With all occupied Ukrainian territory under (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskyy’s guns, the Kerch bridges down, and (Ukrainian forces) armed with proper Western air power, Ukraine would be able to make its drive to the Azov (Sea) and cut off half the Russian invasion army,” he said.
Hodges believes that after this, there would be little need to fight for the Donbas – everything would be in place for victory and the restoration of Ukraine to its 1991 borders.
“Previously the British and French have shown that long-range weapons can be given to Ukraine without causing a Russian nuclear attack: there is no reason for timidity from President Biden or Chancellor (Olaf) Scholz,” Hodges added.
He said it was time for the West to find determination, and that Russia’s war against Ukraine was the result of the West’s failed strategy of containment.
“Putin was sure that based on our past history and unwillingness to respond with firmness to his previous aggression that we would not do anything effective, so he launched his large scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022,” Hodges said.
He said that if the West shows such weakness again, it might invite China to make a similar calculation, leading to a much more serious conflict than the current one, over the island of Taiwan.
Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine