News
June 8, 2022

Any Outcome Leaving Russia in Control of any Portion of Ukraine's Territory is—and Must Be—Unacceptable

Any Outcome Leaving Russia in Control of any Portion of Ukraine's Territory is—and Must Be—Unacceptable

“Any outcome that leaves Russia in control of even a portion of Ukraine is now unacceptable.”

Below is an excellent piece from RealClear Politics by our dear friend and former Counsel to the President and General Counsel of the Department of the Treasury under President Reagan, Peter Wallison.

I had missed Peter’s piece when published in late April. However, even though many have argued against anything other than the complete defeat of Russia, Peter puts the need to remove Russia from the entirety of Ukraine’s sovereign territory in an historically compelling light – one Washington and the West should have grasped and adopted from the outset and one that the Administration must make its policy and objective now.

Before getting to Peter’s commentary but in the same policy context it is critical to know and for Washington to respond favorably to Kyiv’s current request for multiple-launch rocket systems (and more). Kyiv has placed its need at sixty (60) such launchers to be able to stop the barbarians of the Russian Federation. Yet after a disturbing and embarrassing public Washington discussion about the firing distance of what multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) the United States would provide, the Administration has said it would provide four (4), yes, only four, M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HI-MARS) apparently with rockets capable of hitting targets up to 50 miles away.

Britain has said that it will send an unspecified number of their M270 launch systems to Ukraine and Washington seems to have left open the possibility of sending more.

But let us take a quick look at the recent evidence of the seemingly two-steps-forward-one step-back-one-step forward … American approach to “committing” support to Ukraine.

Skip over the moral obligation of the Budapest Memorandum, the unwillingness to consider no-fly zones, even humanitarian ones, and the “no”, “no” and still “no” on fighter aircraft and let us just focus on artillery.

Early on the Administration said there would be no conditions placed on whatever weapons systems we provided Ukraine. But then as the war’s focus turned to the East and South and Russia’s pounding into rubble and human body parts cities after cities and villages upon villages and critical infrastructure and the need for artillery firepower came to the forefront, Washington started worrying – strangely in public – about giving Ukraine weapons that might be able to strike inside Russia. This is a limitation without a genuine real-life justification beyond the handwringing “escalation” foolishness.

Kyiv asked for a rocket/missile range of 100 miles so it could be sure to have the capability to attack the back line Russian artillery doing the damage from whatever distance. Countering Ukraine’s request Washington started publicly talking about an 80-mile range. Now we are down to saying we will provide four (4) HI-MARS with 50-mile range.

Is there anyone involved in Washington’s actual decision-making with meaningful war-fighting experience? The immediate request is 60, the response is we will send 4 with limited range.

The evidence is that we are not fully committed even to our fuzzy stated goals. Nothing referenced above shows a genuine commitment to allowing Ukraine to win this war for itself and us.

Ukraine needs what it needs now – right weapons, in the right place, at the right time. We are saying we will ship less than what is needed. Maybe the right weapons but not enough of them, and they are not at the right place and not at the right time which is now!

Oh, there are also the nitwits including some elected officials and candidates for federal office and commentators still embarrassing themselves saying “why does Ukraine matter to us”. Maybe one cannot fix stupid and maybe they will never realize the damage done to all of us if Russia wins and the far greater cost we will have to pay in the future (monetarily and lives - American boots on the ground) should Putin win in Ukraine. But even they should be noting the building food crisis as Russia blocks Ukraine’s gain exports and ravages much of the land.

It is time the United States and the West commit with action to providing Ukraine what it needs now to defeat Russia.

Biden Must Recognize Material Change in Ukraine War

COMMENTARY

By Peter J. Wallison

April 26, 2022

It seems incredible, but President Biden appears to have accepted the possibility that the war in Ukraine will end with Russia controlling substantial portions of Ukraine. This week he said that NATO was “sending an unmistakable message to Putin: He will never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine. He will not—that will not happen.” The President does not appear to understand that this war has changed since the Russian atrocities have come to light – that an outcome that leaves Russia in control of even a portion of Ukraine is now unacceptable.

World War I was rightly ended with an armistice, a peace treaty, and a change of the territory controlled by the victors and the vanquished, but World War II could not end that way. In that conflict, the stated goal of the United States and its allies was the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. Nazi atrocities throughout Europe made it impossible to leave Germany in the control of a government that could authorize behavior shocking to the conscience of the civilized world. The only acceptable outcome of that war, accordingly, was the trial and execution of the perpetrators. An armistice-type settlement in World War II would have meant the acceptance by the U.S. and its allies of behavior that violated all civilized standards and would have left a stain on western civilization that could never be erased. [My emphasis. RAM]

The same is now true of the war in Ukraine. The Russian behavior there, as we now know, is in the same category as that of Nazi Germany. It must be seen in the U.S. and elsewhere as unacceptable. However, the Biden administration does not yet seem to recognize that the Russian slaughter of innocent civilians has fundamentally changed the nature and purpose of the war – certainly for the Ukrainians themselves, but also for us.

This is no longer a war for territory, which can be regrettable but historically precedented. Since the discovery of the atrocities in Bucha and elsewhere, the Ukraine war cannot have any satisfactory end – satisfactory from the point of view of the people of Ukraine, the U.S., and the civilized world – without Russia being driven completely out of the country it has attacked. It is unimaginable that there could be a settlement or truce that leaves Russia in control of even a small portion of a country it has so despoiled. Ukrainians will never accept this, and neither will the peoples of the European countries that have thus far been aiding Ukraine with military supplies. It will be a forever war, a running sore in Eastern Europe as far as the eye can see.

But there is at least one other reason for pushing Russia out of Ukraine, a reason that must be considered by President Biden and the leaders of Europe: Vladimir Putin’s continuing control of the Russian government. Putin has now restated his war aims as limited to the southeast portion of Ukraine along the Black Sea coast – presumably to create a land bridge to Crimea, which Russia took by force in 2014. If the Biden administration is willing to accept a geographical division of Ukraine like this, it will give Putin a victory that will cement his control of Russia for as long as he lives. In other words, we will have ratified a regime that will continue to threaten Europe and remain as a dangerous ally of China into the future.

Obviously, the United States has no way of removing Putin from his command of Russia and its military. The only realistic means to achieve this is to drive him out of Ukraine – depriving him of any semblance of a victory – and thus embolden those forces in Russia, whatever they are, that can somehow remove him from power. It is not clear, of course, that any group in Russia can accomplish this, but if Putin wins the smallest of victories in Ukraine, even this possibility will be erased.

The war in Ukraine has changed in a significant way since it began. President Biden must make clear to our allies, to the American people, and particularly to the Russians, that our war aims will change accordingly.

Peter J. Wallison is a senior fellow emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute. He was White House Counsel in the Reagan administration.

FUN FACT

At the end of the FOUN blast of June 3, Russia Endangers Chornobyl's Safety and Unwelcome & Inappropriate Suggestions to Compromise I included, “Here I set out a picture from the type of “negotiated” settlement I believe should be the end result of Putin’s war and genocide” with the below picture of Japan’s surrender on the USS Missouri.

What was subsequently called to my attention by Viktor Rud was that signing Japan’s surrender for the Soviet Union was Lieutenant General Kuzma Nikolayevich Derevyanko of the Soviet Army.

Derevyanko, a Ukrainian, was at the time Chief of Staff of the Soviet’s 35th Army. He then served as Soviet representative at MacArthur's headquarters during the United States occupation of Japan.

He died on December 30, 1954. In 2007, he was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.

The Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri

The opening comments and emphasis added to Wallison's piece are Mr. McConnell's and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation or the Friends of Ukraine Network.