Right from the Middle: Can we win the war in Ukraine?
Before America should enter any war, they should have a clear strategic plan developed on how to win that war. Our record of winning wars has been marred by many failures over the decades including most recently our withdrawal from Afghanistan where the terrorist supporting enemy the Taliban have taken control and reimposed harsh restrictions on civilians and women
By William O Lipinski
When will we finish our involvement in Ukraine? Does anyone in our government the President, the Defense Department, or State Department have a plan for victory? And, what does victory look like.
Our Land of Liberty has a very, very mixed record on the successful use of our military to bring freedom and democracy to many parts of the world.
We won the Second World War, the Cold War, and the First Gulf war driving Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.
We successfully invaded the small island of Grenada to restore law and order, and to protect Americans there. It lasted only a few hours. Our troops invaded Panama also to protect Americans and bring Panama’s strongman General Manuel Noriega to justice for his drug dealing and terrorism support.
But that is it.
The Korean War was a tie on the 50 yard line, because we decided we couldn’t bomb north of the Yalu River, the boundary between China and Korea because we didn’t want to antagonize the Chinese.
The Vietnam War was lost because we fought with one arm tied behind our backs. We pulled out leaving friends and allies to the mercy of the North Vietnamese Communists.
We Invaded Iraq to get rid it of weapons of mass distraction and establish democracy. But after capturing Saddam, we learned there were no weapons of mass destruction. And since, freedom and democracy has been elusive. I also question how friendly they are to us. It was far from a success.
We invaded Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden, but ti took a decade to kill him. We stayed to build democracy and bring freedom and education to Afghani women. And we wanted to train and assist Afghan security forces to continue the fight against terrorism and defend their new democracy.
After our chaotic withdrawal the reforms and government we supported collapsed.
In Lebanon, we were part of a temporary, multinational force to keep the peace. We were attacked by radical forces and lost more than 200 men and then withdrew.
Our military is the best trained, equipped and most highly motivated force in the world. These problems were not caused by the military’s shortcomings but because of the indecision and disorganization of our political leaders.
You have to give the military clear, straightforward, unambiguous instructions on what their mission is and make all weapons in our arsenal available to them.
Of course, atomic weapons are off the table.
Ukraine is fighting magnificently, primarily with weapons we have supplied. They have inflicted enormous casualties on Russia.
We have given billions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the Ukrainians. We have rallied NATO to support Ukraine.
Unfortunately, several NATO countries have only given lip-service and their military and financial support has been minimal.
Germany promised three tanks four months ago, they are finally scheduled to arrive next week. Another Some have done nothing, like. France and Italy have given some humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but I cannot find any military aid. Poland and the Baltic countries have been very helpful. Some would say because they feel they are next to be invaded by Russians.
Our longtime special ally, the United Kingdom, as usual, has helped the most.
American support has been greater than any other nation, although, unfortunately, as I have said before, is piecemeal to just hold off the Russians. We are only now considering supplying fighter jets.
The Pols wanted to do this months ago but we vetoed the idea. The Ukrainians have been asking for jet fighters since the beginning of the war.
Once we committed to supporting Ukraine, we should have been willing to give them every weapon they asked for. If we had, by now they might have driven the Russians out. Now, this war has become a long war of attrition.
I have serious doubts Ukraine can win such a war. At one time, Ukraine was willing to give up some of their land, areas that may have desired to be part of Russia. But now, the President of Ukraine said Russia must withdraw from all of Ukraine, or be driven out.
So unfortunately now, to keep the respect and leadership of the free world, we must provide all financial aid and military weapons to Ukraine to try to win this war by driving the Russians out of every inch of Ukraine.
No atomic weapons and American military personnel can be committed to this war. I wish there was another solution. But I just don’t see it.
(William O. Lipinski served in Congress representing the 5th and 3rd Congressional District from 1982 until 2005. Email Bill at BillLipinski@hotmail.com. This column originally appeared in the Des Plaines Valley News newspaper group. Bill’s Opinion columns are archived at www.BillLipinski.com)
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