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War in Ukraine: “The only credible alternative to maintaining Western aid is, as it stands, a surrender of kyiv”


Lne of the certainties nurtured by experience is that wars rarely go as planned. Vladimir Putin, after many others, can attest to this.

That the plan drawn up upstream of a cold-started conflict ends up meeting the specifications of a military victory does not guarantee success either. The United States, the world’s leading military power, has twice demonstrated its inability to win peace, in Afghanistan as in Iraq.

This double failure subsequently prompted them to conduct the war “from the rear” in Libya, or else to refuse to engage in Syria. The renunciation of interventionism embodied by Barack Obama and then shared by his quasi-contrary, Donald Trump, did not produce more satisfactory results for the interests of Washington and its allies.

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As the Russian-imposed war in Ukraine entered its twelfth month on January 24, its momentum continues to push back the limits that kyiv’s Western backers had set themselves, explicitly and implicitly, in terms of aid. military. The latest crossing concerns the delivery of German-made heavy tanks, which has become unavoidable. They are the only ones available in sufficient quantity, within the European countries most mobilized in favor of a victory for Ukraine, to be able to play an effective role on the ground.

Barring an improbable brutal Russian collapse, everything suggests that other red lines will be similarly crossed over the next few months. No doubt under the same conditions, mixing insistent Ukrainian appeals and improvisation, without these decisions being sufficiently explained to public opinion in the countries concerned.

Two facts

These successive deletions have reopened the debate on the legitimacy and relevance of this Western aid. These questions were fed in particular in these columns (The world of January 21) by the former deputy for Paris Pierre Lellouche, who, to his credit, did not discover these questions the day before yesterday.

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They were initially decided by Ukraine’s unexpected resistance to Russia’s violation of the integrity of its borders and its sovereignty. The disregard for the most elementary laws of war by the aggressor, as evidenced by the massive bombardments of civilian infrastructure, then played in favor of an aid that continues to gain in power. But the relative stalemate observed since the end of the offensives of the autumn of 2022 in kyiv has relaunched them.

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