Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Putin Doesn’t Have a Plan to Win: He’s murdering his own troops by the thousands as a signal to Washington; Retired US Gen Hodges: With Long-Range Missiles, Ukraine Can Liberate Crimea by End of Summer; House Members Urge Biden to Send F-16s to Ukraine; UKR Forces Repel RU Assaults Near 20 Settlements, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photo: Mikhail Metzel/Associated Press
WSJ: Putin Doesn’t Have a Plan to Win
He’s murdering his own troops by the thousands as a signal to Washington.
The similarities between Saddam Hussein and Vladimir Putin deserve more notice than they often get, from their exceptionally brutal childhoods, to their knack for dutifully serving and then displacing mentors, to their imperial and historical dreams.
Their propensity, or that of anyone in their position really, for miscalculation also always seemed likely to become an important theme sooner or later.
Saddam’s final choice wasn’t a miscalculation, though. His adversaries in the George W. Bush administration demanded his sole nonnegotiable: relinquishing power. They were prepared even to send armored brigades to Baghdad to enforce their will.
Nothing like that has been required of Mr. Putin.
As diplomatic historian Melvyn Leffler points out in his level-headed new account of U.S.-Iraq relations, Saddam otherwise displayed a “remarkable flexibility” in his career. He ate a lot of defeat to stay in power. He ceded the strategic Shatt al-Arab passage in 1975 to appease the hated shah of Iran. He disastrously paused his already ill-advised 1980 Iranian invasion in hopes of enticing the Khomeini regime to talk. He threw in the towel after eight years and 500,000 deaths with nothing to show. He promptly let his army be destroyed all over again in Kuwait so he could proclaim himself a victor merely for surviving.
After stumbling outside of Kyiv, Mr. Putin has been fighting the battle of Moscow, in my view. He doesn’t have a plan for victory in Ukraine.
He wouldn’t be Saddam-like, though, if he didn’t think throwing away another 100,000 Russian lives might serve his interests. He yanked a military commander in Gen. Sergei Surovikin, who, whatever his faults, knew his business. He sussed out the situation. He proposed to retreat, dig in and avoid giving more ground. --->READ MORE HERE
Photo: WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images
Retired US General Hodges: With long-range missiles, Ukraine can liberate Crimea by end of summer:
Ukraine has a realistic chance to liberate Russian-occupied Crimea by the end of the summer if it gets long-range missiles, retired U.S. General Ben Hodges, who commanded U.S. troops in Europe, told Ukrainian publication Ukrinform on Feb. 18.
"We will do everything possible for Ukraine to win this year," he said.
In his words, the prerequisite for such a speedy liberation of the peninsula, which has been occupied by Russia since 2014, would require all partners to provide all needed weapons, especially precision-guided long-range missiles. Hodges believes that the battle for Crimea will be "decisive."
Ukraine has repeatedly asked for long-range missiles such as the U.S. ATACMS, which can strike up to 300 kilometers away. This would give Ukraine the ability to destroy Russian supplies, command posts and other critical assets parked deep behind enemy lines, which would inflict severe damage on Russia's ability to fight, Phillips O'Brien, a professor of strategic studies at St. Andrew’s University, told the Kyiv Independent.
Western allies have balked at giving Ukraine missiles with ranges that long, concerned that Ukraine would be able to fire them into Russian territory. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Democrats, Republicans join up to urge Biden to send F-16s to Ukraine+++++

+++++General Staff: Ukrainian forces repel Russian assaults near 20 settlements+++++

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