Former U.S. commander: Ukraine is the West’s failure in deterring Russia

“The war against Ukraine is our failure to deter the aggressor. Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 and we did nothing. We did nothing either when the Russians intervened in Syria under President Barack Obama or when they invaded Ukraine in 2014,” U.S. Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, former commanding general of U.S. Army Europe, said in his speech at the eighth Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum held in Bucharest, IPN reports, with reference to

In the conference that involved the leadership of the Republic of Moldova, organized by the Romanian think-tank New Strategy Center, the expert presented three main reasons why Ukraine must win.

“Europe needs stability. The aggression against Ukraine has disrupted supply chains. We have the energy crisis, prices have risen. There are millions of Ukrainian refugees in Romania, Poland, Germany. This affects the economies of all countries. The second reason... The Russians will use Ukraine as a springboard. Where? Maybe in the Republic of Moldova! Romania has announced that it will protect Moldova. Will we see Romanian troops in Moldova to defend the area? Obviously, the Polish allies will not stand idly by either. They know how the movie of a Russian invasion ends. If Ukraine falls, we risk a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia. It’s a scenario that can happen if we allow Ukraine to be defeated. Let’s not forget nuclear deterrence either. Because until now there has been the Russian threat of using nuclear weapons. It’s blackmail that can benefit China, Iran, Pakistan, other states that have nuclear weapons or states that want to have them,” said Hodges.

The US general believes that the war against Ukraine is also an effect of the discouragement of the West. The invasion of Georgia, the war in Syria or in 2014 the invasion of Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea were events that didn’t wake the West from its “sleep”, and the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan further emboldened Moscow.

“This war began not two years ago, but more than ten years ago. Along the way, we in the U.S. saw the chaos created after January 6 (ed. note - the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, when Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Congress, an unprecedented event in U.S. history). [As if nothing had happened], the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was still being built in Germany. After this came the catastrophic American withdrawal from Afghanistan. This context encouraged the Russians to invade Ukraine and complete their actions. This is our failure, of inaction and deterrence,” said Hodges.

According to the expert, a Russian victory opens up terribly gloomy scenarios for Europe and the entire free world, which could have a domino effect. The fall of Ukraine would also mean the failure of the West. It would have cataclysmic implications in the region, including for the Republic of Moldova.

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