National Security

War Will Soon Come To Ukraine

The talking is over.

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War is coming to the Ukraine sooner rather than later. Rebekah Koffler explains why.

Koffler: Do not be distracted by Russia’s announcement on Sunday of a troop withdrawal from the Ukrainian border. It may appear that Moscow is signaling, ahead of the just announced U.S.-Russia talks early next year, that it favors a diplomatic approach to resolving the current standoff with the U.S. and NATO over Ukraine. But in all likelihood it is just a ruse.

There’s a more than 50% chance that Putin will attack Ukraine in the coming weeks, regardless of the outcome of another round talks between Moscow and Washington planned for January 10 through 13.

Removing 10,000 troops from the region is more likely a redeployment rather than an actual withdrawal and does little to downgrade Russia’s battle-ready status. Putin has amassed up to 175,000 troops and a formidable arsenal of combat hardware in the area. By dialing up and down the war rhetoric and varying the force posture, Putin seeks to confuse Washington about his intentions in order to achieve tactical surprise when he launches his assault. The evidence Putin is about to act is overwhelming.

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The Russian authoritarian provided justification for striking Ukraine during his speech to his Ministry of Defense and his four-hour press conference, last week. Members of his cabinet have mirrored Putin’s belligerent tone since. Putin likely calculates that the risk of taking over at least eastern Ukraine now is lower, during the Biden presidency and while Ukraine is not a NATO member, than if he waited.

In his recent statements, Putin outlined the Kremlin’s concerns about Ukraine hosting NATO offensive weapons systems if it becomes a member of the Alliance, an outcome Moscow views as an unacceptable threat to Russia’s security.

On Sunday, Putin’s press secretary Dmitriy Peskov stated that NATO’s expansion aimed at incorporating Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, is a matter of Russia’s life or death. In an exclusive interview that aired on Russian state TV on Sunday, Putin said that Russia is being forced to say — “perhaps in an unusual way . . . stop!” He added, “We have been pinned down against the red lines.” That phrase invokes a legendary Russian World War II rallying cry for the troops to defend the motherland before a bloody battle. He also said that there was “nowhere to retreat.”

…Russian troops are primed to fight in the cold, as they always have been, and Putin likely believes the West won’t wade into the snow to help Ukraine. Emboldened by his ability to blindside the West, such as by previously invading Georgia and taking Crimea, and by extorting concessions from Joe Biden, Putin is positioning to outmaneuver Washington.

Regretfully, the Biden administration’s “experts,” like Obama’s before them who fecklessly sought a “reset” with Russia, are likely to fall into Putin’s trap.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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