‘Better to negotiate now than later’ for Ukraine, says retired US general — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Logistical shortcomings could force kyiv and NATO to change strategy, warns Mark T. Kimmitt in an op-ed for the WSJ

Sustaining the conflict in Ukraine is becoming increasingly difficult for NATO, so Kyiv must think about negotiating with Moscow, retired US Army Brigadier General Mark T. Kimmitt said in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal.

Washington’s latest military aid package to kyiv last month included “older and less advanced” systems, which “may indicate that consumption rates on the battlefield have exceeded production to such an extent that excess stocks supplied to Ukraine are nearly depleted,” Kimmitt pointed this out in his Thursday post.

Treat with “the decrease in stocks of advanced weapon systems” in NATO countries would likely mean a protracted conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Such a scenario could lead “more pressure from supporting nations, sustained inflation, less heating gas and declining popular support” in the West, he writes.

Kimmitt, who served as assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs in 2008-09, suggested four ways to expedite the resolution of the conflict, which has now been underway for six months.

The first option is to “dig deeper” into NATO stockpiles and send weapons to kyiv that have so far been withheld by members because of their own national defense needs, the retired general suggested. This is something that EU countries might be willing to do because it is “it is better to use these weapons in Kherson than in Krakow”, he added.

The United States and its European allies could also try to increase production of systems required by the Zelensky government, Kimmitt said, acknowledging that such a move was unlikely to have an immediate effect on the situation on the ground.

The third option is “to escalate the conflict” supplying Ukraine with longer-range systems, such as ATACM missiles, F-16 jets and Patriots, and “broadening the rules of engagement to attack targets in Crimea and possibly Russia,” he said. he wrote. However, the retired general warned that such an escalation would certainly face a “answer from Moscow” and create the risk of the conflict spilling over into Europe.

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The last available solution, according to Kimmitt, is that Ukraine “Push for an interim diplomatic resolution without (or with) territorial concessions.”

“There is little incentive to negotiate” for now, but Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky “must recognize that dwindling resupply would have a disastrous effect on his army, not only for battlefield operations, but for the message of dwindling external support he would send to the Ukrainian people”, he insisted.

“Starting the diplomatic resolution would be distasteful, and perhaps seen as defeatist, but since there is little chance of getting out of the current quagmire, it may be better to negotiate now than later,” said the retired general.

The two sides have not sat down at the negotiating table since the Istanbul talks in late March. Moscow, initially optimistic about the prospects for the peace process, later accused Kyiv of backtracking on all progress made in Turkey and said it had lost all faith in Ukrainian negotiators. Russian officials have warned that Moscow’s demands would be more extensive if the talks were to resume.


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