Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeWorld newsThe war in Ukraine needs a stronger, unified Western strategy

The war in Ukraine needs a stronger, unified Western strategy

More than two years after Russia invaded Ukraine, the West remarkably still lacks a unified strategy. While it has provided much-needed weapons and ammunition, it has done little else to meet Ukraine’s needs.

What would an effective strategy look like? To start, Western governments need to establish shared goals. Ukraine must expel Russian forces and regain all the territory it has lost since 2014; Russia should be forced to pay reparations to compensate Ukraine (the World Bank estimates that reconstruction will cost around $500 billion over the next decade); the thousands of Ukrainians deported to Russia must be able to return; and the tens of thousands of suspected war crimes committed by Russian forces must be prosecuted and punished.

The West can no longer get away with promising to support Ukraine ‘as long as necessary’. Instead of discouraging Ukraine from attacking Russian strategic and military assets, it should welcome such attacks. Losing the war is the best thing that could happen to Russia. Historically, military defeats have usually led to reforms and a change in leadership – as happened after the Crimean War (1853-1856), the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) and the War in Afghanistan (1979-1988). Vladimir Putin has reintroduced Stalinist-level repression and opted for perpetual war, a project that will likely end in his downfall. While it is ultimately up to the Russians to bring about regime change, the West should welcome the prospect.

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