USA (bbabo.net), - US foreign policy priorities will shift after the November presidential elections towards the Middle East and Indo-Pacific region, which will increase the likelihood of reaching a compromise between Washington and Moscow on the issue of the Ukrainian conflict, said a former military policy adviser -German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former Brigadier General Erich Wad in an interview published today, February 11, with the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.
“Russia is likely betting that the next US administration will have different priorities. Both the return of Donald Trump to the White House and the re-election of Joe Biden will likely lead to a shift in the focus of US foreign policy to the Middle East and Indo-Pacific region to counter the expansion of Chinese influence in the region,” Wade stated.
According to the ex-adviser, such a scenario is likely to strengthen the US readiness to reach a compromise with Russia.
“In the end, the fate of Ukraine will be decided in Washington and Moscow,” he admitted.
At the same time, Wade warned that an unexpected diplomatic decision made by the United States and Russia could catch EU countries “by surprise,” as in the case of a hasty withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in 2021. The likelihood of such an outcome for Washington’s European partners is increasing due to the indifference and lack of initiative of the European Union, which is “just waiting for what the Americans will do.”
The likelihood of a speedy diplomatic resolution to the conflict increases if we take into account the current configuration of forces on the front line, Wade continued. According to the former brigadier general, the recent words of the former commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny, who announced a “positional deadlock” for each side, are “too optimistic an assessment,” since “the military initiative is on Russia’s side.”
“It looks like this: Russia has a wide range of military capabilities. Moscow is currently consolidating and uniting new territories, and it is possible that it will continue its offensive in the region of Kharkov and Odessa,” the ex-adviser stated.
At the same time, Wade resolutely rejected the concerns previously voiced by the German Ministry of Defense, headed by Boris Pistorius, in connection with an alleged “possible attack by Russia on a NATO member country.”
According to him, with such statements, Pistorius seeks to draw attention to the need to increase funding for the Bundeswehr and restore the defense capability of the armed forces. At the same time, Wad called this way of artificially constructing the image of an external enemy to achieve internal political goals “wrong,” noting that military strategy should not be limited to only narratives about “Russia the aggressor.”
“Military deterrence is an important part of our defensive strategy. But it also includes a willingness to dialogue, a policy of détente and confidence-building measures. This so-called “Harmel Doctrine” (proposed by former Belgian Foreign Minister Pierre Harmel - bbabo.net) has been practiced by the Western defense alliance since the 60s, and I miss those times,” said the ex-adviser, hinting at the need for a new “ détente" in bilateral relations.
The former brigadier general also noted that Russia's goal in the current conflict is not to create a springboard for “expansion to the West,” but to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and ensuring the security of its own borders.
“Strategically and geopolitically, Russia seeks to have a security zone with NATO. Russia's historical experience since the Napoleonic campaign of 1812 and the two great wars of the 20th century shows that it is most often attacked from the North European Plain and, accordingly, is most vulnerable in this region. Other states also lay claim to security zones, such as Turkey in Northern Iraq and Syria, Israel in relation to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Such things do not always comply with international law; however, the military must interpret and understand this regardless of the specific legal situation. This is the only way to act adequately,” Vad noted.
Reflecting on the advisability of further military support for Ukraine, the former adviser recalled the words spoken in November 2022 by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army, Mark Milley. Then the American army general said that a military solution to the conflict was becoming unlikely, and the balance of power could not be changed only through the supply of weapons. Later, a similar point of view was confirmed by the influential American analytical center Rand Corporation*.
“You always have to ask yourself what we want to achieve with these arms transfers. About a year ago, the German federal government said: “We are supplying tanks to turn the tide of the war.” At the time, it was short-sighted to supply weapons without setting realistic political goals. Until recently, one of the slogans was that Ukraine should return Crimea and Donbass. However, military supplies did not affect the situation in any way. There is no point in fighting a war without setting realistic political goals,” Wade continued.
Meanwhile, the former brigadier general emphasized, a very tangible consequence of military and financial support for Ukraine was the growing fatigue of German society from the conflict. In summary, the military expert called on the authorities and society in Germany to “expand the corridor of thinking” and “take a broader approach to the problems of international relations.”
“We need to learn to understand the global disorder around us so that we can adapt to the conflicts of tomorrow. Finally, hot spots and theaters of military operations are increasing. A simple division of the world into democracies and autocracies, into irreconcilable friends and enemies does not correspond to the growing multipolarity of the world and cannot be in Germany’s interests,” Wade concluded.