Ukraine War, April 19, 2022: Planes and parts have been transferred to Ukraine; NATO on sidelines, as analysts express premature sense of victory; No viable strategy for ending war

Developing

Due to rapidly-breaking developments and in order to facilitate readers’ access to the latest dispatches, we are publishing this article as it is being written. please check back for updates and additions.

To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.

Only force can stop Putin

See “Ukraine War, April 5, 2022 (II): Force must be used to stop Putin,” The Trenchant Observer, April 5, 2022.

Dispatches

1) “Le Pentagone affirme que l’Ukraine a reçu des avions de chasse et des pièces détachées,” Le Monde, le 19 avril 2022 (22:30 CET):

Revised Google translation

“Today they have more fighter jets at their disposal than two weeks ago,” the spokesperson said during a press briefing. “Without going into detail on what other countries are supplying, I would say that they have received additional aircraft and spare parts to increase their fleet,” he added.

He did not specify the type of aircraft supplied to the Ukrainian army, which had been asking for warplanes for weeks, but he implied that they were Russian-made aircraft. “Other nations that have experience with these kinds of aircraft have been able to help them get more aircraft into service,” he said.

Kirby declared that the U.S. had facilitated the transfer of parts, but has not sent any planes.

2) Reuters, “Ukraine’s military gets more aircraft and parts to repair others, Pentagon says,” Reuters News, April 19, 2022 (5:08 pm ET);

3) Jeff Stein, “The U.S. will boycott some G-20 meetings to protest Russia’s invasion,” Washington Post, April 19, 2022 (3:00 a.m. EDT);

4) Robert C. O’Brien, “How to Deter Nuclear War in Ukraine; It’s crucial for the U.S. to make Russia understand the consequences of an unthinkable escalation,” Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2022 (2:22 pm ET);

5) Walter Russell Mead, “The End of Russia’s Empire? Moscow has a stake in the Ukraine war that is greater than Putin’s career,” Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2022 (6:23 pm ET);

6) Doug Cameron, “Lockheed Martin in Talks With Pentagon on Ukraine Weapons; World’s largest defense company leaves full-year sales guidance unchanged,” Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2022 (10:08 am ET);

Commentary

The big news of the day is that fighter jets and parts have been transferred to Ukraine. The U.S. facilitated the transfer of the parts, but not the planes.

This was a big step forward.

Nonetheless, today the leaders of NATO, and the citizens of NATO countries, continued to stand on the sidelines, unwilling to take any military action to stop Putin, as the following occurred:

1. Experts and analysts on cable news channels began to express optism that Ukraine was winning the war. Former U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul on MSNBC went to far as to declare that Ukraine had won the war.

2. The battle in the Donbas was underway.

3. Lviv and cities throughout Ukraine have been hit by Russian missiles in the last few days.

4. There are indications that U.S. and NATO stocks of certain weapons, such as stinger missiles, are being depleted. At current rates of production, it could take years to restore inventories to pre-war levels.

5. No plans are being discussed publicly of the need to move to a wartime footing and to massively increase the wartime production of weapons.

6. U.S. officials continue to appear to be looking for a negotiated outcome of the war. No one has articulated how this could happen taking the U.N. Charter, international law, and the international legal order into account.

7. U.S. and NATO officials do not appear, at least publicly, to be thinking hard about how this war can end, or what the military and strategic situations might be afterwards under various scenarios for ending the war.

8. U.S. and NATO leaders still do not appear to have grasped the existential nature of the Russian challenge to NATO countries, the West, and to civilization as we know it. They do not seem to grasp the fundamental nature of the threat that is posed by the Russian war in Ukraine, Russian barbarism, and what is in effect the new Russian fascism.

***

One important factor in Putin’s perception of the weakness of Joe Biden and the U.S. is the fact that the U.S. did not oppose the Russian military intervention in Kazakstan in January, 2022. The U.S. did not even make the arguments under international law, which are strong, in the U.N. Security Council.

This failure on the part of the U.S. refects the fact the the U.S. seems to be fighting the raging war with Russia in Ukraine with a garden hose, not a firehose.

Biden should have organized by now an all-of-government war effort, under the direction of a reformulated and strengthened foreign policy team, including top Democratic and Republican former officials.

This he has not done.

Instead, Biden continues to rely on his incompetent, junior-varsity foreign policy team. This is the same team that gave us the Afghanistan withdrawal, and the finely-calibrated deterrence strategy that failed to deter Putin from invading Ukraine. It is the same team that has done “too little, too late” on sanctions and the supply of weapons to Ukraine.

It is the same team that took the use of force off the table in trying to deter Putin, and which has acquiesced in Putin’s brilliant implantation of the fear of nuclear war in the minds of Joe Biden and other Western leaders.

It is the same team which has failed to counter Putin’s talking-point refrain, “If you fight me, One, Two, Three, World War Three”.

The Trenchant Observer

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