Ukraine War, August 19, 2023: The spectator war

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1) “„Analysten sollten vorsichtiger sein“ – Ukraines Außenminister reagiert auf US-Bericht, Die Welt, den 19. August 2023 (20:41 Uhr);

2) “Analysts should be more careful” – Ukraine’s Foreign Minister responds to US report,” Die Welt, August 19, 2023 (8:41 pm);


Sometimes unconscious assumptions shape thinking about events such as the war in Ukraine in such a fundamental way they may have a decisive impact on the outcome.

From the beginning,the U.S. and other countries have viewed the war in Ukraine as Ukraine’s war, not as a collective war of self-defense against Russian aggression and an imperative collective effort to uphold the United Nations Charter and the laws of war (international humanitarian law).

In a word, it has from the beginning always been seen as their war, not our war.

One consequence of this framework assumption has been that, despite the enormous military and economic assistance the U.S. and NATO and other countries have provided Ukraine,leaders and officials in the West have felt free to try to micromanage the use of the military aid they have provided, free to criticize the strategy and actions of the Ukrainian military, and free to prepare reports–which are inevitably leaked to tge press, with their connivance–on the progress of the war and the likely success or failure of Ukrainian military actions.

The U.S. and other Western governments have paradoxically adopted a posture of providing enough military aid to avoid defeat while at the same time commenting on developments in the war as jf they were spectators, rooting for their side in a war which is somebody else’s war.

Consequently, leaked intelligence reports and military assessments–many of which could have a huge impact on the morale of Ukrainian forces–are allowed to be made public, and are even commented on by Western military and other government officials.

If this were our war, there would be some kind of military censorship and strict controls on government officials that would prevent such information from being made public.

Before the Ukraine war is decided, in order to avoid Ukrainian defeat it is likely that the troops of NATO countries will become involved, at which point Western leaders may finally face reality and come to an understanding that the war in Ukraine is our war.

They may finally come to understand that it is a war in which we must prevail in order to uphold international law and the U.N. Charter, international humanitarian law (prohibiting war crimes, crimes against humanity, and acts of genocide), and the whole U.N. Charter-based international order.

That is, a war to uphold the current governing processes of a world with some 200 governments and eight billion people.

Much will depend on how soon world leaders recognize that the war in Ukraine is our war, not a spectator sport where everyone is free to criticize and comment on the actions of the players in their war.

The war in Ukraine is and has always been, whether we acknowledge it or not, our war.

The Trenchant Observer


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