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1) Christoph B. Schiltz, “Darum sind die deutschen Taurus für Kiew jetzt wichtiger denn je,” Die Welt, den 29. September 2023:
2) Christoph B. Schiltz, “That’s why the German Taurus are now more important than ever for Kiev,” Die Welt, September 28, 2023;
Christoph Schlitz of Die Welt provides an excellent overview of Ukraine’s need for Germany’ Taurus missiles, how they would have a big impact in Ukraine’s prosecution of its war of self-defense against the forces if the aggressor, and particularly how they could effect the course of tge war in tge Crimea and in the South.
He also mentions in passing how the capabilities of weapon systems furnished to Ukraine have been deliberately limited to absolutely prevent Ukraine from using them to attack targets in Russia, even bases from which missile strikes are being launched against Ukrainian cities and infrastructure, which they have every right to attack in lawful exercise of the right of self-defense under international law and Article 51 of the U.N. Charter.
The article led me to think, once again, about the extraordinary degree President Joe Biden (and also German Chancellor Olaf Scholz) have delayed and hesitated in reaching decisions to supply Ukraine with weapons it desperately needs. Eventually, the transfers may be authorized, but the weapons always seem to arrive late and with limitations on their capabilities that greatly reduce their ability to enable Ukraine to decisively defeat Russian forces on the battlefield.
It is quite extraordinary, actually, how the U.S. and NATO countries have invested huge sums in supplying weapons to Ukraine, but have done so in a matter which almost seems deliberately designed not only to help Ukraine avoid defeat but also to prevent dramatic and decisive advances on the battlefield.
Ukraine, whose verybexistence is dependant on the continued goodcwill and benevolence of its arms suppliers, particularly the United States, is in no position to publicly and loudly criticize their military supporters for the their constant indecisiveness and delays, and especially on the limitations on the capabilities of the weapons they supply that they impose.
These delays and excuses are at times nearly unbelievable. Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Schlicht reports, is now raising as an excuse for inaction what he calls Constitutional questions–to wit, whether the Bundestag (parliament) myst authorize the transfer if the Taurus missiles because, Scholz seems to argue, German soldiers would be used to input precise targeting coordinates, and tgat participation could be interpreted as Germany participating in a war against Russia.
The argument is absurd on several grounds.
First, Schlict cites independent military experts as saying Ukrainian soldiers are quite capable of inputting the targeting coordinates? What us apparently involved is Scholz’s desire to control the inputting of targeting data in irder to ensure tgat the Ukrainians don’t attack targets in Russia. For Scholz, the fact that the ukrainians have always honored the promises exacted from them not to attack targets in Russia is insufficient. Germany must actually control the inputting of targeting information.
This is not dissimilar to the action taken by President Biden when he finally authorized the transfer of HIMARS artillery units to Ukraine. He agreed to do so only after the HIMARS units had been physically modified so that they could not fire the ATACMS longer-range artillery rockets with a range of 189 miles or 300 km.
Second, Scholz is creating an a political obstacle for himself by raising the issue of a possible need for Bundestag authorization for the transfer.
Germany has ratified the U.N. Charter and is under Article 51 authorized to take p military action in collective self-defense in tge event if an “armed attack” against a state requesting assistance.
By Scholz’s apparent reasoning, even action taken in collective self-defense under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty (under the authority of Article 51 of the U.N. Charter), military action to meet Germany’s obligations under Article 5 wold also require authorization by the Bundestag.
Such an interpretation of the German Constitution would render Germany’ potential response to an attack on a NATO country nearly meaningless.
I understand that such detailed legal arguments may be tedious and difficult to follow for the non-specialist, but they are critical to an understanding of the the flimsy and fallacious arguments the Chanvellor seems ti be iffering to justify his inaction on the transfer of the Taurus missiles.
Schlitz’s article reminds me of tge way Joe Biden has set up the chessboard and the rules regarding which pueces may be moved and in which direction.
In fact, Biden has turned Queens into Castles, and Castles into Oawns.
Joe Biden has established the following Rules, which in effect amount tonrukes to ensure the enforcement of Putin’s “red lunes”
These rules are:
1. No weapons furnished by the U.S. (or other NATO countries) may be used by Ukraine to attack targets within Russia proper.
2. As a condition for the receipt of weapons that could theoretically be used to attack targets in Russia, Ukraine must solemnly promise not to use the to do so.
3. The U.S. and other NATO countries will make physical modifications on weapons in order to ensure that they cannot be used to attack targets in Russia.
4. U.S. intelligence and other assets will not be used tonenable Ukrainevto strike targets in Russia?
Why has Biden been enforcing Putin’s red line in this manner?
Why has Buden refused to allow U.S. and NATO country weapons to be used against targets in Russia from which missiles are launched at Ukrainian viries and infrastructure, as they are authorized to do by international law and the U.N. Charter?
Why, in a word, has Joe Biden been forcing Ukraine to fight the invading forces of Russia, a nuclear superpower, with one hand tied behind its back.
The answer appears to be Biden’s inordinate fear of Putin’s nuclear threats.
That is a subject for another article.
Suffice it to say, for now, that the logic of the war and what is at stake, including the United Nations Charter and its prohibition of the illegal use of force, suggests that the U.S. and NATO will have to face down Russia’s nuclear threats sooner or later–whether in a couple of years, four years, or 10 years.
Unless, of course, Donald Trump wins the November 2024 presidential election, is certified as the winner by states and by Congress (overcoming the apparent prohibition contained in Article 14 paragraph 3 of the Constitution, and takes office in January 2025.
Of course, if this happens, not only Ukraine but all of us will be living in an enturely different world.
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