NATO needs to pull its soldiers from Ukraine

9:25 03.03.2024 •

If NATO is so much against sending troops to Ukraine why doesn't NATO demand that the soldiers already there be sent home?

On Monday, February 26, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that Germany would not provide its Taurus long range cruise missiles to Ukraine because doing so would require German troops to be sent there to operate them, just like the British are operating the Storm Shadow air launched cruise missiles, writes Stephen Bryen, a former US Deputy Under Secretary of Defense.

The British cried foul and accused Scholz of a "flagrant abuse of intelligence" meaning that Scholz confirmed what everyone already knows, that NATO officers and trained personnel are in Ukraine operating weapons such as the Patriot and NASAM air defense system, the HIMARS multiple launch rocket system, the British-French Storm Shadow cruise missile (SCALP-EG in France), and many other complex weapons provided to Ukraine.

The actual number of personnel from NATO countries in Ukraine isn't known, but there is no doubt they are there in large numbers and they come from the United States, the UK, France, Poland, and others. When these "volunteers" are wounded or killed what happened to them is obscured and their role, often, is listed as medical or social. More recently combat status, at least in the US, is being recognized.

On February 29 Putin gave his annual two-hour long State of the Nation address. He warned in his address that NATO's sending troops to Ukraine could risk nuclear war. In part Putin was responding to French President Macron's statement about NATO sending troops to Ukraine to head off a Russian victory. While Macron's statement gained no traction among EU leaders, the fact that sending troops openly was discussed at an EU forum obviously ratcheted-up NATO-Russia tensions.

For some time NATO has been escalating the Ukraine conflict supposedly to help Ukraine drive the Russians out of Ukrainian territory. However, most of the evidence is that NATO has been seeking bases for NATO forces and weapons aimed at Russia. According to the New York Times, the US already has 12 CIA bases in Ukraine on Russia's border.

Western intelligence agencies, think tanks and Ukraine itself are reporting that the Ukrainian situation is very bad and Ukraine could, in the next three months, face defeat. This has alarmed the Europeans, and it is the real reason Macron helped organize an EU emergency meeting in Paris. In that meeting, seemingly the Europeans pledged they would supply long range weapons to Kyiv, but the Germans did not agree when it came to the Taurus missile. It is reasonable to consider that the Germans feared Russia's reaction, or even that the Russian explicitly warned the German government that they were crossing over into a danger zone, without any good exit.

NATO policy should be urgently reevaluated. If NATO is actually against sending troops to Ukraine, it no longer has plausible deniability over the troops already on the ground in Ukraine. The British are right that Scholz let the cat out of the bag with his declaration about UK troops operating Storm Shadow missiles in Ukraine. What was hidden in intelligence channels is now out in the open.

Russian anxiety over these deployments and over the weapons sent to Ukraine, some of them aimed only at Russian towns and cities, is growing. Putin's reminder that Russia has nuclear weapons, his warning that NATO is preparing to attack Russia, and his declaration that Russia is willing to use nuclear weapons is an indication that the political acceptability of NATO threats to Russia has crossed a critical red line.

NATO itself is in no way prepared for war with Russia. It is in far worse shape today than it was before the Ukraine war because NATO has shipped vital weapons off to Ukraine, depriving itself of key defense assets such as ammunition, armor and missiles. Worse still, NATO leaders and former leaders (such as Boris Johnson) continue to bait the Russians, building tension on tension. NATO can't defend itself against a conventional attack, and certainly not against so-called tactical nuclear weapons.


read more in our Telegram-channel