Former commander of the US Army in Europe, Ben Hodges, has ensured that Washington must ensure that Ukraine defeats Russia if it wants to avoid a war with China. The soldier who led the US forces in Europe between 2014 and 2017 believes that Germany, the United Kingdom and the US can end the war this year if they provide the appropriate assistance to Ukraine to defeat Russia: “If they did that, this war would finally end of the year,” he said. “The lack of clarity about our objective, especially in the White House, prevents effective action,” he lamented.
According to Hodges, the weapon that will bring Ukraine victory is the ATACMS military tactical missile system. However, the United States has refused to hand it over to Kyiv. “At the moment, the Ukrainian Himars are armed with a Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) that can hit targets up to 90 km away. ATACMS can reach 300 km, that’s why it will turn the tide of war by hitting every square inch of the occupied Ukrainian territory, including Crimea,” the military man said in his column in The Telegraph.
One of the keys to overcoming the conflict is to regain control of the Crimean peninsula, a move France and Germany fear Putin may never accept. “If Russia retains Crimea, it will only be a couple of years before they return.”Hodges predicted. “If you look at a map of the Black Sea, you can see that Crimea is like a dagger in the belly of Ukraine: with planes and the Black Sea Fleet capable of attacking anywhere along the southern coast of Ukraine or inland. from Ukraine”.
As long as Crimea remains in Russian hands, the Ukrainian economy’s dependence on grain and metal exports will always be at the expense of the Kremlin. “Russia blocked access to the sea of azov with the Kerch bridge, so even if the ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol were released, they will not be able to work again. Odessa and Mykolaiv are a short distance from the Crimea. That means that people are not going to invest in them, they will not trust that their grain will flow without obstacles and it is not flowing at the moment,” the former commander anticipated.
The former high command is confident that Ukraine’s long-awaited counteroffensive will focus on cutting the bridge linking Russia to Crimea and bringing long-range precision weapons such as the Storm Shadow cruise missile, which can do that the peninsula is “untenable” for the Russians.