‘War of Attrition’ — West Must Prepare for Long War in Ukraine, Warns NATO Chief

CHASIV YAR, UKRAINE - MARCH 16: Ukrainian soldier aims machine gun as Russia-Ukraine war c
Muhammed Enes Yildirim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Western nations should make preparations for supporting Ukraine’s military efforts against Russia for the long-haul, describing the battle as a “war of attrition”.

In an interview with Britain’s left-wing newspaper The Guardian, Jens Stoltenberg called on members of the U.S.-led military alliance to ramp up their defence bases in order to provide continued supplies of military hardware and ammunition to Ukraine.

“The need [for weapons] will continue to be there, because this is a war of attrition; this is about industrial capacity to sustain the support,” the NATO chief said.

The Norwegian politician went on to say that the current heavy fighting around Bakhmut demonstrates that Russia is content “to just throw in thousands and thousands more troops, to take many casualties for minimal gains”, the Nato head said.

“President Putin doesn’t plan for peace, he’s planning for more war,” he continued, alleging that Moscow is seeking to expand its military industrial base by “reaching out to authoritarian regimes like Iran or North Korea, and others to try to get more weapons”.

Therefore, the NATO chief said that countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and others should be prepared for continued arms deliveries to Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

The interview followed the release of the alliance’s annual report, which revealed that just seven of the 30 member states actually met the required minimum two per cent of GDP on defence spending. Only the United States, United Kingdom, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland made the cut over the past year, despite much talk from nations such as Germany about finally meeting their commitments in light of the war in Ukraine.

Last February, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged that Germany would finally meet its NATO obligations “from now on“, committing a special €100 billion fund to revamp the defence industry in the country. However, given the incredibly poor state of the German military prior to the Russian invasion — with the previous government of Angela Merkel being content to outsource their military security to the United States and energy security to Russia — as well as the billions sent to Ukraine, Germany once again failed to meet its spending requirements.

Ahead of the NATO spending figures release, recently installed German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius admitted this month that the economic powerhouse of Europe would once again fail to meet its defence obligations.

Pistorius went on to admit that because of the arms shipments to Ukraine and the lack of funding for decades, the military is not currently in a position to defend the nation should it face a hot war against an opponent such as Russia.

Nevertheless, left-wing German Chancellor Scholz made similar proclamations to Stoltenberg last month, when he said that Western allies would be “wise to prepare for a long war” in Ukraine, vowing to transform the defence industry to have permanent production of munitions.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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