Ex-US Military Leaders: Ukraine Must Be Given Necessary Tools to Defeat Russia Ukainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (C) walks in the town of Bucha, northwest of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, on April 4, 2022. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty)
By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 04 April 2022 11:08 AM
Several former U.S. military leaders said the U.S. and NATO face a pivotal moment in helping Ukraine defend against Russia's unprovoked invasion.
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a former top NATO commander, joined other retired military leaders in saying Ukraine must be supported with tanks and aircrafts to stop the Kremlin.
"We, the Americans. We've been advising people for years that don't really want to fight," Clark said on CNN. "I mean, the Afghans, the Iraqis … before that, the Vietnamese, but these people want to fight. They know how to do it. We've got to listen to them and give them what they need to win.
"This is for all the marbles here in Ukraine. This is the future of the international system. I think the United States has come to realize this. We've just got to break the log jam in getting them the full array of equipment they need and not prejudging it and thinking we know better than they do. We probably don't, not on this battlefield."
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday and again called on NATO for aid because "you cannot stand in the middle between the evil and the good, the white and the black. This won't happen. You still have to take sides."
Retired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster also appeared on "Face the Nation" and expressed a sentiment similar to Clark’s.
"I think what we shouldn't do is wait any longer to do what it takes to give Ukraine all the tools necessary to fully beat back this offensive, and to make it clear to the Russians that they're going to be unable to renew an offensive in the future," McMaster told CBS.
The Washington Examiner reported that retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, a former commander of U.S. Army forces in Europe, said Russian President Vladimir Putin was desperate for victory by May 9, when Russia traditionally celebrates the end of World War II with a big Victory Day parade in Red Square.
"This is going to be really embarrassing for President Putin on Victory Day to not have something to show for it," Hodges said, the Examiner reported. "Which means it's going to be hell for people, whoever's left in Mariupol and everybody else there in the Donbas region.
"We're in the decisive phase of the campaign. The next three weeks are going to determine, I think, what happens in the future. The Russians — now is the time to break their backs so that they are not able to regroup, because they have shown from history that they can and will regroup if given the chance."
Retired Gen. David Petraeus told CBS Sunday Morning that Ukrainians’ ability to hold out depends on supplies.
"If they can get the additional weapons, ammo, vehicles, and so forth, absolutely, no question [they can hold out]," Petraeus told CBS. "And of course, they have this unbelievable determination, fortitude, creativity, resourcefulness. They're everything the Russians are not."