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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is advancing and the West hardly seems to wake up. In fact, it was forced to wake up. The courage of the Ukrainian people, who have decided to take to the streets to defend their country, managed to move world leaders, who intended to stand idly by while Putin redefines Europe’s borders.
In the midst of CPAC 2022, we took some time to talk about what is happening in Ukraine, and the peril it poses to the entire world, with one of the speakers at the conference that brings together thousands of conservatives each year. Joseph Humire is a counterterrorism expert and the executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society.
One of the issues that has attracted attention the most is how the Ukrainians have managed to withstand the onslaught of Russian troops, who are militarily far more advanced. Humire explains that Ukraine’s best option for resistance is urban warfare. “Urban warfare is something that balances forces. You can hide in buildings, in streets. Ukraine was prepared for that.”
However, the international security expert warns that neither extraordinary will, nor the military aid that is starting to arrive from abroad, nor having deployed an urban warfare response is enough for Ukraine to achieve success. “There is a saying in the military: experts talk strategy, professionals talk logistics.”
“If you don’t have power, fuel, food, you can’t withstand much, it depends on how much logistical support these groups in Ukraine can get. One of the things the U.S. has is that we have good logistics, we can quickly get to where the troops are.”Joseph Humire
Putin knew there would be no NATO response
On why Putin now decides to move forward with his invasion of Ukraine, Humire raises several cardinal points to analyze and keep in mind. The first thing he points out is that if Russia were to confront NATO in a conventional way, it would lose, much more so if it confronts the United States. However, the interviewee points out that Putin knew that such a response was not going to come, and he knew how divided NATO is.
Humire’s second point is that part of Western Europe has long been dependent on Russia. He recalls that former President Donald Trump asked Merkel how it was going to get rid of Russia if it depended on their gas. Knowing that his country is one of the largest suppliers of gasoline to that region, Putin has blackmailed them, and the fact that Ukraine is not a member of NATO gives member countries an argument not to intervene.
Regarding President Joe Biden’s role, Humire states that he has not been strong, but that this event must also be measured in a “longer timeline.” Putin started this plan of conquest a long time ago. Humire points out that what the Russian saw now is an opportune moment, a United States demonstrating with Afghanistan that it is not ready for that kind of conflict, that it does not have the willpower for action to defend an ally, “Putin saw with Biden a window of opportunity.”
With President Trump it was hard to predict what he would do, whether he would do nothing or whether he would come up with killing someone like Soleimani, as when he was being threatened in Iran.Joseph Humire
Why should the West stop Putin?
For the international security expert, what is happening now represents a larger global offensive. Humire says the argument of saying that a territory belongs to you because it was lost years ago is something that many countries can use. “China will make that argument for Taiwan, Iran with southern Iraq, Venezuela can use it for Colombia. If that argument is legitimized it will be very dangerous, we can have conflicts in many places.”
On Latin America, Humire says that for a long time it was believed that these problems do not affect the region, but he assures that the conflict will go to them. He explains that the number one obstacle for all these authoritarian regimes is the United States and Latin America is the neighbors, so they are going to use it.
If nobody stops this, we are going to live in an extremely unstable moment, where democratic countries are going to be attacked by totalitarian countries.Joseph Humire
Vanessa Vallejo. Co-editor-in-chief of El American. Economist. Podcaster. Political and economic analysis of America. Colombian exile in the United States // Vanessa Vallejo. Co-editora en jefe de El American. Economista. Podcaster. Análisis político y económico de América. Colombiana exiliada en EE. UU.