Is NATO justified in treating the war in Ukraine as insurgency? [closed]

The Politicus
Mar 16, 2022 04:45 PM 0 Answers
Member Since Sep 2018
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NATO strategy in Ukraine:
NATO strategy in respect to the war in Ukraine seems to be based on the one that worked successfully against the Soviet army in Afghanistan and against the US army in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan - a long insurgency campaign, slowly bleeding the occupying army and generating public pressure on the political leaders to stop the war. The essence of this strategy is to end the war by political means, rather than via military victory. This is why NATO supplies Ukraine with weapons suitable for a protracted insurgency: anti-tank grenade launchers, shoulder anti-aitcraft launchers, etc.

Criticism of NATO strategy:
Ukraine is not Afghanistan. Specifically:

  • The initial strategy might have been based on the assumption that the Ukrainian army would be quickly defeated - motivated by the quick Russian success in Ossetia and Crimea. Yet, after there weeks the war in Ukraine is a conventional war: a confrontation between two real armies. To boost the Ukrainian army the West would have to supply tanks, artillery, airplanes and other comparable military equipment. However, so far NATO hesitated to provide even outdated MIGs - out of fear that such a step escalates into a NATO-Russia war. This sends a clear signal to Ukrainians, Russians, and eastern NATO members: NATO may equally hesitate to protect its smaller members, unless the vital interests of the nuclear NATO members are at stake.
  • From the military point of view insurgency is uncapable of defeating a real military force. In the cases where an insurgency worked, the victory was achieved via political means - by putting pressure on the government waging the war. E.g., in the Paris negotiations to end the Vietnam war, conducted first by Johnson administration and then by Nixon administration, the North Vietnamese refused to make any concessions - they knew that due to unpopularity of the war in the US, the US president would either order complete withdrawal (as Nixon eventually did) or be replaced by another president (as it happened to Johnson).
  • Geographically and socially Ukraine is not Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a mountainous country where insurgents can appear from nowhere, launch an attack, and quickly disappear. Ukraine is nearly a plain, where anyone trying to carry an attack can be easily detected beforehand, and can be successfully tracked with tanks and helicopters. Ukrainian population does not live in small villages, whose inner workings and alliances are unknown to outsiders - Ukraine is a heavily urban country, much like other European countries - it is hard to run a clandestine activity in Ukraine. Economically Ukraine is closer to Europe than to Afgha, and Ukrainians have too much to lose by living years in hiding - as compared to their current level of life and the one that they could have as Russian subjects.

Why does NATO continue treating this war as an insurgency?

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