General Wesley Clark Interviewed by the Economist Podcast

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General Wesley Clark, one of the members of the Unite With Ukraine Strategic Advisory Council, was interviewed for The Economist magazine’s podcast. The episode is focused on the news of Ukraine’s remarkable turnaround and the retreat of Russian troops. In only a few days, the Ukrainian army liberated 6,000 square kilometers of territory–more than Russia had seized in the previous five months.

The conversation started with General Clark being asked if Ukraine’s surprise counter-offensive marks a new phase in the war and what to expect if Russia retaliates. General Clark said that Ukraine’s counter offensive is the most dramatic moment of the war since Russia abandoned trying to seize Kyiv in March. He said that this seems like the 3rd phase of the war which has come at the right time because Ukraine has now received significant amounts of high tech weaponry and support from the West. However, the Ukrainian army must be prepared for any kind of Russian counter offensive which could still be imminent.

Soldiers on a tank in a red hue

The Ukrainian army has shown that it is more than capable of being trained to use this new weaponry and therefore, now is not the time to take away support but rather, General Clark points out that this is the time to be sending more support to Ukraine. He said that, “the best time to win this war is NOW, not in a year’s time, not in two years” therefore the pressure on the Russian army must be kept up and the best way to do this is to keep supporting the Ukrainian army.

General Clark also discussed the differences between the Russian and Ukrainian armies. Whereas the Ukrainian army places heavy importance on each individual soldiers’ courage, creativity and wellbeing, including ensuring they are well-trained and well-rested, the Russian army places more importance on high tech weaponry and thinks that this will be enough to win this war. The problem is that there are not enough Russians that can handle this equipment and therefore it is significantly hard to deal with losses. General Clark made clear that even if a mass-mobilization effort takes place in Russia, it is going to take a long time to train all these new soldiers and the effects of this will not be seen for many months.

Finally, General Clark made it clear that once the war is over – which will only happen once Putin realizes that there is nothing he can do to win – Ukraine must be allowed to join NATO as that is one of the only ways of ensuring its future safety and protection from any further illegal Russian attacks.

The entire episode is available at this link: 

https://www.economist.com/podcasts/2022/09/15/could-vladimir-putin-lose-the-war-in-ukraine

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