Noted historian Niall Ferguson believes the US made a major tactical error in the Ukraine war. His prognosis for Ukraine is therefore bitter. This also has to do with the West and the expectation of how it will behave towards Russia.
“War is more difficult to end the longer it lasts. And it’s getting harder every week,” says Niall Ferguson. The well-known Scottish historian is currently a professor at the University of Havard and has written numerous best-sellers on political and historical subjects.
The problem from Ukraine’s point of view: “Unfortunately, time is working in Putin’s favor.” Although the Russian invasion was disastrous at the beginning, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Kyiv to win, “the more Ukraine is devastated,” Ferguson said in an interview with ” World “.
“Putin has gained time to change his strategy and instead of conquering Kyiv and occupying all of Ukraine, he has focused on Donbass.” Now Russia is waging “a war of attrition” without ceasefires. “That plays into Putin’s cards” , according to Ferguson.
A major problem, however, is the question of future support from the West, above all from the USA. The crux of the matter: consistency. “The US has already given Ukraine $50 billion in aid. Will they give another 50 in the second half of the year? And next year?” Ferguson asks, making a bleak prognosis: “Putin knows that Western unity on Ukraine’s defense has an expiration date.”
War fatigue is already setting in in the West. In addition, Washington made serious tactical mistakes. “The Joe Biden administration did nothing to end this war early,” Ferguson said. The reason: she believed that it would be bad for Putin if the war lasted longer. However, that has not materialized, nor have hopes of Putin’s withdrawal or even a palace coup.
“In my opinion, that was a mistake and stupid,” criticizes Ferguson. “The war should have ended when Russia was doing badly and Ukraine was doing well.” Instead of striving for an end to the war, Biden flew to Poland, called Putin a war criminal and called for his fall. “It’s too late now. Russia is getting stronger and Ukraine is getting weaker.” According to Ferguson, however, Biden will continue to rule out military intervention by the US and NATO in Ukraine.
The historian also does not believe that Russia will give up because of the imposed sanctions. “I never believed in the effectiveness of sanctions. As long as Russia can sell gas and oil, the ruble will remain strong and Russia will survive.”
Instead, the expert predicts that the Russian food blockade will lead to inflation in the West and potentially starvation in Africa. “That will only add to the pressure.” The inevitable consequence, according to Ferguson: “By autumn, the West’s determination to support the war will wane. Asking Ukraine to make territorial concessions and de facto partitioning of the country will begin.”