Admiral Rob Bauer: “Kill the archer, not arrows”

It is the best thing to do: “you can wait until the missiles reach you or you kill the archer, not arrows” – Admiral Rob Bauer explains the need to give Ukraine permission to strike on Russia.

Adm. Rob Bauer heads the NATO Military Committee, believes that it is absolutely logical and legally to allow Ukraine to strike military targets in Russia, regardless of their proximity to the border. 

Watch full WP interview: “NATO’s top military officer on Ukraine war, European security and world order”

“Militarily, the best response to the increased Russian attacks in its war against Ukraine is to give permission to strike targets deep in Russia, without restrictions on the range of strikes” – the Admiral of the Netherlands Navy, the chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Rob Bauer.

“If you are attacked from a nation that is illegally attacking you, and they start a war and you are defending yourself, you can do two things..

Adm. Rob Bauer

“You can wait until the missiles reach you and then try to kill the arrows or you kill the archer and the archer is, in many ways, in russia. There’s aircraft taking off from airfields in Russia, there’s the logistics support for the war in Ukraine from the Russians, which is oil and gas, which is transportation, which is the production of weapons, which is all the things you need in war. They are being produced and being brought from Russia – Bauer said in a podcast with The Washington Post.

Therefore, he considers it absolutely logical and legitimate to grant Ukraine permission to strike deep into Russia.

“The Russians start this war and the ukrainians are defending themselves, so it is militarily logic, this is within the law”

Regarding the ‘escalation debate’, Bauer noted that the head of the Kremlin Vladimir Putin has been making constant threats, drawing imaginary ‘red lines’ for each type of weapon that Ukraine has been waiting for. This led, among other things, to delays in their shipments, but when the weapons finally arrived in Ukraine, Putin did not carry out his threats.

“Putin has been lying about basically everything he said”

Adm. Rob Bauer

“Putin has been lying about basically everything he recently said, he would never attack a NATO country. But earlier he told the same lie about ‘no plans’ to attack Ukraine” – the admiral recalls.

Rob Bauer also said in an interview with The Washington Post:


Adm. Rob Bauer

“It is unacceptable if we allow Russia to win in Ukraine, it would have dramatic consequences not only for Ukraine, but also for the rest of the world, because that is the message, the chilling message to autocratic states that might is right, and that you can get away with it”.

He believes that the allies should continue to support Ukraine with money, weapons, ammunition, training and everything else it needs.

“We need to do more and we need to ramp up our production capacity in our part of the world to make sure those weapons and ammunition are going to be produced faster” – Bauer said.

As for the battlefield, the admiral believes that ‘the Russians are not in the best position’ at the moment, but that it is ‘extremely difficult for the Ukrainians as well’.

He also reminded that Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure have not succeeded in breaking the will of the Ukrainian people as they planned, because Ukrainians are fighting for their own existence: “If Ukrainians stop the war today, they will lose their country. It is an existential struggle for them. They will continue … despite the destruction of infrastructure, the difficulties caused by the lack of electricity, water, heating”.

The next winter, the admiral believes, could bring ‘a lot of trouble for the Ukrainian people again’, but Putin will only ‘make the Ukrainian people an extremely strong nation’:

“When I visited them in March … I was deeply impressed by how strong this nation is, how they are fighting for their existence. The Russians have no idea what they are fighting for, but the Ukrainians know very well.”

More and more voices express support for allowing Ukraine to strike deep into Russia to target Russia’s military capabilities used to attack Ukraine.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Republican Congressman Mike Turner, called on US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin to lift all restrictions on Ukraine’s use of ATACMS missiles and other long-range US weapons.

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