Ukraine Can Beat Russia With Weapons Biden Is Withholding: Retired General

  • Retired four-star U.S. General Jack Keane recently said during a podcast interview that Ukraine could beat Russia's military forces if President Joe Biden provided it with more military weapons.
  • However, Biden is facing political opposition from some members of Congress over providing Ukraine with the weapons it needs.
  • Keane believes the United States is a master at how to conduct combined arms conventional warfare and can help put together a plan for Ukraine on how to win against Russia.

A former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army said during a recent podcast appearance that if President Joe Biden provided Ukraine with more military weapons, the country could successfully defeat Russia's military forces.

Retired four-star U.S. General Jack Keane, who is credited as being the architect behind the U.S. troop "surge" strategy in 2007 that is said to have turned around the war in Iraq, made the statement during an interview on the American Enterprise Institute's podcast WTH Is Going On?

The interview took place shortly before Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine hit its one-year mark on February 24. The Russian leader has claimed the war is an existential battle with the West, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his allies have denounced the invasion as an attempt by Putin to claim more territory for his Russian expansion.

Podcast host Marc A. Thiessen on Monday shared a partial transcript of the talk he and his co-host Danielle Pletka had with Keane in a Monday column for The Washington Post.

Ukrainian troops and Jack Keane inset pic
Soldiers from a Ukrainian assault brigade are seen on March 4 near Bakhmut, Ukraine. Inset, retired four-star U.S. Army General Jack Keane is seen on March 10, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Keane said during a recent interview that Ukraine could beat Russia if President Joe Biden gave the country the weapons it needs. Photos by Mark Wilson/John Moore/Getty Images

During the interview, the retired general said Ukraine already has "all the elements that are necessary" to beat Russia.

"They just need a strategy that we can help them put together with the right equipment to do that, and we can roll these Russians up. I'm absolutely convinced of it," he said.

Keane was also asked if Ukraine's "victory depends on President Biden's willingness to give Ukraine capabilities we are withholding," to which he answered in the affirmative.

"To succeed at conventional combined arms warfare, you need tanks, armored vehicles carrying infantry soldiers, massive amounts of artillery, air defense systems that are going to protect this force from intrusion, coordinated artillery fire and air support," Keane said. "Those are the ingredients to be successful. And if you don't have those ingredients, you cannot take the territory that you want to take in the time that you want to take it."

Keane was then asked if Ukraine would be able to seize back territory Putin's forces have occupied if Biden provided the weapons Zelensky's troops need.

"If we had everything there, yes, I think we could," he said.

Elsewhere in the discussion, Keane said "there doesn't appear to be a stomach" for providing Ukraine with the arms it needs. He then cited concerns among the president's administration and U.S. military officials about Putin escalating the war if Ukraine is given certain weapons.

Biden is also facing political opposition from some members of Congress over support for Ukraine. In early February, Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida introduced a House resolution to end U.S. military and financial aid to Ukraine.

"President Joe Biden must have forgotten his prediction from March 2022, suggesting that arming Ukraine with military equipment will escalate the conflict to 'World War III,'" Gaetz said in a statement to Newsweek shortly after he introduced the resolution, which was co-sponsored by 10 other House Republicans.

However, not all members of Gaetz's party are in agreement over military aid. During a hearing shortly after the one-year anniversary of the war, Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi called on the Biden administration to move faster in arming Ukraine with the weapons it needs.

"We need to learn our lessons from the slow-roll approach we have used to arm the Ukrainians thus far," Wicker said late last month. "We are at a pivotal moment in this war, an inflection point we cannot afford to waste as we go about defending the interests of the United States and our allies."

During his appearance on WTH Is Going On?, Keane expressed confidence that Ukraine—if given sufficient weapons—will succeed against Putin's forces with the help of its allies.

"The United States is a master at how to conduct combined arms conventional warfare, the retired general said. "We can put together a plan and a strategy on how to succeed against the Russians."

Newsweek reached out to the White House via email for comment.