### Letter to Guardian Journalists, 3rd May 2024 ###
*** Kate Connolly, Jon Henley, Lisa O’Carroll, Georg Schwarte, President Steinmeier, Kanzler Scholz, Taurus ***

Dear Kate, dear Jon, dear Lisa,

As the Ukraine war drags on into a third year one particular commentary (on the official German news platform “Tagesschau”) filled me with consternation …


In this clip Georg Schwarte ridicules the German Bundespräsident, Herr Steinmeier, for “dragging his heals” on the supply of (long-range) Taurus cruise-missiles to Ukraine.

The disdain and the “low punches” directed at the President shocked me, especially as I strongly respect the restraint of both Herr Steinmeier and Herr Scholz regarding Taurus and share their reluctance to follow the (to me) jingoistic demands of the “Caliber-experts” (weapons buffs) who mostly seem to want to get “all available kit” (regardless of whether it makes sense or not!) off to the Ukrainians.

And at this point in time it is especially wrong to make light of the decision not to supply Taurus because, following the US agreeing to $61bn of military funding for Ukraine, the Russians are certainly more than a little bit jittery.

So let’s play one scenario through: Imagine …

1. Germany (and other countries) give Ukraine long-range weapons.
2. The Russians, made (very) nervous by the “in-bound” funding and weapons for Ukraine (due to the release of massive US funding!), mount a major offensive.
3. As the Russians advance, the Ukrainians (in desperation) use those long-range weapons to strike at Moscow.
4. Russia retaliates.
5. The West joins in.

Bingo: We have World War Three!

Exactly now is the time when we should be negotiating. Not upping the stakes by sending billions of extra funding and long-range weapons (e.g. Taurus) to Ukraine.

The war seemed to have reached a stalemate with my hope being that, however unjust it would be for Russia to receive the occupied territories, exactly that could be the basis for the drawing up of new frontiers and the signing of lasting peace agreements. But now escalation (US funding and the supply of further weapons) seems to have put the kibosh on that option.

How sad.

Alan Mitcham

PS: So what is our plan to make peace? I don’t see one! I just see macho politicians and “experts” (apart from Scholz and Steinmeier) “grandstanding” and spouting unrealistic jingoism. God help us!