General Vad Warns of World War III and Calls for Diplomacy, Not Tanks

The former national security advisor of Chancellor Merkel from 2006 to 2013), General (ret.) Erich Vad, has been subject to a mainstream media boycott because of his harsh criticism of the West’s conduct in Ukraine. But the leading feminist-political magazine in Germany, EMMA, did publish a lengthy interview with him, on Jan. 12, under the title “What Are the War Objectives”. The magazine’s publisher, Alice Schwarzer, initiated an Open Letter to the government last Spring urging diplomacy rather than military support for Ukraine, which was signed online by more than 500,000 people.

In his interview, Gen. Vad points out that if the present trend prevails, the Ukraine conflict will become a war of attrition comparable to the bloodbath at Verdun in World War I, which “resulted in the deaths of nearly a million young French and Germans. They fell for nothing at that time. So the refusal of the warring parties to negotiate led to millions of additional deaths. This strategy did not work militarily then — and will not do so now.”

In blasting the absence of diplomacy to end the war, and the almost exclusive focus on providing weapons, the general is especially critical German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock of the Greens, pointing out that “the main task of foreign policy is and remains diplomacy, reconciliation of interests, understanding and conflict resolution.” Just visiting Ukraine and posing for photo ops in a flakjacket and helmet, as Baerbock does, is definitely not enough, he adds.

More generally on the Green Party, he says “I do not understand the mutation of the Greens from a pacifist to a war party. I myself don’t know any Green who would even have done military service…. the fact that a single party has so much influence that it can maneuver us into a war is very worrying.”

Asked what he would have told Chancellor Scholz in Feb. 2022, had he been his security advisor, Gen. Vad says he would have advised him “to support Ukraine militarily, but in a measured and prudent way” to avoid becoming a party to the war. “And I would have advised him to influence our most important political ally, the United States… The key to resolving the conflict does not lie in Kiev, it does not lie in Berlin, Brussels or Paris, it lies in Washington and Moscow. It is ridiculous to say that Ukraine must decide this.”

Today, he points out, “If the goal is an independent Ukraine, we must also ask ourselves in perspective, what a European order involving Russia should look like. After all, Russia will not simply disappear from the map.” Attempting to defeat Russia and to force it to withdraw from the Black Sea region, he warns, could lead to a nuclear war with Russia.

While Gen. Vad’s call for diplomacy is most welcome, the pressure on Olof Scholz to engage Germany more aggressively in the war is intensifying. The fact that Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, after months of attacks from the hardline geopolitical faction for her “softness” toward Russia, just resigned, and may be replaced by a real war hawk, is certainly no good omen.

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