U.S. Army Lieutenant General Ben Hodges delivered the third lecture to the students of Ostroh Academy
August 31, 2023
On August 31, the third lecture of Ben Hodges, Lieutenant General of the US Army (Retired), Senior Adviser of the organization «Human Rights First», was held at the National University of Ostroh Academy. The topics of the lecture were «Grand Strategy to counter russia/China and the upcoming US elections, the implications of both for Ukraine».
The meeting was moderated by Eduard Balashov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Rector's Assistant for International Cooperation and Fundraising of NaUOA.
Here are a few key quotes from Ben Hodges' lecture:
- The end of the Second World War, the creation of NATO, international organizations, the conclusion of a number of international agreements marked the beginning of the modern international order. It is important to understand the essence of this system and why it actually was created. The international order is based on respect for national sovereignty, borders, respect and protection of human rights, freedom, fair justice, in particular responsibility for war crimes, etc. This whole system was created to prevent the recurrence of world wars in the future. Unfortunately, we see that russia completely ignores and destroys the modern world order. China threatens Taiwan. Currently, there is an ongoing confrontation and increasing tension between the West and the East.
- The Western World has been finally able to organize itself. Currently, approximately 50 nations are united together,
in particular in their intentions to help Ukraine counter russian aggression. The Kremlin could never have thought that NATO would be so consolidated. The most important point is the coordination and coherence of the actions of these 50 nations. It is vital to determine priorities and take risks into account. Unfortunately, some leaders do not do the things we would like them to do. For example, it is rather unfortunate that US President Biden has not yet provided long-range ATACAMS missiles to Ukraine. It is also very important to have a clear and competent Grand Strategy, which would include all risks, outlined priorities, available resources and the quality of coordination between partners. If we stick to this strategy, China will no longer pose a threat, and russia will ultimately remain in a difficult position with no clear advantages.
- Leaders of countries, in particular US President Joseph Biden, play a rather important role. He has to inform the American people why he is taking certain steps, in particular regarding Ukraine. The atmosphere of the presidential election is already felt in the United States, so Biden is definitely working on it. This will be a challenging period for my country. However, throughout its existence, the USA has already dealt with various challenges and difficulties, our electoral system is not perfect, but it is stable. Unfortunately there is a lot of pressure and misinformation. There are fears that this may lead to a decrease in support for Ukraine in the fight against russia. However, there is still a long time before the elections, and everything may change. But I am sure that the majority of Americans support the Ukrainian people, and the current US President Biden has the support of Congress. Our resilience and strong American leadership are incredibly important.
- Three weeks ago, various articles related to the Ukrainian counteroffensive appeared in the Western mass media. All of them were quite critical and pessimistic. I believe that such actions created pressure that was supposed to lead to the start of negotiations between Ukraine and the russian federation. However, a lot has changed recently and we have some good news. Jens Stoltenberg even noted this yesterday. The counter-offensive is successful, but, unfortunately, slower than we would like. It is very important to look at the Ukrainian counteroffensive more broadly. That is, it is not only a certain number of ground military operations, but also many other components. It is what we call Multi-Domain Operations. In particular, actions on the sea, land, water, in cyber and information space, operations using drones (especially sea drones), which, I consider quite successful and innovative. The main task of the current counteroffensive is to cut off the land route to Crimea, isolate the peninsula, and in the future, strike deep into the military and logistics bases, which definitely pose a threat to Ukraine. Therefore, a counteroffensive is a rather complex concept that covers a very wide range of actions, operations and components. Overall, I remain optimistic.
«The students of Ostroh Academy have been incredibly lucky to listen to the lectures by a well-known world-class military expert, ex-commander of the US Ground Forces, Lieutenant General (Retired) Ben Hodges. General Hodges repeatedly noted the high analytical and intellectual level of the questions from the students of NaUOA. We have an agreement with Mr. General to continue the presentation of his lectures to our students throughout the entire academic year, and we invite students and academic staff to join. We will certainly invite General Hodges to visit Ostroh Academy after the victory and deliver his fascinating lectures offline within the walls of the very first institution of higher education in Ukraine!»,