Bring back Boris – to lead the Nato alliance

The West’s dithering over giving Ukraine crucial military has to stop, before Putin regains the initiative

Con Coughlin

. 2 February 2023 •

All the indications are that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing to double down on his military assault against Ukraine by launching a new spring offensive aimed at regaining the initiative in the year-long conflict.

A clear sign that Putin is determined to reverse the humiliating losses of last year was the appointment of General Valery Gerasimov, the head of Russia’s armed forces, to take personal charge of the military preparations. As the architect of the so-called “Gerasimov Doctrine”, the general is an acknowledged master of waging all-out war, using all the levers of power available to the Russian state, from cyber attacks to economic blackmail, to achieve total victory.

After the mauling that Russian forces suffered last year, however, his focus is likely to be more parochial as he attempts to transform his defeated and demoralised conscript army into a credible fighting force. During the winter months, elite Russian units – or rather what is left of them – have been withdrawn from the frontline to undergo rigorous re-training.

The lessons of Russia’s disastrous performance last year have been learned, with ammunition depots no longer sitting ducks and supply routes being made less predictable. Ukrainian commanders have reported that their Russian adversaries have already begun to adjust their tactics to better effect, even if the Kremlin’s commanders continue to show the same casual disregard for the welfare of their troops that has already resulted in Russian soldiers dying in their tens of thousands.

It is therefore vital that the Ukrainian military receives the weaponry it desperately needs if it is to prevail against what promises to be a better organised and resourced Russian foe in the months ahead – something Western leaders finally seem to have acknowledged with their decision to equip Kyiv with heavy armour, including tanks.

Yet no sooner had the West indicated that it remains steadfast in its support for the Ukrainian cause than another issue arose that raises fresh doubts about the level of its commitment, this time over whether to supply Kyiv with modern warplanes.

It is a basic principle of modern warfare that armies do not deploy tanks and other heavy armour in ground offensives without proper air protection. To do so makes them, as Gerasimov well understands, vulnerable to enemy attack, and the Russians have shown their determination to target Western-made tanks by offering a cash bounty of five million rubles (£60,000) for their destruction or capture.

To prevent such a catastrophe, the Ukrainians are asking the US and allies such as Britain to donate fighter jets that will provide proper protection. But just as happened in the dispute over supplying tanks, Western leaders are proving reluctant to accede to the request, citing technical issues as well as concerns that such a move would result in an escalation in tensions between Moscow and Nato.

The West’s lukewarm response is disappointing, as it suggests that there are limits to how far its leaders are prepared to go in backing Kyiv. Ukraine is well within its rights under the terms of the UN Charter to acquire Western weaponry to defend its sovereignty. So long as it is Ukrainian pilots who are at the controls, the issue of where the warplanes originated is not Moscow’s concern.

Moreover, as Boris Johnson, who is in the US lobbying for the Biden administration to increase its support for Ukraine, has argued, giving the Ukrainians the equipment they require is essential if they are to prevail against any future Russian counter-offensive. It will ultimately “save time, save money, save lives.”

Johnson’s unequivocal support for the Ukrainian cause has been one of the more constant features of the West’s response to the crisis, especially when compared with the endless prevarication of US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Johnson’s enthusiasm for backing Ukraine – which has clearly not diminished since leaving Downing Street – has even seen him touted as a possible contender to be Nato’s next secretary general, a position that becomes vacant later this year when Jens Stoltenberg, the incumbent, stands down.

Having someone with Johnson’s passion for defeating despots like Putin at Nato’s helm would certainly help the organisation generate a sense of moral purpose.

Apart from making sure that Russia does not succeed in its quest to subject Ukraine to its will, Nato needs to confront the challenge posed by recalcitrant member states such as Turkey, which is currently blocking Sweden’s attempts to join the alliance, a move that would undoubtedly strengthen Nato’s northern flank.

It may well be that Johnson has other priorities on his mind – potentially including positioning himself for a dramatic return to Downing Street. But, if not, would he consider leading Nato? The alliance desperately needs a new sense of purpose and to bring an end to the dithering that has too often characterised the response of its members to the Ukraine crisis.


  1. Boris is the right man for the job. Which is exactly why he won’t be offered it. The Franco-German alliance, which mysteriously makes all the decisions for Nato, despite having never followed Nato’s defence spending rules, will only countenance yet another Marxist fuckwit like Stoltenberg.
    Nato needs to be fighting this war now; by air, sea and land, but won’t.
    The Budapest signatories have a binding obligation to Ukraine that is no different to the obligation to Nato, but they refuse to honour this obligation.
    That is why Ukraine is having to face a fucking great horde of dirty, filthy, nazi orcs alone, yet again.

  2. Looking at the deplorable performance of the likes of Scholz and Biden and Macron, Boris is a great leader. His right big toe is greater than an entire Orban! They all stand in Mr. Johnson’s shadow.
    Put Boris Johnson back where he belongs, as Prime Minister of Great Britain, so the West has at least one leader worth the nomenclature!

    • Or: since he was born in the USA, could he become the next Republican nominee for president?!
      Game changer!
      I don’t think Boris will come back as PM, but, you never know!
      I am confident though, that Rishi, James Cleverly and Ben Wallace will continue the UK support for Ukraine. The latter two are ex-army.

      • Then, this is good. As long as Ukraine gets the help it needs, this is the most important thing right now.

  3. The man is a liar and a cheat. There a reason (many reasons) why he was forced to resign and why he’s one of the most unpopular politicians in the UK. Don’t be fooled by his PR.

    • Your hatred would be better posted on RT, or any other kremtroll site.
      I hope UT moderators will delete your crap.

      • It’s true that Johnson is a liar and a cheat. Liking his support for Ukraine doesn’t mean you need to ignore all other aspects of the man.

        • Your hatred of a successful democratic politician also suggests far left or far right trolling more suited to RaT.
          Please provide your detailed list of politicians who have advocated for Ukraine at a level similar or greater than Boris. Then outline their levels of probity.

          • Has the UK’s support for Ukraine diminished since he was forced out? Absolutely not. The UK continues to back Ukraine, if anything more strongly. You don’t need a charlatan like Johnson. And it’s not hatred to point out how unpopular he is in his own country.

  4. I wished him to be NATO secretary but this will not happen.

    He is way too controversial and not exactly popular. I was in a pub in Ljubljana when he resigned and English people were singing and cheering the day he resigned.

    I couldn’t even take a piss without a random Englishman next to me shouting “Fuck Boris Johnson!”.

    I would definitely prefer Boris over Stoltenberg as he is too soft and not very charismatic. But this is exactly why he was chosen: a compromise guy that no one really hates.

    I do think he has his heart at the right place though and he supports Ukraine, so it could be a lot worse.

    • Rubbish! They were obviously Labour scum.
      He is the most popular and successful British politician of this century by far. He has never been defeated by the electorate, won the Mayor of London job twice; in a very socialist city. Plus he got Brexit done.
      I don’t comment on domestic Dutch politics because I don’t have the knowledge. I suggest you learn about UK politics instead of trying to dovetail your socialist narrative into it!

      • Ljubljana is not in the Netherlands.
        I was on a holiday in Slovenia and there were a lot of British people celebrating that he resigned.

        I have no idea what they were voting for, I don’t know them.
        I just have the idea that at least among young people he wasn’t exactly very popular.

        It is not a socialist narrative (I am not a socialist) but mostly an alcoholic narrative.

        I also don’t believed he was that popular: among his own party he was controversial and in the UK about 60-65% vote for a party that is not the Conservative one.

        He wasn’t sacked because the Conservatives thought he would do so well among their electorate.

        I think on this website we associate him with Ukraine, but I think most British people think about covid parties and Brexit when they see Boris Johnson.

        I do not personally hate him as I don’t like conservatives but if I could chose between a full-blown Putlerite named Corbyn and Johnson the choice would have been obvious.

        • I’m aware of where Ljubljana is. What’s that got to do with anything?
          Please provide a list of democratic politicians this century who have been more successful and who have never been defeated electorally?
          You made an obviously absurd claim based on the fact that you witnessed some young Labour supporters talking crap in a pub.

          • I thought it was just an anecdote but I really don’t believe he was that popular.

            You think they sacked him because he was doing such a great job?

            Whether he is successful or not, he has a questionable reputation and controversial folks never make it to NATO secretary.

            No matter how good he would have done the job, the discussion is senseless as he is not going to be NATO secretary period, as probably Eastern-Europe will be excited but Germany and France will not be.

            Hawks never become NATO secretaries.

            One of my lecturers was a former NATO secretary. He absolutely sucks and that was probably why he was chosen.

            Especially countries that have a shitty military like Germany and the Netherlands want a weak secretary as a weak one will be less of a nuisance while a strong one will confront them with their low military spending and low readiness.

            Then there is the U.S. that wants a proper one, so in the end they choose a Stoltenberg as he is not a complete ass but also does not make Merkel anxious.

      • I suggest you learn a bit more about British politics. And the idea that the politician who destroyed the UK’s membership of the EU could be suitable to head any multinational organisation is laughable.

        • It’s called democracy you wanker. You really should go to RT. Your fatuous opinions will be welcomed there.
          Insulting one of Ukraine’s most reliable advocates with lies is no different from sneering at Ukraine like a kremtroll does.

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