Why Oct 7 Hamas attack came to Putin as an unexpected b'day gift

Washington, Dec 10 (IANS): A former US defense official suggested in a recent article that the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel may not have taken place on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s birthday, October 7, by sheer coincidence.

It constituted “a major diversion of Western attention and resources from Russia’s war on Ukraine that Putin surely welcomes,” Joseph Bosco, the former official wrote in an opinion piece in The Hill titled “Hamas’s Oct. 7 birthday gift to Putin”. He went on to warn lawmakers to pay “heed”.

This is not some conspiracy theory emanating from some online wingnuts. A European diplomat made exactly the same supposition to Politico just days after the attack “This was probably the best birthday gift for Putin. The attack against Israel will divide attention, given the natural US focus on Israel,” said the diplomat.

A group of Hamas leaders visited Moscow in November and met Putin, which may have buttressed authors of the birthday gift theory.

The US-led western support of Ukraine has enjoyed the unflinching backing of the American strategic community, which is watching warily the diversion of resources to Israel especially at times when American interest in Ukraine’s war is flagging specially among Republicans and Republican-leaning voters.

Many Republicans have questioned the open-ended plan of the Biden administration, which, in the president’s words, has been encapsulated in five words: “As long as it takes.”

The US strategic community is completely aligned with the Biden administration’s resolve to foil Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, seeing it as a threat not only to Ukraine but to Europe at large and, indeed, the world.

"Continued US support for Ukraine in this war is both the morally correct position and serves key national interests of the United States,” Steven Pifer, an affiliate of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and a retired foreign service officer, wrote for the Atlantic Council, a leading US think tank, last year.

But as the war has dragged, now close to two years, American interest has been flagging, according to multiple polls. Although the strategic community remains committed to stopping Putin, there is talk now of drawing up a timeline for US support for Ukraine, especially after the notable failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Russia remains in control of an estimated 17 per cent of Ukraine; Kyiv took back only 200 square miles of its territory the whole year, including the period of the much delayed counteroffensive starting in June.

Michael E O’Hanlon, a security expert with the Strobe Talbott Center for Security, strategy and Technology, has called for a Plan B at the end of the 18 more months of the present US strategy.

“The United States should fund the Ukraine effort at Biden’s requested level of just over $60 billion and provide virtually all the types of weaponry Ukraine may request over the next 18 months, in the hope that Ukraine can break the stalemate sometime in 2024 or early 2025,” he wrote in a recent article.

“But by the winter/spring of 2025, a newly elected American president should ask his or her national security team to conduct a thorough review of Ukraine policy -- and if the war still remains largely stalemated at that point, the United States should seriously consider a Plan B while encouraging its allies and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine to do the same.”



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Title: Why Oct 7 Hamas attack came to Putin as an unexpected b'day gift

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