By Phil Butler
Ukraine will very soon become a no-man’s land if American influences there are allowed to continue. News the Trump administration approved the export of lethal weapons to the Kiev junta will only lead to more useless killing. The news of the decision broke as the Treasury Department announced further sanctions under the Magnitsky Act against five individuals for alleged human rights abuses in Russia. Trump ratcheting up the pressure on Russia at the moment the Poroshenko regime is set to disintegrate carries a new foreboding.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova made appropriate quips about the western coalition forces in the Middle East making claims America and allies destroyed ISIS in Syria. The hard nose Russian dignitary poked at western coalition partners about their “successes” in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan in recent years. Now the Trump administration seems ready to double-down on chaotic idiocy by opening the door to full scale war in Ukraine. CNN and other western media reported Zakharova claiming “arming Ukraine would further inflame tensions and push Ukraine “towards reckless new military decisions.” The spokeswoman’s assessment is completely correct. We know the Kiev regime is totally incapable of making any right decision, military or otherwise, as we’ve witnessed the last three years. Trump has opened a Pandora’s box he will not be able to close. If his administration goes the step further to allow the sale of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to the Kiev junta, then Russia may finally give up on the détente game. For those who may believe the Ukraine situation is about democracy against Russian aggression, this quote from a military assessment prepared for the U.S. Congress reveals the truth. In testimony (PDF) before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2015, Stephen Blank Senior Fellow American Foreign Policy Council betrayed the NATO mission in Ukraine:
“Indeed, the fighting to date shows that only with substantial Russian help and the takeover of the operation by the Russian army can the so-called rebels prevail in battle. If anything, this key fact justifies the provision of weapons and training to Ukraine as part of a broader strategy to wrest the strategic initiative away from Russia and give it to Ukraine and NATO.”
Giving the “initiative” to NATO and Ukraine – is that what Washington has been telling the people of America? Further along in his “testimony”, Blank compared Vladimir Putin to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein when the latter invaded Kuwait. This is the nature of “expert” Donald Trump and the decisionmakers in Washington have learned to listen to. What’s telling about all these reports is not their validity at face value, but the fact Pentagon and White House strategists actually planned this whole Ukraine affair from the onset. If you read a “real” military assessment like this 2015 report by Timothy Thomas, a senior analyst at the Foreign Military Studies Ofﬁce in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for the Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Vladimir Putin’s reaction to the EuroMaidan Coup were anticipated. The author of this report skillfully misattributes a good number of strategies (cards) supposedly played by Vladimir Putin when rapid fire events took place after the coup. Using real terms and strategies like reﬂexive control (RC), hybrid or asymmetrical warfare tactics, and Putin using foresight and correlation of forces (COF) in order to orchestrate the Crimea/Donbass takeovers Thomas lets us know the west “knows” – which means warmongers like Senator John McCain knew full well what EVERY Russian response to the Euromaidan would be.
The Trump moves from the Treasury and with regard to these lethal weapons exports are not ambiguous, and should not be misconstrued. The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday imposed the new sanctions on the five people, including on Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov, for alleged human rights abuses. Zakharova, looking weary at her press conference on Thursday, announced “tit-for-tat” response on these sanctions is to be expected from Russia. The mixed messages of the Trump White House seem chaotic and dangerous from this analysts point of view. In my opinion, these moves are meant to somehow work in conjunction with UN Ambassador Nicky Hayley’s “taking names” warning over the Jerusalem affair too. By turning up the heat on the frontiers of Europe, Trump hopes to aid Bibi Netanyahu and the Israelis in their effort to stamp out Palestinian hopes forever. It would be unwise for anyone to assume the White House is not acting in a cohesive effort to ensure Israeli goals. Maria Zakharova also said on Thursday that the United States encouraged the resumption of large-scale bloodshed in eastern Ukraine by Washington’s approval of lethal arms sales to Ukrainian army. And again, she is completely correct. Added to these other swift geopolitical moves, in Geneva Syria’s opposition is sabotaging peace talks in a bid to ruin Russia’s preparations for a planned congress of national dialogue in Syria. This is a unified assault on relations with Russia and world peace.
Furthermore, while Ukraine and Syria may appear as separate regional conflicts, the reality of this new kind of regime change hits every country on Earth. Observed from a holistic approach, this new Cold War seems like a final fanatical liberal world order assault on Russia. Everywhere the Russians have the slightest interest, and where any allies against Putin can be summoned, the U.S. and her allies fan the flames of either economic or literal war. Ms. Zakharova told reporters on Thursday that Russian military observers had to pull out of a joint ceasefire control group due to Kiev’s determination to solve the crisis in the rebel-held eastern regions of the country by force. My contacts in the Donbass, in Donetsk and Crimea continually send reports of Kiev regime shelling of civilian areas in breach of the Minsk agreements. A new and uninterrupted supply of weapons is only going to spur Poroshenko’s regiments to scale up their attacks. And in the event new attacks are successful, Russia and Putin will be faced with the unfortunate reality – there can be no reconciliation with the west.
With Europe leaning away from the Trump administration and Israeli interests, Ukraine represents the perfect catalyst for reversing the EU’s course on recent Trump moves. Haley warning the UN, the western coalition and its propaganda arms ignoring Russia’s role in destroying ISIS, and the rekindling of Ukraine as a killing ground – the strategy could not be clearer for me. Ukraine is about to burn so that Greater Israel can become a reality. Refugees from the land of Assad did not cement Israeli dreams. The refugee flood gates Libya’s Gaddafi once held closed being opened did not convert Europeans. So, it’s war with Russia. No matter what else happens. Netanyahu will manipulate America’s president into doing whatever it takes to destroy Arab solidarity and the Palestinians. You can expect Kiev to attack soon. And you can expect Vladimir Putin to weigh in and finally crush the bugs in Ukraine’s capital. The liberal order is determined to bring this war. What puzzles me is how Trump’s think tank advisers figure on winning an unwinnable confrontation on Russia’s frontiers.
If war is the aim, then it seems the liberal world order wants total annihilation. No matter whose assessment of military strength you consult, NATO and the United States can never prevent Russia from overrunning the Ukraine, the Baltics, or even west central Europe with Putin’s current military capacity. This Global Firepower comparison tells the tale in every category that matters for such a regional conflict. Protracted war being out of the question, Russia’s air defense superiority far outweighs NATO’s attack aircraft numerical superiority (5,000 versus about 2200 for Russia). Furthermore, the forces NATO could bring to bear against Russia’s superior tank (4 x), self-propelled artillery (2.5 x), towed artillery (3 x), rocket launchers (3 x) and parity in armored vehicles would literally swamp any feasible NATO response not supported by total air superiority. And with Russia’s mobile air defense capabilities, not to mention new electronic warfare units, the skies over Ukraine would be cleanly swept. Add to this strategic disaster the will to win, and the fact the U.S. has fought nobody in seventy years, and a fight on Russia’s doorstep would certainly lead to a full-scale nuclear confrontation. Even if NATO were to prevail, Putin would be forced to transform Ukraine and the Baltics into a no-man’s land as a buffer.
Sitting here watching Maria Zakharova, I recognize the source of her apparent weariness and frustration. Like Vladimir Putin and her boss Sergey Lavrov, the spokeslady seems resolved on the horrible announcements surely to come. I hope I am wrong. My advice for Ukrainians – take your country back from Washington’s puppet oligarchs before it is too late.