Category Archives: Foreign Policy

Tank Wars: NATO’s Sleight Of Hand – Why NATO’s Top Tanks Won’t See Real Action, by Simplicius76

Why the tanks aren’t going to make a difference. From Simplicius76 at simplicius76.substack.com:

But instead will be coddled through a carefully curated and choreographed ventriloquist act in Ukraine.

One frothy contingent of the West is gleefully anticipating the upcoming, unprecedented infusion of Western armor into Ukraine as the prelude to Kursk 2.0, where peerless Western tanks will gloriously outman and outgun Russia’s Soviet-legacy armor. (well, the tragi-comic irony of the comparison doesn’t escape us)

But a new bombshell report is putting the brakes on those far-flung ideations.

It’s now come to light that Britain is busy furiously putting together plans to keep their Challenger-2 tanks from falling into Russian hands, so that Russia doesn’t get a peek at their much-vaunted ‘Chobham’ armor.

The plan consists of something we suspected all along: that secret teams will be in place to babysit and coddle the tanks at all times, taking fastidious care to make certain they are never in real danger of falling into Russian hands.

Britain led the world by pledging 14 Challenger 2s to Ukraine — but defence sources say it would be a nightmare if one was captured by Vladimir Putin’s invaders.

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US Hybrid War on Iran Stalling? By Kevin Barrett

Iran has an underappreciated array of weapons that can make its opponents’ lives miserable, and they’ve adapted to all the sanctions the U.S. has thrown at them. From Kevin Barrett at unz.com:

Empire poised to lose on two fronts at once–but at least we shot down that *&#! Chinese balloon!

In a lecture and Q&A with foreign journalists last night, strategic analyst Dr. Mostafa Khosh-Cheshm summarized the history and current state of what he described as the US hybrid war on Iran. He asserted that the American campaign has stalled due to Iran’s successful counterattacks and deterrents, but anticipates possible escalation into new battlegrounds despite the American side’s failure to make any progress toward achieving its objectives.

The apparent failure of the Israeli-inspired US hybrid war on Iran comes at the worst possible time for the US empire, which faces impending military catastrophe in Ukraine as even The New York Times has belatedly admitted. Future historians may look back on the neoconservatives’ decision to simultaneously target Russia, China, and Iran as one of the biggest blunders in history, on the scale of those analyzed in Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam. Writing of the foolish Goth king Recared, who inadvertently opened Spain to Muslim conquest, Tuchman notes that “for a ruler opposed by two inimical groups, it is folly to continue antagonizing both at once” (p.16). True enough; and how much more foolish to simultaneously antagonize three such groups!

The biggest mistake, from a US geo-strategic perspective, is making an enemy of Iran. China and to a lesser extent Russia are, due to their size and resources, peer competitors whose aspirations the US has reason to wish to contain. Iran, for its part, is a large and important country blessed with significant natural and human resources, but is not a natural peer competitor of the US. But since it occupies a critically-important strategic location at the crossroads of the Eurasia-Africa world island, and has historically suffered from Russia’s southward expansion, Iran and the US have every reason to maintain friendly relations and make win-win deals. The problem, from Iran’s perspective, is that the US seems incapable of making win-win deals (and sticking to them) while respecting the sovereignty of its partners. Instead, it arbitrarily shreds its own solemn agreements and aggressively insists on economically and militarily subjugating other nations, while exporting its own decadence in the form of “woke” obsessions with deviant sexuality, attacks on traditional family structures, nihilistic Soros-funded revolts against all forms of traditional authority, and other bizarre fetishes that the non-Western world wants no part of.

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Setting the Record Straight; Stuff You Should Know About Ukraine, by Mike Whitney

Russia is more sinned against than sinning in the Ukraine-Russia war. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:

On February 16, 2022, a full week before Putin sent combat troops into Ukraine, the Ukrainian Army began the heavy bombardment of the area (in east Ukraine) occupied by mainly ethnic Russians. Officials from the Observer Mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) were located in the vicinity at the time and kept a record of the shelling as it took place. What the OSCE discovered was that the bombardment dramatically intensified as the week went on until it reached a peak on February 19, when a total of 2,026 artillery strikes were recorded. Keep in mind, the Ukrainian Army was, in fact, shelling civilian areas along the Line of Contact that were occupied by other Ukrainians.

We want to emphasize that the officials from the OSCE were operating in their professional capacity gathering first-hand evidence of shelling in the area. What their data shows is that Ukrainian Forces were bombing and killing their own people. This has all been documented and has not been challenged.

So, the question we must all ask ourselves is this: Is the bombardment and slaughter of one’s own people an ‘act of war’?

We think it is. And if we are right, then we must logically assume that the war began before the Russian invasion (which was launched a full week later) We must also assume that Russia’s alleged “unprovoked aggression” was not unprovoked at all but was the appropriate humanitarian response to the deliberate killing of civilians. In order to argue that the Russian invasion was ‘not provoked’, we would have to say that firing over 4,000 artillery shells into towns and neighborhoods where women and children live, is not a provocation? Who will defend that point of view?

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Will U.S. ‘Interests’ Become Sacrificed on Altar of New Indo-Pacific Strategy? By Matthew Ehret

Will the U.S. do any better with its Indo-Pacific strategy than its done with its Eurasian strategy? The question almost answers itself. From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:

The Anglo-American foreign policy hawks imagine that the world is yearning to be liberated from Beijing’s nefarious agenda to end poverty

As the trans-Atlantic world is pulled into the vortex of a McCarthyite nightmare with a renewed wave of anti-Russian and now anti-China hysterics, a wave of new “Asia Pacific” doctrines have emerged across captured states… I mean “member” states throughout NATO.

Starting with the February 2022 American ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy’, similar anti-China programs have popped up left and right with one principled target in mind: eliminate the threat of China through every tool available.

By early June 2022, the UK announced its own branding of the Asia Pivot remixed into the oddly named ‘Indo-Pacific Tilt’ which focuses less on the liberal eco-friendly language of the EU and devotes itself entirely to vastly increasing its military presence in China’s backyard.

After NATO’s June 2022 Madrid Summit officially designated China as ‘a systemic rival’, Canada’s foreign ministry announced its own Indo-Pacific Strategy in November 2022 followed by an absurd 26 page program published in January 10, 2023 outlining the details of Canada’s new role in the Pacific (which will be the subject of a subsequent report).

On January 25, 2023 NATO’s ironically named ‘Science for Peace and Security Program’ launched a new ‘cooperative initiative on the Indo-Pacific, followed by a January 30, 2023 Atlantic Council Indo-Pacific Security Initiative focused on dealing with “China’s growing threat to the international order”. The same day the Atlantic Council unveiled this new doctrine, an American intelligence spook named Markus Garlauskas was named the program’s new director.

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US Fails Miserably in Efforts to Isolate Russia, by Conor Gallagher

Aside from the West, Russia is more popular with the rest of the world than it was before it invaded Ukraine. From Conor Gallagher at nakedcapitalism.com:

“If Russia does not end this war and get out of Ukraine, it will be isolated on a small island with a bunch of sub countries and the rest of us 141 countries will go forward and build a prosperous future, while Russia suffers a complete economic and technological isolation…”

-Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and chief architect of NATO war against Russia, in a March 2022 interview with TASS

Nuland has failed miserably. Instead, Russia’s economy is growing, and the inability to isolate Russia is arguably a larger loss than the one NATO is suffering in Ukraine. Last week The New York Times finally got around to admitting the isolation efforts have failed:

Silverado Policy Accelerator, a Washington nonprofit, recently issued a similar analysis, estimating that the value of Russian imports from the rest of the world had exceeded prewar levels by September.

It marks quite the change in script. Consider this sampling of headlines from the past year:

Russia’s isolation from global markets is withering its economy and will wreck its status as an energy superpower, experts say Business Insider

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will knock 30 years of progress off the Russian economy CNBC

Another Nail In The Coffin Of The Russian Economy Forbes

War against Ukraine has left Russia isolated and struggling — with more tumult ahead NPR

A New Iron Curtain Is Falling: The isolation of the Russian economy is striking in its speed and scope New York Times

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They’re Not Worried About “Russian Influence”, They’re Worried About Dissent, by Caitlin Johnstone

Never take liars at their word. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

Being labeled a Russian propagandist all day every day for criticizing US foreign policy is really weird, but one advantage it comes with is a useful perspective on what people have really been talking about all these years when they warn of the dangers of “Russian propaganda”.

I know I’m not a Russian propagandist. I’m not paid by Russia, I have no connections to Russia, and until I started this political commentary gig in 2016 I thought very little about Russia. My opinions about the western empire sometimes turn up on Russian media because I let anyone use my work who wants to, but that was always something they did on their own without my submitting it to them and without any payment or solicitation of any kind. I’m literally just some random westerner sharing political opinions on the internet; those opinions just happen to disagree with the US empire and its stories about itself and its behavior.

Yet for years I’ve watched people pointing at me as an example of what “Russian propaganda” looks like. This has helped inform my understanding of all the panic about “Russian influence” that’s been circulating these last six years, and given me some insight into how seriously it should be taken.

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From Imperial Failures to Imperial Excuses, by Batiushka

The war in Ukraine marks a huge rupture between the West and the rest of the world. From Batiushka at thesaker.is:

The decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the cause of the destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest….Instead of enquiring why the Roman Empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted for so long.

History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon

Introduction: Imperial Failures

Empires in terminal decline, like the American today, go from one usually military disaster to another. ‘Might is Right’, is the old dictum they wrongly believe in. It happened to the Roman, as described above. It happened to the British, starting with the Boer War, then the bankrupting Pyrrhic victories in two World Wars and ending with the Suez humiliation in 1956. And the French with their World Wars and Indo-China and then Algerian debacle. It happened to the Soviet Empire in Afghanistan, though its failure was more about its failure to deliver on its promises to consumers because it could not finance debt like Western countries. Imperial failure is always a frightening phenomenon.

After catastrophic failures in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, the US Empire has now chosen to bet everything on someone else’s country in Europe. This is the big one, not a war against sandal-wearing tribesmen, but against a Superpower with a professional army and the best rocket artillery, drones and hypersonic missiles in the world. This was is in the south-western borderland backwaters of Russia, called the Ukraine. Having lost its attempt to occupy the naval port of Sevastopol in the Crimea and so control the Black Sea, the US aggressor-state has turned the Ukraine into yet another failed attempt to try and impose its global hegemony. At present, attention is focused on a town called Bakhmut in south-eastern Ukraine.

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The New York Times Just Admitted That The West’s Anti-Russian Sanctions Are A Failure, by Andrew Korybko

Eventually the mainstream media usually catches up to the alternative media. In the AM, plenty of commentators suggested the sanctions would fail, some before the sanctions were even implemented. From Andrew Korybko at theautomaticearth.com:

Andrew Korybko approached me a few days ago asking if we could share some of his work. I don’t view the Automatic Earth as a publishing platform, and given all the censorship of the past 2-3 years (it’s expensive!), I will be very cautious about letting anyone in. But I like Andrew’s writing, so I said: let’s give it a go.

Then I had to transfer his Word file to the simple text editor I have been using for many years, but that only took half an hour … I don’t like Word. Or Bill Gates. Here’s Andrew:

Andrew Korybko: The “official narrative” surrounding the Ukrainian Conflict has flipped in recent weeks from prematurely celebrating Kiev’s supposedly “inevitable” victory to nowadays seriously warning about its likely loss. It was therefore expected in hindsight that other dimensions of the information warfare campaign waged by the US-led West’s Golden Billion against Russia would also change. As proof of precisely that, the New York Times (NYT) just admitted that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions are a failure.

In Ana Swanson’s article about how “Russia Sidesteps Western Punishments, With Help From Friends”, she cites Western experts who concluded that “Russia’s imports may have already recovered to prewar levels, or will soon do so, depending on their models.” Even more compelling, she references the IMF’s latest assessment from Monday, which “now expected the Russian economy to grow 0.3 percent this year, a sharp improvement from its previous estimate of a 2.3 percent contraction.”

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The Arsenal of Democracy Isn’t, by imetatronink

The U.S. would have a tough time rebuilding its industrial war armaments industry in under 10 years. From imetatronink at imetatronink.substack.com:

The erstwhile “arsenal of democracy” is neither a democracy nor an arsenal. It’s a pretentious empty shell.

WW2-era Studebaker Truck

As I originally wrote in my July 10, 2022 article Wunderwaffe Du Jour:

“The US military is not built nor equipped for protracted high-intensity conflict. Nor can it supply a depleted proxy army with the means to prosecute a protracted high-intensity conflict.”

The incontrovertible reality is that the US and its NATO allies are presently incapable of supplying the massive material demands of modern industrial warfare, as Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Alex Vershinin articulated so well in this essential June 2022 analysis: The Return of Industrial Warfare.

And yet the public discussion of potential war always includes convinced voices proclaiming that, just like in the Second World War, US industry could very rapidly ramp up to produce armaments of surpassing quality, and in overwhelming quantities.

This titillates the biases of American exceptionalists in general, and is a particularly seductive fantasy of the #EmpireAtAllCosts cult drones propagandizing for filthy lucre at the countless armaments-industry-funded “think tanks” in Washington and London.

But the notion that the rapidly declining empire can resurrect the Arsenal of Democracy band for one final farewell tour is a singularly delusional vanity.

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Truth About Tanks: How NATO Lied Its Way to Disaster in Ukraine, by Scott Ritter

Tanks are certainly not the be-all and end-all of modern industrial warfare. From Scott Ritter at unz.com:

Tank warfare has evolved. The large force-on-force armored battles that were the hallmark of much of WWII, the Arab-Israeli conflicts, which served as the foundation of operational doctrine for both NATO and the Soviet Union (and which was implemented in full by the United States during Operation Desert Storm in 1991), has run its course.

Like most military technological innovations, the ability to make a modern main battle tank survivable has been outstripped by the fielding of defensive systems designed to overcome such defenses. If a modern military force attempted to launch a large-scale tank-dominated attack against a well-equipped peer-level opponent armed with modern anti-tank missiles, the result would be a decisive defeat for the attacking party marked by the smoking hulks of burned-out tanks.

Don’t get me wrong: tanks still have a vital role to play on the modern battlefield. Their status as a mobile bunker is invaluable in the kind of meat-grinder conflicts of attrition that have come to define the current stage of large-scale ground combat. Speed and armor still contribute to survivability, and the main gun of a tank remains one of the deadliest weapons on the modern battlefield.

But the modern tank performs best as part of a combined arms team, supported by infantry (mounted and unmounted) and copious amounts of supporting arms (artillery and close air support.) As part of such a team, especially one that is well-trained in the art of close combat, the tank remains an essential weapon of war. However, if operated in isolation, a tank is simply an expensive mobile coffin.

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