Tag Archives: NATO

Ukrainian Tragedy. Who Is to Blame? by Edward Lozansky

Edward Lozansky untangles the tangled web that is Ukraine. From Lozansky at antiwar.com:

In view of the upcoming summit in Washington between President Biden and Ukrainian President Zelensky, it is important to analyze the U.S. geopolitical strategy toward that country and see if it serves the best interests of the American people – and, for that matter, of the Ukrainians.

Here are some introductory points.

As a result of the Soviet Union’s collapse, its 15 former republics became independent states, Ukraine among them. Free from the communist yoke, having strong industrial and agricultural sectors, a favorable climate and fertile land, Ukraine – the place of my birth – had great potential to become one of the most prosperous European nations. Effective anti-corruption reforms, a certain level of autonomy for the regions with a large Russian ethnic population, two-state languages and neutral status with no membership in any military blocs would have made Ukraine, if not a new Switzerland, then definitely a happy and prosperous state. There would have been no civil war, and Donbass and Crimea would still be part of Ukraine.

However, some inside and outside forces had a different agenda, which resulted in the current tragedy, the loss of life and territory, the rise of radical nationalism, a neo-Nazi movement and vast economic devastation. Add to this tragedy that millions of skilled workers were forced to leave their country searching for manual jobs in foreign lands to survive and support their families.

In addition, Ukraine is now one of the major negative factors in both US domestic and foreign policies. President Trump’s impeachment in the House, the embarrassing scandal involving President Biden‘s son Hunter, an increasing threat of nuclear war with Russia – all these problems and more have Ukrainian connections.

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Escobar: A Sea Painted NATO Black, by Pepe Escobar

The NATO effort to encircle Russia continues, hoary old injunctions about not poking rattlesnakes notwithstanding, and modern wisdom about not messing with countries that can the blow the world to smithereens notwithstanding. From Pepe Escobar at The Asia Times via zerohedge.com:

US seeks to revamp post-WWI concept of Baltic-Black Sea Intermarium as a Cold War 2.0 iron wall against Russia…

Welcome to the latest NATO show: Sea Breeze starts today and goes all the way to July 23. The co-hosts are the US Sixth Fleet and the Ukrainian Navy. The main protagonist is Standing NATO Maritime Group 2.

The show, in NATOspeak, is just an innocent display of “strenghtening deterrence and defense”. NATO spin tells us the exercise is “growing in popularity” and now features more than 30 nations “from six continents” deploying 5,000 troops, 32 ships, 40 aircraft and “18 special operations and dive teams”. All committed to implement and improve that magical NATO concept: “interoperability”.

Now let’s clear the fog and get to the heart of the matter. NATO is projecting the impression that it’s taking over selected stretches of the Black Sea in the name of “peace”. NATO’s supreme articles of faith, reiterated in its latest summit, are “Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea” and “support for Ukraine sovereignty”.

So for NATO, Russia is an enemy of “peace”. Everything else is hybrid war fog.

NATO not only “does not and will not recognize Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea” but also denounces its “temporary occupation”. This script, redacted in Washington, is recited by Kiev and virtually the whole EU.

NATO bills itself as committed to “transatlantic unity”. Geography tells us the Black Sea has not been annexed to the Atlantic. But that’s no impediment for NATO’s goodwill – which the record shows turned Libya, in northern Africa, into a wasteland run by militias. As for the intersection of Central and South Asia, NATO’s collective behind was unceremoniously kicked by a bunch of ragged Pashtuns with counterfeit Kalashnikovs.

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US Military Poorly Led and Disgraced, by Paul Craig Roberts

Woke ideology and the demands of a crumbling empire are turning the US military into a force not to be reckoned with, a force many nations no longer respect. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:

After the Biden-Putin meeting there was fanciful commentary about reduced tensions and avoidance of war. As I explained in my column and several interviews, as long as Washington has hegemonic aspirations and needs the “Russian threat” to justify its military/security complex budget and NATO, little can be done to reduce tensions.

The meeting succeeded in again portraying Putin as a tyrant who poisons and imprisons his political opponents ( https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/06/18/the-summit-was-a-propaganda-trap/ ).

As for war tensions, Washington immediately raised war dangers by arranging a 32-country two-week war game from June 28 to July 10 held off Russia’s Black Sea Coast. According to Washington the war game will practice “multiple warfare areas including amphibious warfare, land maneuver warfare, diving operations, maritime interdiction operations, air defense, special operations integration, anti-submarine warfare, and search and rescue operations.”

Russia warned of the risk of deadly incidents and demanded the war game be scrapped. https://www.rt.com/russia/527339-black-sea-war-games-warnings/.

Sure enough even prior to the start of the war game a British warship inside Russian waters had to be driven out with warning shots and attack threat from Russian aircraft. https://www.rt.com/russia/527353-british-destroyer-violates-russian-border/

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Merkel Flips Off Biden’s Protest — to Buy Putin’s Gas, by Patrick J. Buchanan

The US doesn’t make too big a deal about its disproportionate contribution to NATO because NATO folds in perfectly with the US government’s desire for empire. Nord Stream 2 will go through because there’s no way the US will exact any real price on Germany, it’s an essential part of the empire. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

When the U.S. created NATO, a primary purpose of the alliance was to serve as a western wall to defend Germany against the 400,000 Russian troops on the eastern side of the Elbe River.

Seventy years later, Germany has decided to double its dependence on Vladimir Putin’s Russia for the natural gas needed to run the German economy, despite the opposition of her great protector, the USA.

The Biden administration decided to waive sanctions on Matthias Warnig, the ally of Putin whose company, Nord Stream 2 AG, is laying the pipeline beneath the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany that is now 95% complete.

When done, Nord Stream 2 will make Moscow Germany’s principal supplier of natural gas, and cut Kyiv out of hundreds of millions in transit fees it annually receives for letting Russian gas pass through Ukraine to Germany.

Previously, Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had seemed resolute in opposition. Said Blinken:

“We think the (Nord Stream 2) pipeline is a bad idea. It advances Russia’s interests and undermines Europe’s interests and our own. It actually goes against the very principles that the EU has set out in terms of energy security and not being too dependent on any one country, notably, in this case, Russia.”

As late as March, the Biden administration had made clear its commitment to complying with sanctions legislation put in place with bipartisan support in Congress, and had called on companies involved in Nord Stream 2 to “immediately abandon work on the pipeline.”

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What Just Happened in the Ukraine? by The Saker

The short answer to the title question is that once again Vladimir Putin has outsmarted the US, NATO, and Ukraine. From The Saker at unz.com:

Before we look into what just happened in the Ukraine, we need to first recall the sequence of events which lead to the current situation. I will try to make a short summary (skipping a lot of details) in the bullet-point style:

  1. Whether Ze initially intended to stop the war in the eastern Ukraine we don’t know, but what we do know is that he failed not only to stop it, in many ways his policies were even worse than Poroshenko’s. This might be the well-known phenomenon of a supposedly “pro-peace and happiness” politician being accused of being “weak” and thus not “presidential”; this politician has to show his “strength” is “patriotism”, that is acting recklessly on the external front. We see that from putatively “liberal” politicians such as the Dems in the USA and Labor in Israel. Historically, “liberals” are the most common war initiators. Ze showed his weakness almost from day 1, and the Ukronazis immediately seized this opportunity to engage in a massive multi-level campaign for war against Russia. This resulted in:
  2. A quasi-official repudiation of the Minsk Agreements and Steinmeier Formula by Kiev, followed by a sharp increase in bellicose statements and, most crucially a large scale move of forces (including tanks, heavy artillery, MLRS and even ballistic missiles!) towards the line of contact. At the same time Ukronazi politicians began making statements saying that a) the Ukrainian army was capable and willing to “liberate” all of the “Russian occupied” Ukrainian land thus, including both the Donbass and Crimea b) that Russia was going to attack the Ukraine anyway and c) that the consolidated West had to help the Ukraine because only the Ukrainian forces were keeping the asiatic drunken Russian hordes from over-running not only the Ukraine, but even the rest of Europe. Since the Ukraine simply has no agency, this begs the question of the US (and, to a lesser degree, the UK) rationale was for these moves. It is quite simple:
  3. Force Russia to openly intervene to protect the population of the Donbass from the inevitable genocide which the Ukronazis would have meeted out to the population of the LDNR.

How good was this plan? I would argue that it was a very solid plan which, for the USA, meant a win-win situation. Here is how it should have gone:

First, the Ukrainian forces would attack the LDNR, probably along three axes: one between the city of Gorlovka and Donetsk, one frontally attacking Donetsk proper, not to invade the city, but to tie down LDNR forces in protection of their capital, and one in the south with the aim of reaching the Russian border. This way, the LDNR defenders would have to defend their capital while, at the same time, risking envelopment on two axes. Remember that the LDNR has no strategic depth (Donetsk is practically on the frontline) and that the LDNR defenders could not trade space for time.

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Warheads, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

The US government’s policy towards Russia has been monumentally foolish since the USSR collapsed, and the Biden administration is making a bad situation worse. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

Joe Biden declares a “national emergency”, calls Putin a killer, slaps more sanctions on Russia, for which he has his Foreign Secretary Antony Blinken declare that “Today, we announced actions to hold the Russian Government to account for the SolarWinds intrusion, reports of bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, and attempts to interfere in the 2020 U.S. elections,” … and then “invites” Putin for a summit.

For the SolarWinds “intrusion”, the US has never provided any evidence at all, the Russian bounties story was -finally- fully debunked well before Blinken made his statement -which makes him look very incompetent-, and the election interference narrative is by now just too dumb to even get into. No evidence for it whatsoever after 2 years of the Mueller investigation, but now Putin’s at it again? Who did he want to win, then? Trump again, after apparently not even trying in 2016?

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky states that his country should urgently be made a full member of both NATO and the EU, and has his own proxy, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, solemnly claim that not just “The only possibility for this [to prevent alleged invasion plans] is for Ukraine to finally become a NATO member”, but also that “Ukraine has no other choice: either we are part of an alliance such as NATO and are doing our part to make this Europe stronger, or we have the only option – to arm by ourselves, and maybe think about nuclear status again”.… And then Zelensky invites Putin for a summit. In the Donbass, no less.

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So Who Wants a Hot War? by Pepe Escobar

America has given Ukraine an informal security guarantee when there’s no way it can guarantee the country’s security. Vladimir Putin is probably delighted that with little effort he can make Biden and Co. look like idiots. From Pepe Escobar at strategic-culture.org:

It’s not by accident that the Hegemon is going no holds barred to harass and try to smash Eurasian integration by all means available.

It’s a scorpion battle inside a vortex of distorted mirrors inside a circus. So let’s start with the mirrors in the circus.

The non-entity that passes for Ukrainian Foreign Minister traveled to Brussels to be courted by US Secretary of State Blinken and NATO secretary-general Stoltenberg.

At best, that’s circus shadowplay. Much more than NATO advisers in a frantic revolving door in Kiev, the real shadowplay is MI6 actually working very close with President Zelensky.

Zelensky’s warmongering script comes directly from MI6’s Richard Moore. Russian intel is very much aware of all the fine print. Glimpses were even carefully leaked to a TV special on the Rossiya 1 channel.

I confirmed it with diplomatic sources in Brussels. British media also got wind of it – but obviously was told to further distort the mirrors, blaming everything on, what else, “Russian aggression”.

German intel is practically non-existent in Kiev. Those NATO advisers remain legion. Yet no one talks about the explosive MI6 connection.

Careless whispers in Brussels corridors swear that MI6 actually believes that in the case of a volcanic but as it stands still preventable hot war with Russia, continental Europe would burn and Brexitland would be spared.

Dream on. Now back to the circus.

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The West’s sole prerogative is that Russia has no right to self-defense… even when the threat is right on its border, by Daniel Kovalik

Somehow Russia moving troops within its own country poses an existential threat to the West and risks World War III. From Daniel Kovalik at rt.com:

The West’s sole prerogative is that Russia has no right to self-defense... even when the threat is right on its border
As tensions increase between Moscow and NATO over a buildup of troops near the Donbass, actually initiated by Ukraine, the West’s apparent position is that Russia has no right to self-defense. That’s been the case for decades.

Having grown up in middle America during the waning years of the Cold War, I possessed a not-so-healthy fear of an imminent Soviet invasion or attack. Bob Dylan would capture this type of fear and hysteria in his 1964 song ‘With God on Our Side’, which he ripped off from the Clancy Brothers and Dominic Behan.

Dylan’s updated version of ‘The Patriot Game’ declared: “I’ve learned to hate the Russians, all through my whole life; if another war comes, it’s them we must fight. To hate them and fear them, to run and to hide…” It is quite incredible to me that, nearly 60 years later, with the USSR itself having fallen in the meantime, these words still ring true in the West today.

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Ukraine’s Top Commander Invokes NATO’s Article 5 Military Assistance Clause as West Continues to Oversee Ukraine’s War in the Donbass, by Rick Rozoff

Ukraine is acting like a member of NATO even though it’s not a member of NATO. From Rick Rozoff at antiwar.com:

Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, is quoted today as boasting that his nation’s military is capable of responding to what he deemed the “aggravation of the situation” in the Donbass, in his words the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk and Lugansk, and “along the entire Ukrainian-Russian border.”

The above regions are only two of five Ukrainian (or former Ukrainian) oblasts bordering Russia. The total land border between Ukraine and Russia as Ukraine computes it is some 1,225 miles; Russia’s border with Donetsk and Lugansk is 255 miles.

The Ukrainian military chief has extended the line of conflict by almost five times. In language evocative of the worst days of the Cold War, Khomchak also intoned: “Ukraine is supported by the entire civilized world. We are not alone in the face of the enemy.”

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NATO Expanding its Theater With China in its Sights, by Ann Wright

For anybody worried about potential war with China, take heart, the US will have its NATO allies, including powerhouses like Albania and Montenegro. From Ann Wright at consortiumnews.com:

Ann Wright says a new proposed roadmap reflects an alarming expansion beyond Europe and Russia, the alliance’s traditional traditional area of operations and concern.   

The U.K.’s Royal Air Force aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, performing over Kuala Lumpur during a series of flypasts in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions in 2016. (Defence Images, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

During the March 23-24 meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) council, Anthony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, encouraged NATO members to join the U.S. in viewing China as an economic and security threat to the U.S. as well as to NATO countries, thereby expanding NATO’s areas of focus to include the Pacific. This is a dangerous move that must be challenged.

To gain insight into what transpired at the March NATO meeting, we can look to a roadmap for NATO’s future, which was released last fall. The report, entitled “NATO 2030: United for a New Era,” is intended to be a guide for the military alliance in meeting the challenges it will face in the next decade. In the report, released in November, the “independent group” of five advisers from 10 NATO countries identified 13 challenges and threats to NATO in the next decade. 

This new proposed roadmap for NATO reflects an alarming expansion: It is as much about China and the Asia/Pacific region as it is about NATO’s traditional traditional area of operations and concern, Europe and Russia.

Although the group identified the No. 1 threat to NATO as Russia, China was named as threat number 2. 

The document brings the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into the Pacific and attempts to provide a justification to expand and strengthen “partnerships” in the Asia/Pacific region. NATO already has four “partners” in the Pacific through bilateral agreements with Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

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