Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

UKRAINE CRISIS: US ‘Toolboxes’ Are Empty

January 22, 2022   The toolbox is empty. Russia knows this. Biden knows this. Blinken knows this. CNN knows this. The only ones who aren’t aware of this are the American people, says Scott Ritter.   By Scott Ritter, Special to Consortium News   U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in a hastily scheduled, 90-minute summit in Geneva yesterday, after which both sides lauded the meeting as worthwhile because it kept the door open for a diplomatic resolution to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. What “keeping the door open” entails, however, represents two completely different realities.

For Blinken, the important thing appears to be process, continuing a dialogue which, by its very essence, creates the impression of progress, with progress being measured in increments of time, as opposed to results.

A results-oriented outcome was not in the books for Blinken and his entourage; the U.S. was supposed to submit a written response to Russia’s demands for security guarantees as spelled out in a pair of draft treaties presented to the U.S. and NATO in December. Instead, Blinken told Lavrov the written submission would be provided next week.

In the meantime, Blinken primed the pump of expected outcomes by highlighting the possibility of future negotiations that addressed Russian concerns (on a reciprocal basis) regarding intermediate-range missiles and NATO military exercises.

But under no circumstances, Blinken said, would the U.S. be responding to Russian demands against NATO expanding to Ukraine and Georgia, and for the redeployment of NATO forces inside the territory of NATO as it existed in 1997.

……………….Blinken’s restatement of a position he has pontificated on incessantly for more than a month now was not done for the benefit of Lavrov and the Russian government, but rather for an American and European audience which had been left scratching their collective heads over comments made the day before by President Joe Biden which suggested that the U.S. had a range of options it would consider depending on the size of a Russian incursion.

……………………………………   the lack of an agreed-upon strategy on how to deal with a Russian incursion/invasion of Ukraine was an open secret for everyone except the U.S. and European publics, who being fed a line of horse manure to assuage domestic political concerns over being seen as surrendering to Russian demands.

………………………….   Blinken has indicated that the U.S. has a toolbox filled with options that will deliver “massive consequences” to Russia should Russia invade Ukraine. These “tools” include military options, such as the reinforcement of NATO’s eastern flank with additional U.S. troops, and economic options, such as shutting down the NordStream 2 pipeline and cutting Russia off from the SWIFT banking system. All these options, Blinken notes, have the undivided support of U.S. European allies and partners.

…………   There’s only one problem—the toolbox, it turns out, is empty.

While the Pentagon is reportedly working on a series of military options to reinforce the existing U.S. military presence in eastern Europe, the actual implementation of these options would neither be timely nor even possible. One option is to move forces already in Europe; the U.S. Army maintains one heavy armored brigade in Europe on a rotational basis and has a light armored vehicle brigade and an artillery brigade stationed in Germany. Along with some helicopter and logistics support, that’s it.

Flooding these units into Poland would be for display purposes only—they represent an unsustainable combat force that would be destroyed within hours, if not days, in any large-scale ground combat against a Russian threat.

……………………….   In short, there is no viable military option, and Biden knows this.

…………………………………………. Propaganda About ‘Propaganda’

One of the great ironies of the current crisis is that, on the eve of the Blinken-Lavrov meeting in Geneva, the U.S. State Department published a report on Russian propaganda, decrying the role played by state-funded outlets such as RT and Sputnik in shaping public opinion in the United States and the West (in the interest of full disclosure, RT is one of the outlets that I write for.)

The fact that the State Department would publish such a report on the eve of a meeting which is all about propagating the big lie—that the U.S. has a plan for deterring “irresponsible Russian aggression”—while ignoring the hard truth: this is a crisis derived solely from the irresponsible policies of the U.S. and NATO over the past 30 years.

While a compliant mainstream American media unthinkingly repeated every warning and threat issued by Biden and Blinken to Russia over the course of the past few days, the Russian position has been largely ignored. Here’s a reminder of where Russia stands on its demands for security guarantees: “We are talking about the withdrawal of foreign forces, equipment, and weapons, as well as taking other steps to return to the set-up we had in 1997 in non-NATO countries,” the Russian Foreign Ministry declared in a bulletin published after the Lavrov-Blinken meeting. “This includes Bulgaria and Romania.”

The toolbox is empty. Russia knows this. Biden knows this. Blinken knows this. CNN knows this. The only ones who aren’t aware of this are the American people.

The consequences of a U.S. rejection of Russia’s demands will more than likely be war.

If you think the American people are ready to bear the burden of a war with Russia, think again.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.  https://consortiumnews.com/2022/01/22/ukraine-crisis-us-toolboxes-are-empty/

January 24, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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