Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Unlocked: NATO prolongs the Ukraine proxy war, and global havoc

With diplomacy thwarted, the US and its allies plan for “open-ended” military and economic warfare against Russia — despite acknowledging that “the most dangerous moments are yet to come.”

As has been apparent since the Ukraine crisis erupted, US planning for open-ended proxy warfare against Russia has led it to sabotage any prospect of a negotiated end.

Substack Aaron Maté 22 Sept 22, Russia has announced plans to mobilize an additional 300,000 troops for the war in Ukraine. In his speech unveiling the expanded war effort, Vladimir Putin vowed to achieve his main goal of the “liberation of Donbas,” and issued a thinly veiled nuclear threat in the process. The move comes days ahead of planned referendums in breakaway Ukrainian areas to formalize Russian annexation.

Russia’s escalation ensures that the fighting is entering an even more dangerous phase. While Russia bears legal and moral responsibility for its invasion, recent developments underscore that NATO leaders have shunned opportunities to prevent further catastrophe and chosen instead to fuel it.

Putin’s announcement comes just after the Ukrainian military’s routing of Russian forces from Kharkiv, which relied extensively on US planning, weaponry and intelligence, sparked triumphant declarations that the tide has turned.

According to The Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum, “Americans and Europeans need to prepare for a Ukrainian victory,” one so overwhelming that it may well bring “about the end of Putin’s regime.”

Beyond the chorus of emboldened neoconservatives, Western officials are less sanguine.

“Certainly it’s a military setback” for Russia, a US official said of the Kharkiv retreat to the Washington Post. “I don’t know if I could call it a major strategic loss at this point.” Germany’s defense chief, General Eberhard Zorn, said that while Ukraine “can win back places or individual areas of the frontlines,” overall, its forces can “not push Russia back over a broad front.”

Whether or not it marked a major strategic loss for Russia, the battle in Kharkiv is already a major victory for NATO leaders seeking to prolong their proxy war in Ukraine and economic warfare next door.

Ukraine’s expulsion of Russian forces in the northeast, the New York Times reports, has “amplified voices in the West demanding that more weapons be sent to Ukraine so that it could win.”

“Despite Ukrainian forces’ startling gains in the war against Russia,” the Washington Post adds, “the Biden administration anticipates months of intense fighting with wins and losses for each side, spurring U.S. plans for an open-ended campaign with no prospect for a negotiated end in sight.”

As has been apparent since the Ukraine crisis erupted, US planning for open-ended proxy warfare against Russia has led it to sabotage any prospect of a negotiated end.

The US rejection of diplomacy around Ukraine has been newly substantiated by former White House Russia expert Fiona Hill. Citing “multiple former senior U.S. officials,” Hill reports that in April of this year “Russian and Ukrainian negotiators appeared to have tentatively agreed on the outlines of a negotiated interim settlement.” Under this framework, Russia would withdraw to its pre-invasion position, while Ukraine would pledge not to join NATO “and instead receive security guarantees from a number of countries.”

In confirming that US officials were aware of this tentative agreement, Hill bolsters previous news that Washington’s junior partner in London was enlisted to thwart it. As Ukrainian media reported, citing sources close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Kiev in April and relayed the message that Russia “should be pressured, not negotiated with.” Johnson also informed Zelensky that “even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on [security] guarantees with Putin,” his Western patrons “are not.” The talks promptly collapsed.

In his speech announcing the expanded war effort, Putin invoked this episode. After the invasion began, he said, Ukrainian officials “reacted very positively to our proposals… After certain compromises were reached, Kyiv was actually given a direct order to disrupt all agreements.”

Having undermined the prospect of a negotiated peace in the war’s early weeks, proxy warriors in Washington are openly celebrating their success.

“I like the structural path we’re on here,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham recently declared. “As long as we help Ukraine with the weapons they need and the economic support, they will fight to the last person.”

Graham’s avowed willingness to expend every “last person” in Ukraine to fight Russia is in line with a broader US strategy that views the entire world as subordinate to its war aims. As the Washington Post reported in June, the White House is willing to “countenance even a global recession and mounting hunger” in order to hand Russia a costly defeat. In Ukraine, this now means also countenancing the threat of nuclear disaster, as the crisis surrounding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has laid bare.

The prevailing willingness to sacrifice civilian well-being extends to the US public, as National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has newly made clear. Appearing at the Aspen Security Conference, Sullivan was asked if he is worried about the “American people’s staying power” on the Ukraine proxy war, amid “criticism that we’re spending billions and billions to support Ukraine, and not spending it here.”

 “Fundamentally not,” Sullivan responded. “It’s very important for Putin to understand what exactly he’s up against from the point of view of the United States’ staying power.” That staying power, Sullivan explained, was cemented in the $40 billion war funding measure overwhelmingly approved by Congress (including every self-identified progressive Democrat) in May……………………………………….

Allied NATO leaders are also vocally countenancing the Ukraine proxy war’s costs on their domestic populations. In response to the European sanctions, Russia has now halted gas deliveries to the EU via the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Having previously relied on Russia for close to 40 percent of its gas needs, European industries are facing layoffs, factory closures, and higher energy bills that “are pushing consumers to near poverty,” the Financial Times reports. https://mate.substack.com/p/unlocked-nato-prolongs-the-ukraine?utm_source=post-email-title&isFreemail=true&utm_medium=email

September 22, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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