ISSN 2330-717X

America’s Muddle Wars Continue – OpEd

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Ukraine crisis: So who is fooling whom?

America since the 19th century has been habitual in interfering both overtly and covertly, in regime changes across the world. Involved mainly in Latin America earlier.  At the beginning of the 20th century and during World War II manipulated and installed governments the world over.America’s President Joe Biden finally withdrew complete US troops from Afghanistan on 15 August 2021 bringing an end to the disastrous 20 years Afghan War,  where around $45 billion was spent annually. Afghan and Iraq Wars possibly costed more than $8 trillion America could not sit ideal and they started the year 2022 creating another muddle Ukraine war like situation by declaring an “Impending Russian Invasion.” The current Ukraine crisis is not essentially a Russian-Ukrainian problem, but at this juncture can be termed as US hyped and instigated crisis . US aims to down size Russian hold, as well as expand the NATO eastwards. US needs to take advantage of the Ukraine crisis to divide Russia and Europe, consolidate NATO and enhance its control over it.

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America has waged wars the world over big and small and losing the most Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.US CIA backed coups for regime changes took place around the world during the second half of the 20th century commencing with Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Congo in 1960, Dominican Republic in 1961, South Vietnam in 1963 and Brazil in 1964. America’s war in Vietnam was waged with the idea of ‘containing’ communism.

What was President Eisenhower Doctrine 1957 leading to these events? Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, a country could request American economic or US military assistance if it was being threatened by armed aggression from another state. Eisenhower singled out the Soviet threat in his doctrine by authorizing the commitment of US forces “to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of such nations, requesting such aid against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by international communism.”

The Ukrainian crisis is less about Ukraine but more about gas supply. It’s about Germany and, in particular, a pipeline that connects Germany to Russia called Nord Stream 2. It is now almost fully-operational and ready to pump. Germans will have a reliable source of gas energy while Russia will get a boost to their gas revenues. This a win-win situation for both parties is not liked by  the US Foreign Policy establishment.This is why the Biden administration opposes Nord Stream. It’s not just a pipeline, it’s a window into the future bringing Europe and Asia  closer while leaving the US on the limb.

Having said all about the American history of poking its nose in all corners of the world they smelt the fertile situation in the vast fields of Ukraine the second largest country of Europe hugging their adversary Russia on the east led by Vladimir Putin. Ukraine, has 77.8% Ukrainians and 17.3% people of Russian origin. 

Fact sheet Ukraine and Russia:

In 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev made an agreement with Secretary of State James Baker, that in return for Gorbachev agreeing to the unification of Germany and permitting the independence of many of the nations within the USSR, there would be no NATO expansion east of Germany. Ukraine was specifically mentioned as part of this agreement.

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In direct violation of this agreement in the late 1990’s, NATO expanded into Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and the Baltic countries. Today, there is a major military buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border and increased sales of weapons to the Ukraine. US leaders seems over worried about a Russian invasion.

Russia provided gas to Ukraine, which it stopped in 2015, forcing a more expensive import from Poland and Hungary. Overland pipelines from Siberia to Europe cross through Ukraine, yielding transit benefits. Russia now intends to divert gas flows and has recently signed an agreement with China to supply its Siberian gas.

Ukraine belongs to the world-class regions most rich in mineral resources. In recent years, the large amount of iron, manganese, ilmenite-zirconium, uranium ore and coal are being mined in Ukraine. 

Ukraine is the only buffer zone left between Russia and NATO. Russia has increased its military build-up along the 1300mile border with Ukraine. US mainstream media and the leaders made the world to believe, that Russia will invade Ukraine. 

Ukrainians would desire to remain away from the control and influence of Russia, be in control of its own destiny and also be a member of the European Economic Union.

Ukraine due to its voluntary massive demilitarization is largely indefensible. The present deployments across the border, are beyond the capability of Ukraine to match.

The US does not have combat forces present in the theatre and as such US is keen on Ukraine NATO membership. US is thereby dragging NATO and Ukraine into an unwanted war on the Ukrainian soil.

The US is a nuclear superpower and has an incomparable ‘intelligent’ smart systems to fight a ‘no contact’ war.

There are no short-term alternatives to Russian gas. As much as 50% of the EU gas supplies are from Russia. Some countries are 100% dependent and significant economies like Germany and France are also heavily dependent on Russian gas.     

Leading European powers France and Germany are trying hard  to end the crisis peacefully and to bridge the differences between the nuclear superpowers, but without appeasing Putin or angering Biden. But like the US, EU countries have vowed to take massive punitive measures against Russia in case of an attack on Ukraine. France and Germany both have so far avoided sending arms to Ukraine to avoid provoking Russia.

After weeks of intensive diplomacy, the crisis in Ukraine is at a critical juncture. It may turn towards a military confrontation or towards a negotiated resolution. Either way, Ukraine, Eastern Europe and Russia are likely to pay the price with colossal collateral damage. They would have to make the big concessions for peace to avoid war.

In a world where Germany and Russia are friends and trading partners, there will be no need for US military bases and US weapons and missile systems, and ultimately no need for NATO. This development will hurt US in the long run.

The partnership between China and Russia though not an alliance at the moment but the two offer solid support to each other and give jitters to the US. Ultimately, the US does not want another dominant country to emerge. China is the world’s second-largest economy and has sufficient military defense capabilities, while Russia is a formidable military power with a vast resources. 

“Bait them into War” is the game being played by the US and Russia with Ukraine as the playing fields. Biden claims from the beginning that Putin is ready to invade where as Putin from Winter games onwards has been stating that there are no plans to invade then why this force buildup! The Biden team wants  to induce Putin into  a military response and send his troops across the border into Ukraine. If Putin takes the bait thrown by Biden it gives the US an excuse to teach Russia a lesson. What the US essentially desires is to maintain the upper hand in the world.

Ukrainian’s attempt to be a NATO member earlier will have to be shed to have peace with Russia. There should be a negotiated settlement that NATO will not make Ukraine as a member now or in future and no US or NATO troops will be stationed in Ukraine. In return Russia is likely to accept the sovereignty of Ukraine and not interfere in its domestic politics.The only silver lining is Ukrainian Crises is being discussed in the UN and diplomatic channels are yet open. One hopes Russia and Ukraine do not bite the bait and NATO nations go for peaceful negotiations as they have experienced the World Wars destruction of their country side and resources.

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

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