U.S.-NATO threats ignore ‘red lines’ in Ukraine

Front lines are collapsing for the Ukrainian army, whole units surrendering. Top commanders are fired. Faced with complete disarray of the U.S.-NATO instigated war in Ukraine, U.S. militarists are doubling down.

Brussels, Belgium, where NATO’s headquarters is located. Feb. 26, 2023.

According to the Ukrainian constitution, President Volodymir Zelensky’s term in office is over. But he remains in power by martial law. This has led Ukrainian workers to hold strikes and work stoppages. But this news is ignored in the Western media.

A national truckers’ work slowdown inside Ukraine moved traffic to a 5-mile-an hour crawl and halted grain exports based on national anger at the expanded draft mobilization made by Zelensky, now an unelected president. (yahoonews.com, May 18) 

Ukraine’s combat units are so severely understaffed that the government would have to triple its mobilization in order to continue the current level of fighting, according to Eric Ciaramella, former U.S. National Intelligence Council official. The draft can’t fill the current gap, nor can even kidnapping men off the streets.

U.S. failure on two fronts

U.S. efforts to dismember Russia appear to have utterly failed. Economic sanctions, price caps, the protracted war on Russia’s border and tens of billions of dollars, along with hundreds of U.S. and other NATO member troops sent as trainers, plus mercenary contractors can’t hold the corrupt Ukrainian military machine together. 

At the same time, on the world stage the one strategic ally of the U.S. in Western Asia, Israel, has utterly failed in its genocidal war on Gaza. Both setbacks mean that U.S. political dominance is being challenged in fundamental ways. 

U.S. strategy toward Russia aimed to partition and dismember the country, destabilize the border and block China’s Belt and Road development plans in Central Asia.

U.S. strategists considered all these steps crucial in preventing People’s China from surpassing the U.S. economically. The opposite has happened. What imperialist strategists have warned about for decades and sought to prevent is now the reality. 

China and Russia’s relations of intense cooperation and a merge of common interests is unfolding steadily. This was further cemented during the very warm state meeting between China’s President Xi Jin-Ping and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on May 16. 

That means U.S.-NATO plans are in total disarray. Rather than reconsider their strategy, which has brought setbacks and defeats in Ukraine and for Israel in Gaza, this has led to an ominous escalation in U.S. military threats. 

The threat to dangerously escalate the war in Ukraine arises from the plans to give Ukraine high-speed missiles and allow the Kyiv regime to use the weapons to strike inside Russia. This threat is not just from a single statement or one delivery of weapons.

The statements promoting strikes with the U.S.-supplied weapons to targets inside Russia are being made directly by President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who is a former prime minister of Norway, but acts as if he were a U.S. official.

Ukraine at center of 75th Anniversary NATO Summit

NATO officials are frantic that Ukrainian defense lines of Kharkov, the second-largest city in Ukraine, located in the northeast of the country, are about to fall. 

Kharkov is a majority Russian-speaking city. It is the industrial, energy, science, rail and transport hub. It lies east of the Dnieper River on the Donetsk-Donbass Canal. Kharkov is the key industrial center still under Ukrainian control east of the Dnieper River.

According to a May 16 New York Times article, fear of Kharkov’s imminent collapse is what is driving U.S. threats. This loss is decisive in any control of Ukraine’s east, including the entire Donbass industrial region. 

Adding to the urgency is that at the 75th Anniversary NATO Summit, July 9-11 in Washington, D.C., NATO plans to unveil a “Security Package” for Ukraine involving 32 countries’ bilateral agreements with Ukraine. These bilateral agreements would serve as a bridge for Ukraine’s entry into NATO.

Ukrainian entry into NATO would allow Kyiv to invoke the alliance’s collective defense clause, potentially triggering a broader regional conflict with Russia. During an April visit to Kyiv, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg vowed that “Ukraine will become a member of NATO.” (defensenews.com, June 3)

All these elaborate plans would be dashed if Ukrainian defense lines crumbled before the NATO Summit in Washington, D.C. This 75th anniversary NATO Summit is a grand plan to showcase U.S. and Western imperialist dominance.

NATO’s long-range missiles target Russia

NATO’s dangerous escalation is galloping forward on several fronts.

Stoltenberg was explicit: “We are giving weapons to Kyiv and consider them Ukrainian from this moment, so Ukraine can do whatever it wants with these arms, in part, strike at Russian territory where it deems necessary.” (bne IntelliNews, May 31)

Previously, the United States, Germany and other NATO members had forbidden the Ukrainian military from using the weapons delivered to them to strike targets inside Russia.

In the past, the Ukrainian military command had violated NATO’s official statements and used U.S. Stinger air defense missiles, M142 HIMARS, MLRS and other multiple launch rockets to strike the Belgorod region of Russia. The Russian Army’s air defense forces destroyed more than 10 missiles in the sky over Belgorod and displayed the U.S. stamped shells. 

Weeks ago, the British government allowed Ukraine to use its long-range Storm Shadow missile systems for attacks anywhere in Russia. Now France and Germany have taken the same position as Britain. The Storm Shadow cruise missile has a range of over 180 miles, triple the range of the missiles Ukraine has used until now. 

French President Emmanuel Macron further escalated the threat by stating the West must not exclude sending NATO ground troops to Ukraine.

On May 27, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, announced that he signed an agreement to allow French military instructors into the country. He urged other Western countries to join the French initiative.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that French instructors, along with other representatives of military and special services of European countries, were already functioning in Ukraine. On June 4, Lavrov went a step further and warned that French military forces in Ukraine would be a “legitimate target for Russian forces.” (AP news, June 4) 

The threats and the actual attacks are escalating. On May 26, Ukrainian drones targeted a second long-range military radar site deep inside Russia, over 900 miles from the closest territory held by Kyiv’s forces. This is an early warning radar designed to detect hypersonic ballistic missiles and aircraft up to 6,200 miles away.  Russia is a major nuclear power. (Reuters, May 27)

Internationally, many voices are sounding the alarm. Such attacks are of the most extreme danger, because the slightest targeting slip up, a misinterpretation of instructions, a rogue operator on the ground, could lead to a global conflagration.

These attacks require a satellite-based military network that Ukraine does not have.  Only U.S. and NATO forces under U.S. command are capable of conducting such attacks against Russia. 

Divisions appear inside NATO

Divisions within the U.S. commanded and dominated NATO military alliance are appearing. Frustration and failure are intensifying the infighting even among members of the G7 and major NATO participants. 

Many NATO countries’ leaders, reacting to mass pressure from below, have already sharply expressed opposition to U.S. total support of Israel’s genocidal campaign against Palestine.

Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini objected to Stoltenberg’s call for allies to lift restrictions on using Western-supplied weapons against targets in Russia. “It is out of the question to lift the ban on Kyiv to strike military targets in Russia. … We want peace, not the antechamber of World War III” (Ukrainian Pravda, May 27)

Italian Foreign Minister Antonia Tajani reinforced this position: “We will send no Italian soldier to Ukraine, and the military tools that Italy sends are used inside Ukraine. We are working for peace.” (Italian news agency Ansa, as reported by European Pravda, May 25)

On May 28, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told Biden during talks in Washington, D.C., that he rules out the use of Belgium’s weapons, including F-16 fighter jets, outside Ukraine. To reinforce his point, De Croo reminded the reporters that the bilateral security agreement Belgium signed with Ukraine means, “We are sending 30 F-16s, and we will thus become the biggest supplier of fighter aircraft for the Ukrainian air force. But the agreement is very clear. It is about fighter aircraft that can be used by the Ukrainians on Ukrainian territory.” (belganewsagency.eu, May 31)

Phony ‘Peace Summit’

Zelensky’s effort to call a “Peace Summit” on June 15 and 16 in Lucerne, Switzerland, exposes Ukraine’s dwindling support. The “Peace Summit” bars Russian participation. The effort is so flimsy that not even Biden is bothering to attend.

In desperation, Zelensky has blamed China’s decision not to participate as the reason other countries are ignoring the phony event.

Russian Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed the Lucerne summit, saying, “This conference in Switzerland has no meaning. The only meaning it can have is to try to preserve this anti-Russian bloc which is in the process of crumbling.”

Silence continues to prevail in Western corporate media regarding the four negotiation offers made by President Putin in the past two weeks.

RAND Corporation: ‘Pour it on’

The Rand Corporation, a powerful think tank for the major military industries, confirms the cynical calculations that justify war profits, regardless of the danger.

U.S. escalation will push the Europeans to ante up, the Rand article said. Even more ominous: “From a narrow U.S. perspective, greater U.S. involvement is an opportunity to test new capabilities and gain experience helping a partner facing a numerically superior foe. Such experience could be very relevant for helping Taiwan resist Chinese aggression.”  (Rand, May 22, defenseone.com, “How to win in Ukraine: pour it on, and don’t worry about escalation”)

Russia warns NATO

President Putin delivered Russia’s strongest warning to date against the NATO escalation. He chose a meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with top Uzbek officials. With 37 million people, Uzbekistan is the second most populous country of the former Soviet Union.

The Russian delegation to Tashkent included nearly half of the key Russian government ministers, heads of regions and Cabinet ministers from both Russia and Uzbekistan. It was held to move forward with joint plans of industrial cooperation, energy and infrastructure.

At a large press conference following the meetings, Putin said, “Long-range precision weapons cannot be used without space-based reconnaissance. … Final target selection and what is known as launch mission can only be made by highly skilled specialists who rely on this technical reconnaissance data. It can happen without the participation of the Ukrainian military.

“Launching other systems, such as ATACMS, for example,” Putin continued, “also relies on space reconnaissance data. Targets are identified and automatically communicated to the relevant crews. … The mission is put together by representatives of NATO countries, not the Ukrainian military. This unending escalation can lead to serious consequences. If Europe were to face those serious consequences, what will the United States do, considering our strategic arms parity? It is hard to tell.

“Presidential election is coming soon, and the current authorities want to confirm their status as an empire. Many in the United States do not like this, do not want to be an empire and bear the imperial burden.” (For the entire news conference, see en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/74132)

General Ivan Timofeev, Director of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), warned: “NATO is spending ten times as much as Russia — if not more — on defense. It’s certainly a dangerous scenario.” (Tass, May 30) 

This enormous expenditure is not sufficient to save the Ukrainian government, built on a U.S. orchestrated coup in 2014, from total collapse. 

Rather than reassess their deteriorating global position, U.S. strategists seem determined to put the fate of the world at risk.

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