By Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli
Any informed person starting by President Obama, understands that a NATO escalation by means of arming Ukraine is equated with serious risk of a military response from Russia.
My point being that a war-scenario of such dimension it has not been experienced since the missile crisis in Cuba in the sixties. Then, no one doubted that we were right in the brink of a war declaration, and nobody could exclude the possibility of a nuclear confrontation with the perspective of an holocaust.
Could anyone argue that the situation, with reference to those respects above, is not even worse now, amidst this re-edition of the cold war where its new “epicentre is right on the Russian borders”? Why the eventual proximity of missiles in Cuba would be assessed as feasible risk for nuclear all-war but not the actual presence of NATO-assisted and armed troops, not in the proximity of Russia but on its very borders?
Why did the world opinion, empathetical or not, understood President Kennedy when he issued the all-war warning to the Soviet Union because of the physical proximity of the “Russian threat”. And why would not foresee a similar stance by the president of a Russian nation beleaguered with NATO-armed troops on its actual borders?
The most possible scenario in the aftermath of US providing lethal weapons to Ukraine: Russian will most predictably increase support to the revolutionary forces in Donbass. But after new “ATO contra-offensives” boosted by the new delivered “heavier lethal weapons” is to be expected incursions of Ukraine troops not only on the perimeter of Russia borders but also inside Russian territory – as it was essayed in lesser scale during 2014. What would Russia do then? what would any sovereign nation would do?
US military are already in Ukraine and more troops are announced to be placed during the coming weeks in Europe in countries encircling Russia. This is what the commander of US forces in Europe, General Hodges, told recently:
The article in the New York Times 9 Feb 2015 (shown in the first image above) highlights that the area in which NATO would be escalating the conflict is of outmost strategic importance for Russia.
However, referring such escalation in the Ukraine war from NATO’s side as to a matter of “national security” for Russia would be more of a euphemism, or understatement. More appropriately, the situation has been converted for Russia a matter of survival, and in the triple context of
a) increasing of US and NATO troops in Europe – to be initiated during the next weeks – signifying a half-encircling of Russia; b) the economic sanctions; c) the (manipulated?) low-pricing of oil aimed partly to the detrimental of the Russian economy and the well being of its citizens, and partly to the political destabilization of the country. This last aim described by the Swedish Radio as a desired “system shift” (in plain words, the ousting of president Vladimir Putin). In fact, I have found the same term in analyses of the Russia situation in American media outlets traditionally associated with Pentagon hawks, such as Fox inc.
For my part, I have speculated in my blog and Twitter, that perhaps the Ukraine takeover by the fascist putsch of 2014 – which it was ostensibly initiated by design of the US embassy in Kiev – was a tactical step within a macro strategy aimed to the the political destabilization of the Russian political system and the replacement of the political elites in the fashion used in other countries of the neighbourhood. This goal would be only partly “geopolitical” – in the sense of expanding NATO revue. The US oligarchy has given clear demonstrations of the involvement of their own economic interest or personal gains – the pursuing to prey the Russian markets in Europe, starting in Ukraine.
At any rate, hawks at both the US and EU – and this includes prominent Swedish interests – have in their soberbia acted as a lynching mob against Russia and its leaders
Professor Stephen F. Cohen from New York University has put it brilliantly. He concurs with Gorbachev on that NATO has started a new cold war with Russia, and he marks that the epicentre of this new cold war is not any longer Berlin, but it has moved by the US to the very frontiers of Russia.
That is why US President Obama has expressly detailed that if the U.S. is to provide Ukraine with weapons, those could not be used in offensive operations against Russia. However:
President Obama’s statement is in itself a contradiction for three reasons:
The Pentagon doctrine of “lethal weapons to Ukraine” includes “heavy weaponry” (see my Twitter January-timeline). Heavy weapons such as artillery etc. are in the to the highest degree offensive weapons that can be used in certain cases to defend positions. Not he other way around.
One reason adduced for the “need of helping the defence of Ukraine” is precisely the acknowledgment of Poroshenko’s argument that Ukraine is not only under attack by “pro-Russian separatists”, but by very Russian troops which would have already invaded Ukraine. In other words, the war is with Russia.
The Ukraine conflict has a documented record of incursions of Ukraine army units over the border with Russia, with killing of Russians inside Russian territory. Providing that army with “heavier lethal weapons” make Obama’s statement a practical joke.