Vladimir Putin declared recently that if Ukraine joined NATO, it could trigger a war between Russia and the alliance.
Could Ukraine be a fuse for a war between Russia and the United States?
When Richard Nixon was dealing with the Soviets he used to say, "You have to convince them that you are crazy enough to start a nuclear war."
What is worrisome that Joe Biden has to convince no one.
It has been known for decades that the eastward expansion of NATO was perceived by Moscow as a challenge to Russia’s national security.
Nevertheless, NATO kept marching eastward ostensibly to "strengthen democracy and protect other nations from dangers of aggression" until it almost encircled the Russian European borders. This time Moscow amassed an impressive display of firepower, ensuring that its demands were heard.
Washington, caught off guard by intense Moscow backlash, is neither incapable of substantiating geopolitical motivation for the eastward expansion nor explaining its implacable hostility toward Russia.
George F. Kennan, a prominent American diplomat and author of the concepts of "Cold War" and "Containment," back in 1948 unveiled the motivation when he wrote, "Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy."
In his farewell address in 1961, President Eisenhower warned, " . . . we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
So, it's not about Ukraine. Ukraine is a helpless tool of the United States.
It's about the American economy and NATO, an anachronism of the cold war, which fears a peaceful world and craves conflicts to justify its existence.
Since the United States is a major contributor to NATO militarily and financially, the Europeans conceded the central stage to the U.S.
Notwithstanding the foray of European emissaries to Moscow and Kyiv, it is between Biden and Putin to pursue their respective political objectives.
Biden, shaken by Afghanistan, is unable to decide which he fears more – the danger of confrontation with Russia or the means needed to avoid it.
His challenge is to preserve NATO’s purpose and legitimacy.
Putin, on the other hand, avoided the issue when he stated that Russia doesn’t want to invade Ukraine. The issue is not of "wants" but "needs."
To resolve a host of problems, Putin needs to install a friendly Ukrainian government, end the hostilities that the Russian populations of Eastern Ukraine have endured during the last seven years of war, split NATO and demonstrate its uselessness. Also, he needs to solve the North Stream 2 issue. With Kyiv, on his side, it wouldn’t matter which pipeline supplies gas to Europe. And finally, Moscow would be in a position to negotiate the removal of sanctions in exchange for withdrawal.
In case of invasion America and the allies threatened to impose the most severe economic sanctions. Moscow took notice and turned to China as a result of this "sage" strategy.
The two countries bound by mutual necessities are fostering economic and military alliances. Should it come to fruition, the U.S will be facing a formidable adversary politically, economically, and militarily.
The Russo-Sino alliance would comprise enormous human resources, a vast territory rich in minerals, and industrial capabilities rival to the United States.
This anti-American alliance would have serious leverage over the U.S. economy. The U.S. is currently imports over 50 percent of nickel, about 80 percent of platinum, 80 percent of cobalt, and nearly 40 percent of copper, not to mention the oil. Most of those materials come from Russia and China.
To make matters worse, in the effort to stop climate change, America constrains its oil and gas production, shutting down the mining industry, making itself even more dependent on Russia and China for energy and raw materials. Could it come to what Kennan called "an unacceptable shock to the American economy," although of a different kind?
In fact, commodities have shaped the politics of the 20th century and were the culprit of bloody military conflicts. The oil embargo the United States imposed on Japan in July 1941 forced the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7 of that year.
As long as the military-industrial complex shapes American foreign policy, confrontations with Russia will be getting more dangerous and less predictable.
The democracies are in no position to go to war over Ukraine. However, paraphrasing Carl von Clausewitz, it is easy to see how the current American politics could continue by other means.
Alexander G. Markovsky is a scholar of Marxism and a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, a conservative think tank that examines national security, energy, and other public policy issues. He is the author of "Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat Communism, She Adopted It.” Read Alexander G. Markovsky's Reports — More Here.
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