Majority of the US intelligence community assumed that Russia’s operation in Ukraine would be ending in days with quick victory for Moscow. Similarly, Pentagon had made extremely poor assessment of Afghan military, which leaders in Washington thought would be able to hold off the Taliban and other jihadist forces for months after the US and NATO withdrawal.
While US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are looking for “total victory” in Ukraine by defeating Russian forces, Western allies of the United States, such as France, Germany and other NATO nations are showing great caution. Although the Western and NATO nations are giving Kiev military and humanitarian assistance, they do not want to step into Joe Biden and Boris Johnson’s intention of turning Ukraine war into a grand conflict involving the whole of the west against Russia. At the same time, some analysts are seeing the Ukraine war as Western nation’s testing ground where they are expecting to see if Russian President Vladimir Putin uses nuclear howitzers. In their opinion, “Western hawks have spent their lives practicing for such a confrontation. They are eager to test Putin’s mettle – at a safe distance from home. The hawks know Putin will not withdraw from all of Ukraine and want to see how far Putin goes with the nuclear option”. Meaning, President Volodymyr Zelensky or Ukrainian people are unaware that they have actually been turned into “guinea pig lab” of the western nations and until they are sure of Vladimir Putin not firing nuclear howitzers, they may not encourage Zelensky towards ending the conflict through negotiation.
Another important factor that misses the memories of everyone is the war histories. In 2001, the then US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld advised President George W Bush to go in, punish the Soviet Union and immediately get out of Afghanistan. But it took more than 21 years for the United States in continuing war in Afghanistan, first against the Soviet forces and then the Taliban and other Islamist militants and finally embrace a humiliating retreat. Similarly, had the 1982 Falkland war been settled by the United Nations trusteeship before the San Carlos landing – as it almost was after the sinking of HMS Sheffield, hundreds of lives could have been saved, not to mention the US$ 75 million a year still being spent on Fortress Falklands.
We need to note, whenever a war starts getting prolonged, media continues spreading poison sabotaging the prospect of settlement with the cry stating “too many have died” and compromise is not any more an option. For example, as the United States and Britain were told in 2003 that Saddam Hussain was planning a missile assault and chemical warfare, similar propaganda is continuing today in the media with the aim of portraying Vladimir Putin as a threat to the security of the western nations.
Current scenarios prove, Joe Biden or Boris Johnson actually are not willing to suggest Volodymyr Zelensky to sit with Moscow and reach into an immediate settlement thus making an end to the war. Instead, for example, when Johnson recently visited Kiev and paid homage to the fallen Ukrainians, everyone must have sensed, the entire episode was a made-up game. Even the wall, where we saw photographs of some Ukrainians seems to have been manufactured hours before Boris Johnson had stepped into the country. President Zelensky’s body language was as if he was playing a role in a movie.
The Western and NATO bluff
Political analysts say, following the disintegration of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev, which was followed by the collapse of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, most of the nations in Eastern Europe had witnessed fall of Communist governments, which had marked both the beginning of the end of the Cold War conflict and the inception point of a new era of cooperative possibilities between East and West.
With the breakup of the Soviet Union it became clear to pretty much everyone involved in the diplomatic and political instigation of these major changes, that NATO had become obsolete. Washington and Europe met with Mikhail Gorbachev to create a new security pact that aimed to bring Russia into the cooperative fold. The Reagan administration, along with their West German allies, promised Gorbachev that once German unification was underway NATO would, for certain, cease expanding itself in an eastward direction.
This promise to end the expansion of NATO, which France and Great Britain also agreed to, seemed to signal the onset of a new era of global cooperation. It was agreed then and there by all parties present that a de-escalation of military spending and weapons production was in order now that the Cold War was winding down.
In the years that followed, the war industry completely went back on the aforementioned promises. In fact, a massive eastward expansion of NATO was set in motion along with an unprecedented increase in military spending, weapons production and global weapons sales. NATO added Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia to its fold.
These countries were all forced to restructure and reconfigure their militaries to become compatible with NATO’s military alignment policies. Most of the aforementioned countries achieved this realignment via large loans, creating debt and dependence on corporate lenders.
Over the course of the last two-plus decades NATO has become a multi-billion-dollar cash cow for huge corporations that depend on the Cold War for profit. There has been no new era of cooperation with Russia, as promised by all who were involved in setting the new age of supposed partnership in motion. On the contrary, NATO has ignored Russia’s constant warnings and requests to stop its campaign of expansion. Instead NATO, led by the US, has pushed itself right up to Russia’s border, all the while generating a steady stream of new Cold War propaganda, demonizing Russia while proceeding to encircle its territory.
While the Obama administration had prudently refused to sell weapons to Kiev, this act of cautiousness was subsequently cast aside by Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Over the past six years, weapons from the United States and Britain have been pouring into Ukraine. According to analysts, by flooding Ukraine with weapons (which is what the US did in the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia) over the past few years and refusing Russia’s constant requests that NATO drop its plan to annex Ukraine, an extremely volatile and deeply dangerous situation was created for Ukraine. A situation that has basically amounted to the sacrifice of the people of Ukraine. Such myopic and reckless actions of the US and Britain in particular had posed a serious threat to Russia’s security and sovereignty.
Over the past three decades, dozens of diplomats and historians have warned that a situation like the one we are seeing now in Ukraine was inevitable if NATO expansion continued. George Kennan who was considered by many to be the most respected voice on the matter of US-Soviet relations said in 1998:
“I think it is the beginning of a new cold war. I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the founding fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. [NATO expansion] was simply a lighthearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs. What bothers me is how superficial and ill-informed the whole Senate debate was. I was particularly bothered by the references to Russia as a country dying to attack Western Europe.
Don’t people understand? Our differences in the Cold War were with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime. And Russia’s democracy is as far advanced, if not farther, as any of these countries we’ve just signed up to defend from Russia. Of course, there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are — but this is just wrong”.
As the Western policymakers and those biased media are claiming Vladimir Putin and Russia are dying to attack Western European nations as well as the United States, it is not difficult for any well-informed individual to understand – these are mere propaganda stunts intentionally spread with ulterior agenda. Those fueling such propaganda are actually serving the purpose of arms manufacturers by bringing back the conspiracy theories of the Cold War era.
To my understanding, Russia or President Vladimir Putin do not pose any threat to the Western nations. In contrast, it is the Western nations and NATO, which are consistently conspiring to incite war by putting Russia under security threats.
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