Aletho News


Why Isn’t the US Army Moving to Occupy Western Ukraine?

Anti-Empire | March 20, 2022

The no-fly zone idea is totally insane. It means that Americans start shooting first and that war is therefore unavoidable. When you’re facing an opponent with as many fighters as Russia has you don’t wait for them to get in the air to engage, you try to destroy them on the ground which means sending missiles onto Russian airbases which means WW3.

Americans have this idea that you can use aircraft and have something that is less than a war, and it is only when you send ground troops in that things really become serious. But in this case, it’s actually the opposite. The air part is the more provocative part.

Next to the “no-fly zone”, the Polish idea of sending in NATO ground troops is actually slightly saner.

For example, the Russians are nowhere near the Carpathian mountains. NATO could theoretically move into Ukraine’s Carpathian region, dig into the mountain passes, and block off Ukraine to the west of the mountains without immediately triggering a Russian-American war.

If all went well, the US and vassals could then proceed to move into Galicia, and then again into Volhynia (and perhaps Budjak). They could conceivably tiptoe into occupying the entire Western quarter of Ukraine.

Kiev would be happy to invite them, it would serve to free up some Ukrainian troops for service elsewhere, and it would act as a guarantee that the Russians can not overrun at least this westernmost quarter of Ukraine. (And the imagery of Lviv welcoming the Americans with flowers would be just what they are suckers for.)

The US has already done a similar thing in Syria in blocking off Syrian-Russian forces from left-bank Euphrates and the area around al-Tanf. So this is not entirely unprecedented. The difference is that Ukraine is much more important to the Russians than Syria is. And that in Syria the Americans were there first so they regarded it as “theirs” and the Russians as the newbie interlopers.

Nonetheless, I think that at least for the next several months such a move is thankfully off the table for the following reasons:

1. Joe Biden was born in 1942 and was 15 when the USSR launched humanity’s first satellite into orbit. As someone who lived through the entire Cold War one thing he understands is that the one thing you don’t play around with is a global thermonuclear war. Not even a little bit.

2. The American voter wouldn’t like it and the midterms are coming up. It’s one thing to virtue signal with calls for a “no-fly zone” when you don’t even know what that means (apparently it’s a button you press that makes Russians unable to fly), but mention “US boots on the ground” and “war in Ukraine” in the same sentence and the reaction might be very different.

3. It would play into Moscow’s (not necessarily incorrect) narrative that this is a Russian struggle as much against the US as against Kiev. It could move the Russian public to support the war to a greater degree where it was willing to bear greater sacrifices for it, and tolerate greater use of firepower in Ukraine.

4. The Americans don’t necessarily want to prevent the Russians from moving into the most nationalistic parts of Ukraine. The US has been salivating over the prospect of an “insurgency” in Russian-occupied Ukraine that ultimately causes a Russian collapse the same way that in their minds Afghanistan caused the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is doubtful they would want to prevent the Russians from moving into regions where this hypothetical insurgency could be expected to be strongest.

5. It’s a distraction from containing China. A lot of people in Washington don’t want the US to get too involved in the sideshow of thwarting Russia in Europe if only because it would take focus away from what they see as the primary contest that is going to decide the winner of the 21st century.

6. In the long run it would take an enormous number of troops. In the immediate, you can block off the Russians from parts of Ukraine with a light tripwire force. What would keep the Russians from overrunning them isn’t their strength but that they’re American. However in the long term if you want any kind of stability you would have to match the Russian numbers. So then you’re back to a divided and heavily militarized Germany situation, except now it’s in Ukraine. And every infantry division you have in Ukraine is one less missile brigade in the Pacific.

7. There is probably no way DC could get the entire NATO behind a foray into Ukraine. So it wouldn’t be a true NATO operation, but a coalition of the willing from within NATO. That means that if 10 or 20 years later some Russian-American scuffle arises in divided Ukraine the Europeans wouldn’t necessarily be on the hook for it. That’s the last thing the Imperial Capital wants.

Aside from this big picture stuff, there are also more immediate reasons why the US would nonetheless probably be crazy to do it:

1. Even if they can’t march into it, the Russians will keep shooting cruise missiles into western Ukraine, so how does the US react? Israel and to a lesser extent the US keep shooting missiles into Syria where the Russians are present and it’s messy.

2. What happens when the Ukrainians inevitably start using the US-occupied sector as a safe zone to launch raids from and conduct artillery attacks from?

3. The Americans wouldn’t want to move in without air cover of their own. They would bring anti-aircraft systems and fighters. So you’re in a situation where US and Russians are constantly illuminating each other with radars, but now it’s in the context of a hot war and with no deconfliction. Incidents, where a jumpy US pilot destroys a radar station or is shot down himself, are inevitable and there’s a high likelihood of the situation devolving into an air war exactly as if a “no-fly zone” had been declared over entire Ukraine.

March 20, 2022 - Posted by | Militarism | , ,


  1. Please allow Putin to prosecute his police action to take out the trash (neo-Nazis & Zionist communists) in Ukraine. His is a strategic operation designed to minimize collateral damages.

    “soldiers of opportunity” in Ukraine

    Azov neo-Nazis call for killing of Ukrainian children–if they are Russian.


    Comment by rediscover911com | March 20, 2022 | Reply

    • Are you implying that Putin is a glorified garbage man?


      Comment by aletho | March 20, 2022 | Reply

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