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Ukraine war tolls death knell for NATO

BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | DECEMBER 25, 2022 

The defining moment in US President Joe Biden’s press conference at the White House last Wednesday, during President Zelensky’s visit, was his virtual admission that he is constrained in the proxy war in Ukraine, as European allies don’t want a war with Russia. 

To quote Biden, “Now, you say, ‘Why don’t we just give Ukraine everything there is to give?’ Well, for two reasons. One, there’s an entire Alliance that is critical to stay with Ukraine. And the idea that we would give Ukraine material that is fundamentally different than is already going there would have a prospect of breaking up NATO and breaking up the European Union and the rest of the world… I’ve spent several hundred hours face-to-face with our European allies and the heads of state of those countries, and making the case as to why it was overwhelmingly in their interest that they continue to support Ukraine… They understand it fully, but they’re not looking to go to war with Russia. They’re not looking for a third World War.”

Biden realised at that point that “I probably already said too much” and abruptly ended the press conference. He probably forgot that he was dwelling on the fragility of Western unity.  

The whole point is that the western commentariat largely forgets that Russia’s core agenda is not about territorial conquest — much as Ukraine is vital to Russian interests — but about NATO expansion. And that has not changed. 

Every now and then President Putin revisits the fundamental theme that the US consistently aimed to weaken and dismember Russia. As recently as last Wednesday, Putin invoked the Chechen war in the 1990s — “the use of international terrorists in the Caucasus, to finish off Russia and to split the Russian Federation… They [US] claimed to condemn al-Qaeda and other criminals, yet they considered using them on the territory of Russia as acceptable and provided all kinds of assistance to them, including material, information, political and any other support, notably military support, to encourage them to continue fighting against Russia.” 

Putin has a phenomenal memory and would have been alluding to Biden’s careful choice of William Burns as his CIA chief. Burns was Moscow Embassy’s point person for Chechnya in the 1990s! Putin has now ordered a nation-wide campaign to root out the vast tentacles that the US intelligence planted on Russian soil for internal subversion. Carnegie, once headed by Burns, has since shut down its Moscow office, and the Russian staff fled to the West!  

The leitmotif of the expanded meeting of the Board of the Defence Ministry in Moscow on Wednesday, which Putin addressed, was the profound reality that Russia’s confrontation with the US is not going to end with Ukraine war. Putin exhorted the Russian top brass to “carefully analyse” the lessons of Ukraine and Syrian conflicts. 

Importantly, Putin said, “We will continue maintaining and improving the combat readiness of the nuclear triad. It is the main guarantee that our sovereignty and territorial integrity, strategic parity and the general balance of forces in the world are preserved. This year, the level of modern armaments in the strategic nuclear forces has already exceeded 91 percent. We continue rearming the regiments of our strategic missile forces with modern missile systems with Avangard hypersonic warheads.”

Equally, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu proposed at Wednesday’s meeting a military build-up “to bolster Russia’s security,” including: 

  • Creation of a corresponding group of forces in Russia’s northwest to counter Finland and Sweden’s induction as NATO members; 
  • Creation of two new motorised infantry divisions in the Kherson and Zaporozhya regions, as well as an army corps in Karelia, facing the Finnish border; 
  • Upgrade of 7 motorised infantry brigades into motorised infantry divisions in the Western, Central and Eastern military districts, and in the Northern Fleet; 
  • Addition of two more air assault divisions in the Airborne Forces;
  • Provision of a composite aviation division and an army aviation brigade with 80-100 combat helicopters within each combined arms (tank) army; 
  • Creation of 3 additional air division commands, eight bomber aviation regiments, one fighter aviation regiment, and six army aviation brigades; 
  • Creation of 5 district artillery divisions, as well as super-heavy artillery brigades for building artillery reserves along the so-called strategic axis; 
  • Creation of 5 naval infantry brigades for the Navy’s coastal troops  based on the existing naval infantry brigades; 
  • Increase in the size of the Armed Forces to 1.5 million service personnel, with 695,000 people serving under contract.

Putin summed up: “We will not repeat the mistakes of the past… We are not going to militarise our country or militarise the economy… and we will not do things we do not really need, to the detriment of our people and the economy, the social sphere. We will improve the Russian Armed Forces and the entire military component. We will do it calmly, routinely and consistently, without haste.” 

If the neocons in the driving seat in the Beltway wanted an arms race, they have it now. The paradox, however, is that this is going to be different from the bipolar Cold War era arms race. 

If the US intention was to weaken Russia before confronting China, things aren’t working that way. Instead, the US is getting locked into a confrontation with Russia and the ties between the two big powers are at a breaking point. Russia expects the US to roll back NATO’s expansion, as promised to the Soviet leadership in 1989. 

The neocons had expected a “win-win” in Ukraine: Russian defeat and a disgraceful end to Putin presidency; a weakened Russia, as in the 1990s, groping for a new start; consolidation of western unity under a triumphant America; a massive boost in the upcoming struggle with China for supremacy in the world order; and a New American Century under the “rules-based world order”. 

But instead, this is turning out to be a classic Zugzwang in  the endgame — to borrow from German chess literature — where the US is under obligation to make a move on Ukraine but whichever move it makes will only worsen its geopolitical position. 

Biden has understood that Russia cannot be defeated in Ukraine; nor are Russian people in any mood for an insurrection. Putin’s popularity is soaring high, as Russian objectives in Ukraine are being steadily realised. Thus, Biden is getting a vague sense, perhaps, that Russia isn’t exactly seeing things in Ukraine as a binary of victory and defeat, but is gearing up for the long haul to sort out NATO once and for all. 

The transformation of Belarus as a “nuclear-capable” state carries a profound message from Moscow to Brussels and Washington. Biden cannot miss it. (See my blog NATO nuclear compass rendered unavailing, Indian Punchline, Dec. 21, 2022

Logically, the option open to the US at this point would be to disengage. But that becomes an abject admission of defeat and will mean the death knell for NATO, and Washington’s transatlantic leadership goes kaput. And, worse still, major west European powers — Germany, France and Italy — may start looking for a modus vivendi with Russia. Above all, how can NATO possibly survive without an “enemy”?

Clearly, neither the US nor its allies are in a position to fight a continental war. But even if they are, what about the emerging scenario in the Asia-Pacific, where the “no limits” partnership between China and Russia has added an intriguing layer in the geopolitics?

The neocons in the Beltway have bitten more than what they could chew. Their last card will be to push for a direct US military intervention in the Ukraine war under the banner of a “coalition of the willing.”

December 25, 2022 - Posted by | Aletho News | , , ,

16 Comments »

  1. “They understand it fully, but they’re (NATO) not looking to go to war with Russia. They’re not looking for a third World War.”

    Well, thank goodness for that! The War Hawks in the Pentagon (Psychopath Central) have never shown restraint when it comes to more WAR.
    I think the Europeans have a more balanced view about Russia. Russia has always been a target, and Russia has shown in the past that it will fight to the death, rather than surrender.

    But, trying to argue that point with Pentagon Loonies is a waste of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by brianharryaustralia | December 25, 2022 | Reply

  2. Thanks to MKB and AN.

    If only this particular “death knell” comes to pass, I’ll rejoice as I bring my miserable sojourn on this earth to “pass.”

    (“…Biden[:] “Now, you say, ‘Why don’t we just give Ukraine everything there is to give?’” Gee, I thought that’s exactly what “we” are doing, in the BILLION$….)

    (“The whole point is that the western commentariat largely forgets that Russia’s core agenda is not about territorial conquest — much as Ukraine is vital to Russian interests — but about NATO expansion. And that has not changed.” Amen. Kudos for giving your readers the “fact and only the ‘whole point,'” MKB!)

    (But instead, this is turning out to be a classic Zugzwang in the endgame — to borrow from German chess literature — where the US is under obligation to make a move on Ukraine but whichever move it makes will only worsen its geopolitical position.” Magnificent!…God: So many takeaways in this masterly analysis by MKB!)

    Finally, I’m pleased that MKB cites “neocons” thrice above. I’ve been hearing suggestions that the “(Zionist-infused) neocons” are no longer a force to reckon with in ZioOccupied WashDC. Bullsh*t: they are slithering as usual in the lairs of their ‘think’tanks, licking their wounds, watching, plotting and planning their next anti-civilization move(s). MKB gets it as perhaps no one else does…. (My own angst/prediction? — Be very, very, very careful, Iran. While the in-the-moment distractions are on Ukraine, Russia, NATO, China, Syria…, the *real* “gold ring” for the salivating Zioneocons is YOU, Iran.)

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by roberthstiver | December 25, 2022 | Reply

  3. Biden got Putin’s message. “We are not backing down.” It puts the ball in Biden’s court. If Biden has his whits about him, he’ll de-escalate and come to Europes aid to survive the winter. The fact that he told Zelensky the US doesn’t want to start WW III speaks volumes about US unwillingness to do “whatever it takes” on Ukraines behalf.
    This may be the defining moment of Biden’s presidency. Bring the war to a close negotiate a settlement and risk NATO’s demise, making almost everyone happy, Or, escalate the war, send in NATO troops, trigger WWIII and make everyone dead?

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Thomas Simpson | December 25, 2022 | Reply

    • Biden, “The Organ Grinder’s Monkey” will have no say whatsoever in whatever decision is made. He’s just there to make it look like the USA is “Democratic”. It isn’t. The Deep State are in total control and has been for many years. Just look at the imbeciles who have become POTUS for the last 50 years. Most of them would have trouble operating a Pay Toilet.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by brianharryaustralia | December 25, 2022 | Reply

      • The US Presidency is more than just Biden. It consists of approximately 5000 people. Though they may not often speak with one voice they have different perspectives and opinions on national security and foreign policy. Let’s hope they’re not as suicidal and greedy as the permanent bureaucracy and the MIC.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Thomas Simpson | December 25, 2022 | Reply

        • Hmmm — of those 5,000, how many do you figure have a “sane”/US core-national-interests perspective regarding the USrael “entangling alliance”? (and are willing to voice it?)

          Liked by 2 people

          Comment by roberthstiver | December 25, 2022 | Reply

          • Trump’s run for office in 2016 proved something if it proved anything, that the majority of Americans are fed up with the direction the nation has taken. That’s why the intel community together with the Democratic Party, and mass media, orchestrated January 6th, 2021. They are so afraid of the American people united together, that they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to keep Americans divided. Trump’s campaign sounded the bugle, planted the American flag, and rallied the troops around policies that were intended to restore American interests to America.

            Trump’s message resonated with American voters so much so, that he won all but 500 counties. It shocked the Eastern establishment! They thought they had victory wrapped up in a Hillary Clinton presidency. It was not to be and the war against Russia would have to wait.

            Trump’s win meant his desire to work with Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping would serve to solve many of the world’s pressing problems the Anglo-American establishment had caused. But the knives came out to dismember Trump’s presidency and sever him from the 85 million Americans who voted for him. The establishment thought that if they could destroy Trump and the support he assembled, they could get back on track and finish the job they started in 2014. That of using Ukraine as a proxy to weaken and destroy Russia before moving on to destroy China. The influence of these two giants in the world had to be eliminated. Not that they believed Russia and China were competing with the Anglosphere for global hegemony. They had to put Russia and China in their place behind the rules-based-unipolar-new world order. No equals were to be tolerated.

            Today, the would-be World Rulers rule over an economic system that is hopelessly bankrupt getting worse by the day. Nations in the Anglosphere are suffering the boomerang effect of Russian sanctions. The West’s sanctions on Russia stopped the shipment of Russian natural gas supplies to Europe. And to make sure they would not be restored the UK had the Nordstream pipeline blown up. Immediately afterward former British PM Liz Truss called Tony Blinken to let him know, “it’s done”. It’s another indication of how desperate the Anglosphere is at this moment. Their entire financial system is ready to disintegrate at any moment and they must finish the job they started with Russia asap. But Russia and China aren’t cooperating. NATO’s reaction has been to escalate the war by attacking Crimea and bases inside Russia with drones. Putin responded by appointing a new field commander and putting all of Russia’s divisions under his command. Russia’s war machine is now under a unified field of command, commanded by Sergei Surovikin. The ground in Ukraine is now frozen and the Russian offensive to defeat Ukraine has begun. But if Biden goes along with calling for a “coalition of the willing” and Polish and Romanian troops join Ukraine, Russia will ready its nuclear forces to fight WW3.

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by Thomas Simpson | December 26, 2022 | Reply

            • I can agree with portions of your comment, but no ‘Like” from me. Trump is an as*hole of a ‘human’ being — teenage bully, pussy-grabber, arrogant et al — never would I vote for such a lowlife for POTUS (I vote third party when able…never again will vote for Dem or Rep). Just observe how Trump fuc*ed the Palestinians, who collectively are my passion in life. (See my words above to papasha408).

              Like

              Comment by roberthstiver | December 26, 2022 | Reply

              • I supported the Oslo Accords because they were not based on border agreements alone. They were based on economic development of the region which would have mutually benefited Muslims and Jews alike. Sadly, Netanyahoo is back. He’s an advocate of Blood and Soil ideology passed down to him by a father who was an associate of Zionist extremist Vladimir Yabotinsky.
                My point about Trump was not about Trump but the tens of millions of Americans who responded to his message to stop the forever wars and restore US manufacturing. I supported his promise to restore FDR’s Glass-Steagall banking reorganization and regulation which would have kicked Wall Street out of the US commercial banking system. I was associated with economist Lyndon LaRouche in the 70s and 80s. My world view was shaped by that experience.

                Liked by 1 person

                Comment by Thomas Simpson | December 26, 2022 | Reply

                • Noted; thanks. Anent the Oslo Accords, we can agree to disagree. IMO, the OA were a dastardly-clever Zionist trap to give the Palestinians false hope, and — predictably; slam-dunk — they turned out to be just that…another sadistic twist in the screwing of the Palestinians. By 1990, I had already had nearly 30 years to observe the Palestinians’ torment (my introduction/awareness that Satan was stalking the ‘holy’ land came in the early ’60s when I studied the Arabic language and culture, immersion-style); my intuition was in 1990 and is today, although I’ve not found it explicated in these terms, that Yasir Arafat was induced to drink ZioKool-Aid as a means to his physical return to Palestine after his “forced exile” to Tunisia (was that 1982? from Lebanon?) … voila — the handy Oslo perfidy.

                  Viva Palestine!

                  (I can’t resist: As to “…the tens of millions of Americans who responded to (Trump’s) message to stop the forever wars…,” how do we relate that thought to the 400 million guns in circulation in the violently militaristic, wild-wild-west USA? Are those tens of millions of ‘mericans really, truly tired of “war” — whether at home or abroad?)

                  Cheers! “Happy” New Year of the Rabbit 2023!

                  Like

                  Comment by roberthstiver | December 26, 2022 | Reply

  4. And, the American administration just doubles down on its insanity. I guess you just can’t fix stupid! Somebody needs to get through to these imbeciles that they aren’t the only player on the block any longer.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by papasha408 | December 25, 2022 | Reply

    • The USA should be governed by Americans, for Americans, not by a group of “ALIENS” who’s leader has publicly stated that, “Once we squeeze all we can out of the USA, it can dry up and blow away”…..(Nutjobyahu)
      Imagine if Trump or Obama said that publicly, they’d be hung, on the lawn in front of the White House.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by brianharryaustralia | December 25, 2022 | Reply

      • Obama and Hillary Clinton should be tried and executed for their destructive insanity. If Libya taught us anything, it is that there isn’t a part of the world that can’t be destroyed by Neocon psychopaths. The only questionable act by Trump was his killing of General Soleimani for Israeli interests. But, today the world is different and the new American administration has certainly bit off much more than it could chew. Russia isn’t Libya. It also isn’t Iraq or Afghanistan. It is a country with a much better military than the U.S., U.K., and all the other NATO sycophants put together. It is a vast country with vast natural resources with unlimited weapons of war and ammunition. And, more importantly, Russia’s military isn’t a collapsing WOKE incompetent mess like most Western militaries are.

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by papasha408 | December 26, 2022 | Reply

        • ” The only questionable act by Trump was his killing of General Soleimani for Israeli interests.” I disagree: what about the Golan Heights? Jerusalem? The “Abraham Accords”?–done at the scheming/behest of Sheldon Adelson [may he, ZioSatan personified, NOT rest in peace] and the snake SIL Jared Kushner? In general and in toto, kicking the Palestinians in the balls and throwing them under the bus? (I can’t recall at the moment what Bully Trump did to Syria besides fuc*ing it over the Golan, but he dam’ well didn’t do it any good….)

          Otherwise, I have great appreciation for and concurrence with your comment and “Liked” it.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by roberthstiver | December 26, 2022 | Reply

          • You are right and my mistake has been acknowledged. Trump was too indebted to Jewish/Zionist interests viz Sheldon Adelson who helped get him elected. I found it quite comical that after supporting ridiculous Israeli claims he got kicked in the teeth by Nutjobyahu and then the ADL called Trump an antisemite. I have no idea what a person has to do for those parasites before they declare you a friend. So, if Donald Trump is an antisemite, I guess we all are. They have an us and them mentality on steroids.

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by papasha408 | December 26, 2022 | Reply

            • “An anti-Semite used to be someone who hated Jews. Now, it is someone Jews Hate”. ..Joe Sobran.
              “An “Anti-Semite” is someone who dislikes Jews more than is absolutely necessary”….H.L. Menken.

              What is the problem with disliking someone who isn’t likeable?……..

              Liked by 2 people

              Comment by brianharryaustralia | December 26, 2022 | Reply


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