The US 'Lukewarm' War on Russia
by The Saker
June 15, 2014

What we are witnessing today in the Ukraine is beyond any doubt a US war on Russia, except that it that is is neither quite "cold" nor "hot": it's tepid, lukewarm.  Not for the people dying of course, but by its choice of methods.  It is not a Cold War because people are dying, because tanks, artillery and airpower is being used on a daily basis now, but it is not a Hot War either, because while people in the Ukraine are being killed, the real target of this war is, of course, Russia.  In other words, this is not a Russian-Ukrainian war, nor is it a US-Ukrainian war, it is a US-Russian war, fought in the Ukraine with "Hot War" methods, but whose real target are not the murdered people in the Ukraine but Russia as a country and a civilizational project.  I think that it is crucial to state that to make a correct analysis of what is going on.

STRATEGIC LEVEL ANALYSIS

The USA has no special interests in the Ukraine at all.  The only reason why Uncle Sam got so heavily involved is the (totally mistaken) belief — expressed by Zbigniew Brzezinski and Hillary Clinton — that "without the Ukraine Russia cannot be a superpower" and that "Putin is trying to recreate the Soviet Union".  Since a reborn USSR would be the single major threat to the US domination of the planet, the US shall spare no effort into making sure that the Ukraine not only breaks away from Russia, but turns into a US colonial protectorate like Poland or Lithuania: rabidly anti-Russian, administered by the EU and controlled by NATO.  Of course, the "prize of prizes" would have been Crimea with Sevastopol as a base for the USN and a fantastic "unsinkable carrier" to project US subversive efforts throughout southern Russia, the Caucasus and even the Middle East.  Alas, Putin's lightening fast action in Crimea completely foiled this part of the plan: instead of getting the entire Ukraine including its crown jewel, Crimea, the Anglo-Zionists were left in full control of West-Central Ukraine (aka "Banderastan") and an uprising in East-Central Ukraine (aka "Novorossia).  However, Uncle Sam also walked away with some real successes: not only was the democratically elected President Yanukovich "regime-changed", the secession of Crimea and the uprising in the Donbass made the "more or less election" of a pro-US puppet like Poroshenko finally possible.   So far so good, but remember, this is not about the Ukraine at all, this is about Russia and only Russia.  So the relevant question is not whether the US succeeded in putting a puppet regime in power, but what good it does to the Anglo-Zionist Empire to have Poroshenko in power in Kiev.  The answer to that is, of course, very little, if any.

Again, to understand the US position you have to stop thinking like a rational and mentally sane person, and try to think like an imperialistic maniac hell-bent on world domination who sincerely sees Russia at the #1 obstacle to the realization of this goal.  Such a maniac will ask himself a basic question: how much, if at all, is Russia weakened by the current situation in the Ukraine?  And, again, the obvious answer is only marginally.  Here is how a hypothetical US "1% deep-stater" will think about Russia's current position:
They got Crimea, so all our hopes about the Black Sea region, the Caucasus and the Middle-East are gone.  In fact, now that Crimea is fully Russia, it is the Russian position in the Black Sea region, the Caucasus and even the Middle East which has become stronger, much stronger in fact.  Worse, by chopping off the Crimea from the rest of the Ukraine, the Russikies have not only created a very dangerous precedent, they have deeply destabilized the richest and best educated part of the Ukraine — the Donbass — leaving us with the a poor, phenomenally corrupt basically broke "Banderastan" to run.  Worse, if we did not have our various CIA run death-squads ("Maidanites", "Right Sector", "National Guard", "soccer hooligans", etc.) then Poroshenko would probably last less than a month in power anyway, especially with the accursed Russikes about to turn off the gas spigot if the Ukies don't come up with a payment plan they cannot afford anyway.  The only thing our symbolic pseudo-sanctions against Russia have achieved so far was to push the Russkies to do what they should have done a decade ago: to lower their dependence on the US-controlled banking system, to sever their ties with the Ukie military-industrial complex and to push the Russian business community towards seeking stronger ties with Asia.

The bottom line is that, at least so far, the Anglo-Zionist Empire has failed to secure any strategic objective.

Russia is as powerful as ever, arguably even more powerful than before the crisis began.

What about the association agreement with the EU then?  It means nothing to the Americans.  All that agreement would really achieve would be to further impoverish the rump-Ukraine and create a bloody mess for the EU.  Yes, for Russia this would mean maybe two to three years of minor headaches (dealing with illegal immigrants, finding new suppliers, etc.) but nothing truly meaningful.  And since it was the EU that broke the Ukraine, they now own it, but then since it is the US which owns the EU to begin with, you might as well say that the US now owns what is left of the Ukraine.  Hardly a coveted prize ...

There is only one way for the Anglo-Zionists to turn defeat into victory and that way is most obviously to pull Russia into an overt military intervention in the Donbass.

An overt Russian military intervention in the Donbass would achieve all the following goals:

Needless to say, seen this time from the point of view of Russia, all of the above are crucial reasons to avoid being sucked into an overt military intervention in the Ukraine.  However, non-intervention by itself is hardly a "policy" and it cannot constitute a strategic goal.  So let us now look at the strategic goals of Russia.

Initially, Russia wanted something rather basic: an independent, more or less neutral, but prosperous Ukraine.  Not because Russians are inherently just so nice and compassionate, but because the best thing for Russia is to have a prosperous neighbor for which she holds no responsibility but with which she can build mutually beneficial economic ties.  Yes, sure, Kiev is the mother of all Russian cities, and the so-called Ukraine is an invention — no such state of nation ever existed before — and it is true that the "Small Russia" (in the meaning of "Core" or "Central" Russia) is the cradle of the Russian civilization, but these are all things of the past.  Nowadays, if the Ukies want to call themselves something other than "Russians", and if they want to try to re-invent themselves a culture ex nihilo — let them.  Who cares really?  It's their loss: instead being a part of one of the (relatively) ancient nations and cultures in history they chose to become, well, who knows what?  But who cares, it's their right after all.  Their "arguments" might not get much traction with most Russians, especially the educated ones, but this is hardly a reason for conflict.  Over the past two decades there never has been a movement of any relevance in Russia to oppose Ukrainian independence.  Basically, most Russians did not give a damn and, frankly, they were right.

But, again, we need to remember that this is not a Russian-Ukrainian problem.  It is a US-Russian problem.  And for the USA, the kind of independent and more or less prosperous Ukraine which Russia would have been happy to have as a neighbor was absolutely unacceptable.  If Russia wanted a "Ukrainian Finland", the USA wanted a "Ukrainian Poland".  That is something which Russia cannot allow to happen.  So the three key strategic goals for Russia are, in order of importance:
  1. To prevent the creation of a "Banderastan" on Russia's borders
  2. To avoid being sucked into an overt military intervention
  3. To protect the people of Novorossia
Two comments about these goals:

First, if the choice comes down to (a) an overt military intervention and (b) the creation of a Banderastan on the western border of Russia, a military intervention is preferable, at least in my opinion.  I have no way of knowing whether the folks in the Kremlin would agree with me or not, but my sense is that they would. if only because of the long-term consequences of having a Banderastsan along over 2000 km of its western border and less than 500 km from Moscow.  So make no mistake — Russia will intervene militarily in Novorossia if there is absolutely no other choice.  Even if that means a risk of war with NATO.  Even if that means a war with NATO.  For Russia, this is not an elective conflict, but an existential threat and there is a national consensus on that.

Second, there is the issue of human rights and the plight of the people of Novorossia.  Considering how many of us have become disillusioned with our fellow human beings and cynical about any and all politicians, I won't even go into the "brother nations" argument, nor will I claim that Putin, Lavrov or anybody else in the Kremlin sincerely cares about the atrocities committed against what are, of course, really fellow Russians who happened to live in what is called "the Ukraine" because of Soviet internal administrative borders.  I personally am convinced that Putin and Lavrov really do care — but I will not use that personal belief of mine as an argument.  I will use only a fully pragmatic argument which is fully compatible with the hypothesis that the folks in the Kremlin care only about their own narrow self-interest.  And the argument is this:

There is a lot of pent-up rage and outrage in Russia.  Unlike the western MSM, the Russian media is full of daily reports about the atrocities committed by the Ukie death squads.  Day after day after day the Russians see neo-Nazi thugs marching around Kiev, Odessa and other cities with neo-Nazi symbols, they see the bombed-out houses of Slaviansk and Kramatorsk, they see the endless interviews with maimed civilians and terrified refugees.  Day after day after day the most famous Russian journalists and reporters openly pour out their scorn and disgust for the lying bastards of the junta in Kiev, the the West's endless double-standards, and that there is apparently no crime or action which the West would not approve of as long as it is committed by neo-Nazis and against Russians.  So whether Putin, Lavrov & Co. are bleeding hearts or cynical politicians makes no difference at all: they cannot, repeat, cannot, ignore the atrocities committed by the Ukie death-squads in Novorossia.  So far, Putin's ratings are sky high (in the 80% range), but this can change, rapidly if events get out of hand.  Furthermore, while the current three official "opposition" parties are more or less a joke (LDPR and "Just Russia" will fall in line if/when needed, and the Communists are really a lame joke), there are other parties being formed right now who have a huge political potential, such as Starikov's "Great Fatherland Party".  And Putin is acutely aware that the only real danger to his rule comes not from the completely discredited tiny "liberal", "non-system" opposition parties (with no more than 1%-3% popular support) or from the hopelessly antiquated and clueless "official" or "system" opposition parties, but from the "next generation" young, dynamic and visionary parties, lead not by clowns, but by very sharp young men like Starikov (don't judge all Russian Communists by the likes of Zyuganov!).  And, remember, Putin did promise to intervene and protect the people of Novorossia if a real bloodbath begins there.  So this is why I do believe that protecting the people of Novorossia (point #3 above) is crucial even if we assume that Putin would be willing to betray and sacrifice the Russian population of the Donbass (which, again, I personally do not believe!).

At this point the Russian policy becomes, I think, clear: to covertly support the resistance movement of Novorossia without yielding any proof of intervention which could be used by the Anglo-Zionists to demonize Russia (they already do that, but with very little credibility in the public opinion).

Now that we have identified the strategic goals of both sides, we can look at the methods (tactics) they are using to achieve them.

TACTICAL LEVEL ANALYSIS

On the US side the plan is simple: to provoke Russia in every possible way.  So far these have include (in no special order):
This is not a full list, of course, just those events which first came to my mind.  Connecting the dots here is easy: to provoke Russia at all costs.  Well, provoke it does.  Does that achieve anything else? Specifically, if we take a more "macro" point of view and ask ourselves this: if we accept that the Ukie goal of war in Novorossia is to get the Russians to intervene and if we accept that the Russian goal is to stay out, and if we finally accept that the crucial factor which will eventually decide of the outcome is the ability of the Novorossians to defend themselves without overt Russian intervention — then how does the tactical scorecard look?

From my point of view — one of an ex-military analyst — I would say that I am extremely unimpressed by the junta's performance so far.

The junta's death squads have used all the means at their disposal to try to terrorize the people of Novorossia: they began with baseball bats, then knives, then guns, then assault-rifles, then machine guns, then heavy machine guns, then mortars, then heavy mortars, then regular artillery, then multiple rocket launchers, then attack helicopters, then attack aircraft, then cluster munitions, now even white phosphorus.  And what did they achieve in military terms?

(1) They are more or less holding an airport and one hill near Slaviansk/Kramatorsk.
(2) They have taken Krasnyi Liman (and committed a massacre in its hospital).
(3) They apparently have 1000 or so men surrounded in the Lugansk airport.

That's it.  They could not even take Slaviansk!  This is with force ratios anywhere between 5:1 to 100:1, with heavy firepower, armor and total air supremacy.  Sub-pathetic, really ...

And, in the process, they have lost hundreds of soldiers who defected to the other side — often with weapons — they have gotten a huge number of their own conscripts killed, one group of senior "Alpha" officers was caught and several paratrooper recon units were made prisoner (the latest one yesterday).  In Lugansk Ukie forces appear surrounded and the latest shooting down of an Il-76 by the NDF air defense forces was part of a desperate attempt of the junta to free these forces or, at least, to resupply them.  In fact, there are all the signs of a desperate movement by land of Ukrainian armor and infantry to break through these units some of which, according to unconfirmed reports, have already switched sides.

As for the Novorossian Defense Forces (NDF), they now clearly have a solid air-defense network up and running, they seem to have plenty of weapons (even though they still lack some specific types) and most, but not all, of these weapons are truly trophy weapons taken from the Ukies (such as the 3 T-64 tanks recently shown in the news).  The initial trickle of volunteers has slowly but steadily become larger (including volunteers from Russia proper) and the NDF is now clearly enjoying some fancy systems which could have only have been provided by Russia (electronic warfare, advanced anti-air systems, etc.).  Yes, there are lots of Ukie tanks around Lugansk, but as late as this morning a senior NDF officer in the area has said that "we can hold them for at least several months".  Finally, and for the very first time, there are signs that the NDF are mounting offensive operations.

I am basing all of the above on admittedly partial information, but to me all the signs are clear and point to one and only one reality: the Ukie offensive is going absolutely nowhere and unless Uncle Sam comes up with a dramatic way of changing the face of the battle, Novorossia will probably withstand the Ukie assault without over Russian intervention.

(TEMPORARY) CONCLUSION:

So far, I see the strategic-level scorecard for the Anglo-Zionists as a complete failure.  As for the tactical-level scorecard, it is probably too early to call, but I would say that it looks like the Empire is headed for a complete defeat.  Of course, these are temporary conclusions and I don't want to sound like Dubya with his notorious "Mission accomplished".  But I think that for all of us who get sick in their stomachs each time we hear of the latest Ukie atrocity it is important to keep in mind that so far the neo-Nazis and their Anglo-Zionist masters are losing and that there is no reason to suspect that this trend will somehow reverse itself in the foreseeable future.

We also have to always keep in mind that 'lukewarm' as it now may be, this is a major war of planetary importance because as Dugin correctly points out it is the future of Russia, and therefore of all of Eurasia, which is being decided.  Russian parity (I would even argue superiority) in strategic nuclear weapons has made a hot war impossible (at least for a rational actor), but that does not mean that both sides are not engaged in this apparently 'lukewarm' war with every bit of energy and power they have! What we are witnessing today is nothing short of a major struggle for survival between the Anglo-Zionist Empire and the "Eurasian project" (for lack of a better word) centered around Russia and China and their attempt to replace the old order by a new, multi-polar, dollar-independent, militarily-balanced one.  Hegemony vs collective security for the entire planet is what is at stake.  This is why every time we listen to the latest reports out of Novorossia we have to constantly keep in mind that in reality this is a US-Russian war over the future international order of the planet and not an "ethnic civil war".

As you know, I have been living with a knot in my stomach for weeks now, and with each additional report about the neo-Nazi atrocities committed against the people of Novorossia I get more desperate, more angry and more frustrated.  And I have to admit that if the Russians finally openly intervene and beat the crap out of the Ukie death squads (which won't last 24 hours against a real military force) I won't be able to contain myself — I will open a bottle of champagne and dance with my wife across the house.  But I also know that the right thing to do is keep our "eyes on the prize" and let this abomination I called "Banderstan" self-destruct without any over Russian help.  The latest attack on the Russian embassy in Kiev is not only an outrageous violation of the Vienna Convention, it is also a fantastic admission of impotence, of powerlessness, of irrelevance really.  Think of it, a crowd of neo-Nazi thugs overturns a few cars and tosses eggs and stones at an embassy building in downtown Kiev and all the Ukie authorities can do is to order the cops to move out of the way and to send the deputy Foreign Minister to express his support for the crowd. They are as pathetic as they are disgusting, of course.  I really wonder how any putative "sane Ukrainian" can live without dying of a combination of shame and self-disgust.

There is probably more of that sickening Ukie mix of atrocities and buffoonery on the way.  Normal civilized people cannot imagine the kind of stuff that these hate-filled psychopaths can come up with.  Frankly, I would not put it past them to try an air or missile strike on, say, a kindergarten in Crimea or even in Belgorod.  They could also kidnap a delivery man for a Russian company still operating in Kiev or heroically massacre an Aeroflot crew on their way to the airport.  Whatever!  We have to accept the inevitability of such actions because this is all this junta can do — they simply have no civilized diplomatic, commercial, military or other means to prevail against Russia and their own people in the East.  But always always keep this in mind: with each such action the Ukies are confessing to their own impotence while digging their own grave.

The Saker     


This article first appeared on The Vineyard of the Saker.
Republished with permission on Serendipity on June 16, 2014.


Selected articles about the Ukraine by The Saker:

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