Saturday 20th of April 2024

a reversal of propaganda towards reason?

The RAND Corporation, a highly influential elite national security think tank funded directly by the Pentagon, has published a landmark report stating that prolonging the proxy war is actively harming the US and its allies and warning Washington that it should avoid “a protracted conflict” in Ukraine.

 

By Felix Livshitz

 

What are the US' interests in Ukraine

The report has an unequivocal title, “Avoiding a long war: US policy and the trajectory of the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” which provides a strong indication as to its contents. 

It starts by stating that the fighting represents “the most significant interstate conflict in decades, and its evolution will have major consequences” for Washington, which includes US “interests” being actively harmed. The report makes it very clear that while Ukrainians have been doing the fighting, and their cities have been “flattened” and “economy decimated,” these “interests” are “not synonymous”with Kiev’s.

The US ending its financial, humanitarian and particularly military support promptly would cause Ukraine to completely collapse, and RAND cites several reasons why doing so would be sensible, not least because a Ukrainian victory is regarded as both “improbable” and “unlikely,” due to Russian “resolve,” and its military mobilization having “rectified the manpower deficit that enabled Ukraine’s success in the Kharkiv counteroffensive.”

From the perspective of US “interests,” RAND warns that while the Kremlin has not threatened to use nuclear weapons, there are “several issues that make Russian use of nuclear weapons both a plausible contingency Washington needs to account for and a hugely important factor in determining the future trajectory of the conflict.”

 

And what are the risks for the US 

The think tank believes the Biden administration “has ample reason to make the prevention of Russian use of nuclear weapons a paramount priority." In particular, it should seek to avoid a “direct nuclear exchange” with Moscow, a “direct conflict with Russia”, or wider “NATO-Russia war.” 

On the latter point, RAND worries that US general Mark Milley’s demand that the conflict stay “inside the geographical boundaries of Ukraine”  is on the verge of being disrespected, as “the extent of NATO allies’ indirect involvement in the war is breathtaking in scope,” including “tens of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and other aid” and “tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support,” along with “billions of dollars monthly in direct budgetary support to Kiev.”

uch largesse could, RAND forecasts, prompt Moscow to “punish NATO members…with the objective of ending allied support for Ukraine; strike NATO preemptively if Russia perceives that NATO intervention in Ukraine is imminent; interdict the transfer of arms to Ukraine; retaliate against NATO for perceived support for internal unrest in Russia,” if the Kremlin concludes the country’s national security is “severely imperiled.”

These outcomes are “by no means inevitable,” but still represent an “elevated” risk, particularly in light of incidents such as a Ukrainian air defense missile striking Polish territory in November 2022 – a situation exacerbated by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky falsely claiming it was a deliberate Russian strike. While this event “did not spiral out of control, it did demonstrate that fighting can unintentionally spill over to the territory of neighboring US allies.”

Another incident like that could mean “the US military would immediately be involved in a hot war with a country that has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.” This, as well as a conventional conflict between NATO and Russia, is a prospect Washington should avoid at all costs, RAND argues. 

A clear implication is the US could lose such a conflict, one key reason being, as pointed out by RAND, “the intensity of the military assistance” being given to Ukraine by its Western backers is already approaching an “unsustainable” level, with US and European weapons stocks “running low.” This consequently means a longer war equals more Ukrainian territory reunified with Russia.

 

Is there a solution?

On the subject of territorial losses, RAND is unmoved by arguments Ukraine should attempt to recapture all that it has lost since 2014, as “greater territorial control is not directly correlated with greater economic prosperity” or “greater security.” Land having been retaken by Kiev since September means “Russia has imposed far greater economic costs on the country as a whole.” 

RAND also considers the worth of arguments that “greater Ukrainian territorial control” should be assured “to reinforce international norms, and to foster Ukraine’s future economic growth” to be “debatable,” as even in the “unlikely” event Kiev pushes “beyond the pre-February 2022 line of control and manages to retake areas that Russia has occupied since 2014,” the risks of escalation from Moscow, including “nuclear use or an attack on NATO” will “spike.”

The Kremlin would likely treat the potential loss of Crimea as a much more significant threat both to national security and regime stability,” the report warns.

All these factors make “avoiding a long war…the highest priority after minimizing escalation risks,”so RAND recommends the US “take steps that make an end to the conflict over the medium term more likely,” including “issuing assurances regarding the country’s neutrality,” something that Moscow had requested before the conflict began, to deaf ears, as well as “sanctions relief for Russia.”

However, the report warns against a “dramatic, overnight shift in US policy,” as this would be “politically impossible – both domestically and with allies,” instead recommending the development of “instruments” to bring the war to a “negotiated end,” and “socializing them with Ukraine and with US allies” in advance to lessen the blow. This process should be started quickly though, as “the alternative is a long war that poses major challenges for the US, Ukraine, and the rest of the world.”

***

What this proposal ignores is that Western leaders have consistently proven they cannot be trusted to respect or adhere to treaties they have signed and brokered with Russia, such as the Minsk Accords, which former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted were never intended to be implemented, but rather to buy time for Kiev.

It may be the case then that Moscow won’t be interested in RAND’s solution at all, and choose instead to finish the war on its own terms.

  READ MORE:https://www.rt.com/news/570618-rand-came-up-with-solution/  SEE ALSO: https://www.claritypress.com/product/the-cia-as-organized-crime/ https://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/raw-emotion-djokovic-savours-biggest-victory-in-my-life-20230129-p5cgck.html  

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"fast-track" delusions............

Ukraine and its allies are engaged in “fast-track” talks on the possibility of equipping the invaded country with long-range missiles and military aircraft, a top Ukrainian presidential aide says.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said Ukraine’s supporters “understand how the war is developing” and the need to supply planes capable of providing cover for the armoured fighting vehicles that the United States and Germany have pledged.

However, in remarks to online video channel Freedom, Mr Podolyak said that some of Ukraine’s partners maintain a “conservative” attitude to arms deliveries “due to fear of changes in the international architecture”.

Russia and North Korea have accused the US and European countries of prolonging and taking a direct role in the war by sending Ukraine increasingly sophisticated weapons.

“We need to work with this. We must show (our partners) the real picture of this war,” Mr Podolyak said, without naming specific countries.

“We must speak reasonably and tell them, for example, ‘This and this will reduce fatalities, this will reduce the burden on infrastructure.

This will reduce security threats to the European continent, this will keep the war localised.’ And we are doing it.”

The US and Germany agreed on Wednesday to share advanced tanks with Ukraine along with the Bradley and Marder vehicles promised earlier, a decision that led to criticism not only from the Kremlin but from the prime minister of NATO and European Union member Hungary.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday that countries providing weapons and money to assist Ukraine in its war with Russia have “drifted” into becoming active participants in the conflict.

Mr Orban has refused to send weapons to neighbouring Ukraine and sought to block EU funds earmarked for military aid.

The Ukrainian foreign ministry said it would summon Hungary’s ambassador to complain about Viktor Orban’s remarks.

Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko reacted after Orban told reporters that Ukraine was “a no-man’s land” and compared it to Afghanistan.

“Such statements are completely unacceptable. Budapest continues on its course to deliberately destroy Ukrainian-Hungarian relations,” Mr Nikolenko said in a Facebook post.

Foreign weapons have proven essential to Ukraine’s defence while stoking ever-higher tensions with Russia.

Russia’s defence ministry said on Saturday that Ukrainian forces used US-made HIMARS rockets to strike a hospital in the eastern Ukrainian town of Novoaidar, killing 14 people.

Novoaidar is located in Luhansk province, which is almost entirely under the control of Russian forces or Russian-backed separatists.

The Russian defence ministry alleged the hospital was deliberately targeted.

Its claim of a strike in Novoaidar could not be immediately verified.
Russia bombarded Ukraine with missiles, exploding drones and artillery shells this week.

The attacks continued on Saturday, when Russian missiles struck the city of Kostiantynivka in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk province.

The missiles fell in a residential area, killing three civilians, wounding 14 and damaging four high-rise apartment buildings, a hotel and garages, governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

“Kostiantynivka is a city relatively far from the front line but still, it constantly suffers from enemy attacks. Everyone who remains in the city exposes themselves to mortal danger,” Mr Kyrylenko said.

Mykhailo Podolyak said Ukraine needs supplies of long-range missiles “to drastically curtail the key tool of the Russian army” by destroying the warehouses where it stores cannon artillery used on the front line.

 

READ MORE:

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2023/01/29/talks-ukraine-missiles-aircraft/?breaking_live_scroll=1

 

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YES, THE UKRAINIAN ARMY, UNABLE TO HIT THE RUSSIAN ARMY HAS BOMBED A HOSPITAL. THIS WILL BE DIFFICULT TO DENY. THE UKRAINE GOVERNMENT IS GETTING DESPERATE, IN THE FULL NAZIFICATION OF THE REMAINING OF ITS COUNTRY. TIME TO MAKE A DEAL. MAKE A DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!. READ FROM TOP.

 

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