On High Alert for More Provocations

Competent military strategists know that the ability to wage war ultimately depends on in-depth logistics and industrial capacities. The exact opposite policy – known as the utopian approach – has been taken by NATO and the Anglo-American “military-industrial complex”, that have launched war against Russia using Ukraine as a surrogate. Putting propaganda aside, NATO member countries have collapsed their own energy, manufacturing and infrastructure capabilities, and are in no position to supply Kiev indefinitely, while Ukraine’s own scarce resources are being systematically degraded by Russia’s attacks on the country’s energy and other infrastructure. (Although rarely reported here, those attacks are still very restrained, and limited to military objectives compared to what the Russian armed forces could deploy if they choose to.)

But it is the weakness of real in-depth war-fighting capability that makes the current situation so dangerous, as it could quickly escalate into nuclear war, whether by intention or miscalculation. The landing of a missile on Polish territory two weeks ago was one such incident. That, in itself, should lead all thinking people to demand an end to the conflict through negotiation. Instead, NATO Secretary Gen. Jens Stoltenberg again stated, at the alliance’s Parliamentary Assembly on Nov. 21, that NATO’s policy is the defeat of Russia, no matter what it costs Europeans or Ukrainians. (In parentheses, he took the occasion to fume against China as well.)

The British-led approach from the outset has been to launch one provocation after another to keep the conflict going, and more should be expected. Thus, Prime Minister Sunak, in his first major foreign policy address on Nov. 28, stressed the commitment to “stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes”, including by providing new support for air defense, and Brimstone 2 missiles. That was also the line of British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly during his trip to Kiev last week, where he promised to provide “all the critical practical support” needed to get through the difficult winter months, rather than using the expected slowdown in military operations to open talks. And Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told the Daily Beast (Nov. 24) that London is urging Ukraine to “keep up the pressure, keep up the momentum” against Russian forces through the winter months, repeating the mantra that the Russians are “demoralized, poorly trained, poorly equipped”.

But the most outspoken in declaring that “we are at war with Russia” is George Robertson, former U.K. Defense Secretary (1997-1999), NATO Secretary General (1999-2003), and still active policymaker. In The Economist, he urges NATO to “defend our countries as if we were under attack”, which is tantamount to declaring war. In addition to rushing all kinds of advanced weapons to Ukraine, to boycotting Russian energy and even wheat worldwide despite the famine, and to threatening the Global South with destabilization, Robertson wants Western countries to put themselves on a “war footing” in order to “to shorten decision-making” and get around bureaucracies; “on a war footing, a few individuals are empowered to make choices rapidly. We should emulate such a system now.” That also requires difficult sacrifices from “our own people… through the cost of living in particular”, and for that, a “relentless barrage of publicity is necessary.”

An appeal for dictatorship would hardly sound different…

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