Friday, September 30

Ukraine: A proxy war

Images that evoke the Spanish Civil War and the Luftwaffe bombings of Nazi Germany during World War II are the ones that brings us Ukraine at a distance of 2,992.44 kilometers from Madrid since February 24, 2022. Vladimir Putinas he explained this weekend to the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoganand a few days before the French president, Emmanuel Macron, goes for it all and will not stop until it controls Ukraine, even if it comes to its destruction, as is already visible, if it does not achieve an unconditional surrender. “The worst is yet to come,” a Macron spokesman said after an hour-and-a-half phone conversation between the Elysee Palace and the Kremlin.

The war – a word that the media in Russia are prohibited from using under threat of jail – of Putin, has it been the reaction to the imminent threat that Ukraine could represent for Russia?

The answer is no. Ukraine did not present an immediate, new, unexpected danger that could explain Putin’s spectacular turnaround, a prepared turnnot improvised.

Has there been, to put it exaggeratedly, anything like a 1914 Sarajevo bombing? And, although its Constitution assumes this as a position of principles, Ukraine has not formally applied to join NATO.

false pretext

For weeks, if not months, the Russian president systematically denied the information promoted by the Biden Administration and the US intelligence services about preparing for war under a false pretext.

On Sunday, February 20, President Macron proposed to Putin and Biden the holding of a bilateral meeting between the two presidents as a preliminary step to a security summit in Europe. In a statement, the Elysee reported that both one and the other had accepted the initiative of the bilateral meeting. According to French information, the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkenand the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrovwere to address the matter on February 24.

But on February 21, Putin launched the invasion in two phases. First, through the entry of Russian troops after recognizing the people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, in the region of donbasin the southeast of the country, and in the early hours of the morning of the 24th, when launching its troops, planes and missiles -using as one of its platforms Belarus– throughout Ukraine.

A ‘blitzkrieg’, the lightning war against the Wermacht and the Luftwaffe.

Chronicle of a war foretold

Why was what is already the chronicle of a war announced months in advance not prevented?

The trading conditions Put on the table last December by Putin were basically two: abandon the plan for Ukraine’s entry into the NATO and agree on a bilateral security treaty between Europe and Russia that would stop NATO’s expansion eastward. Both were rejected by the United States.

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Could Biden, whose intelligence services and senior administration officials were already announcing an imminent invasion, be unaware that this rejection would add fuel to the fire?

And, above all, since in theory the important thing is Ukraine, that is, preserving both the country and the lives of its citizens, did it make the country’s situation safer -located 460 kilometers from Russia (distance between Lugansk and Voivograd) the outright rejection of Putin’s conditions?

Because here those who played it were the Ukrainians.

Why? Because both Biden, who had just evacuated Afghanistan, and NATO made it abundantly clear that they would not send troops to defend Ukraine. In other words, there was the paradox that NATO, Ukraine’s protective shield, was telling Putin that in the face of his imminent invasion – the US intelligence services assured and rightly so as could be seen on February 24 – they would not resist with soldiers together with a country that, although not part of the Atlantic Alliance, aspires sine die to be part of it in the future.

Cuban Missile Crisis

Let’s assume for a moment that the US and NATO response to Putin’s conditions were, in the last week of last January, the ‘moment of Cuban-US missile crisis of 1962′.

Ukraine’s was the reverse of that crisis. The US had tried to invade Cuba (Bay of Pigs, April 1961), a plan designed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) before the arrival of President Kennedy at the White House. The invasion failed. And in 1962 Russia, under the leadership of Prime Minister Khrushchev, decided in agreement with Fidel Castro to install mobile launch platforms and missiles in Cuba, 370 kilometers from the United States. President Kennedy ordered this time to prepare a proper invasion of the island. But there was time to negotiate. The US Navy controlled the entry to the island of Cuba of ships with military material and through official and behind-the-scenes negotiations, for 13 days, with the exchange of harsh letters of reproach between Kennedy and Jhrushov, a crisis that seemed to border on war was dissolved. thermonuclear.

Khrushchev withdrew the missiles from Cuba and Kennedy later ordered, although without linking the decision to the crisis in Cuba, the withdrawal of his missiles from Turkey.

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And now, Putin had been threatening to invade Ukraine 460 kilometers from his border. As has been pointed out, the US had taken the invasion for granted for at least two months before.

The missile crisis began on October 14, 1962, when a U-2 spy plane captured hundreds of photographs of Soviet installations in Cuba and ended on October 28 with a letter from Khrushchev promising to dismantle the missiles and remove them from Cuba. .

Talks between Biden and Putin

Biden spoke with Putin on December 30, 2021, from his summer residence in Wilmington, Delaware. She did it again on February 12, 2022. There was no progress on the Russian demand to block Ukraine from joining NATO. An income that, on the other hand, is not even on the agenda.

NATO armed the opposition to pro-Russian President Yanukovych in 2014, and financed the Euromaidan coup and chose members of the new government. and has followed selling military equipment to the two Ukrainian governments – Petro Poroshenko and Volodímir Zelenski – uninterruptedly since then.

On Saturday, March 4, ‘The Washington Post’, based on a declassified report, pointed out that “as early as December, the Pentagon has equipped ukrainian fighters to fight in urban areas, including shotguns and specialized suits to protect soldiers handling explosives.

According to the ‘Post’, “in total, the variety, volume and firepower that have been transported to the war zone illustrates the extent to which the United States has sought to prepare the Ukrainian military to carry out a hybrid war against russia. In the last year, the US has committed more than $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine. This includes anti-mortar radars, secure radios, electronic equipment, medical equipment, and a constant supply of Javelin missiles. [misil jabalina]”.

‘proxy war’

Does this behavior justify the idea that Ukraine has been waging for years and now with Putin’s monstrous and illegal invasion a proxy warwhat the Americans call ‘proxy war’?

That is to say: a war where some actors act at the instigation of other protagonists apparently not directly involved, with troops, in the hostilities.

It’s not a conspiracy theory. In reality, the described military aid to Ukraine has not been concealed prior to the Russian invasion.

But if an example seems interesting to evoke has been, precisely, the war in Afghanistan.

It was only in 1998 that the sequence of events became known when Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, revealed how the US set the trap for the Soviet Union led by Leonid Brezhnev invaded Afghanistan. Until then it was believed that the CIA had helped the mujahideen in 1980 after the Russian invasion in December 1979.

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“But the reality that was kept secret is different. It was on July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first order on clandestine assistance to opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And on that day I wrote a note to the president where I explained to him that in my opinion this help would provoke a military intervention by the Soviets. We did not push the Soviets to intervene but we consciously increased the probability that they would do so. And I do not regret it. That secret operation was an excellent idea. Its effect was that lured the Russians into the Afghan trap.

The Vietnam of the USSR

Asked if he regretted these acts, the former National Security Advisor replied: “How can I regret it? The day the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: ‘Now we have a chance to give the USSR its Vietnam War‘. Moscow had to wage an unbearable war for the regime for almost 10 years, a conflict that caused the demoralization and finally the collapse of the Soviet empire.”

Didn’t he regret having favored Islamist fundamentalism by providing weapons and advice to future terrorists? Brzezinski replied: “Nonsense, global Islamism does not exist… What is the most important thing for world history? The Taliban or the fall of the Soviet empire? Some crazy Islamists or the liberation of central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”.

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Paraphrasing Brzezinski, is the US, now that it has been defeated in Afghanistan, taking the opportunity to give Russia a new war, this time in Europe, managing to put its face on the European Unionwith Germany in the lead, and thus achieve the strengthening of NATO by closing ranks against Putin?

As for Putin, it is not inappropriate to quote the great American historian Barbara W. Tuchman. In her book ‘The March of Madness’. From Troy to Vietnam he wrote: “A remarkable phenomenon throughout history, regardless of place or time, is the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests. of governments than in any other human activity”.

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