Analysis, Commentary & Analysis, Geopolitical Analysis, Minsk Negotiations

Differences in Approach

Original: El Murid
Translated by Gleb Bazov / Edited by Tiago de Carvalho

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“…The United States is not ready to enter into a war over Ukraine [as it did with Iraq], White House Press Secretary Joshua Ernest told reporters on Tuesday, May 26. He clarified the US position when answering a question about the difference between Washington’s approaches to the situations in Ukraine and in Iraq…”

The Press Secretary said nothing new. The goal of the United States is not to send troops to Ukraine, but to create a situation in which Russia will be forced to involve its military forces in the region. Moreover, it is not even relevant if Russia is forced to commit its troops in response to a direct military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, or simply because a threat is emanating from Ukrainian territory.

Despite all the absurdity of this assumption (about a threat), it is not at all fictional. Ukraine has become a critical threat for Russia regardless of all possible future scenarios of events that may follow. In essence, the goal of the Unites States is to force Russia to repeat the US’s own mistake—when the US froze its military in Iraq and in Afghanistan, it rendered itself ineffective in global politics as it was unable to threaten further direct military intervention.

The fact that the United States aims to undermine China’s “Great Silk Road,” a gigantic infrastructure project that would connect all the continentsby disrupting it in Central Asia and in the Pacific regionis not being concealed, nor is it practically possible to hide an intention of this kind. The former Soviet Central Asia is a focal point, a nodeso a strike is being prepared using the well-developed methods of colour revolutions. Except that this time the familiar scenarios will be seriously augmented by the actions of the Taliban and the Islamic State (IS), corridors for which are being prepared to guide the direction of their expansion.

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Considering the serious tensions between the Afghan Taliban and the IS, the Americans are trying to build these corridors in such a way as to avoid creating an intersection between these two powerful destabilizing elements of the looming construction. At least during the first stage of this expansion.

In order to bring down Central Asia, the United States needs as much as possible to exclude from regional politics the region’s leading players, who are exceedingly concerned about the development of events—first and foremost Iraq and Russia, but also, to some extent, Pakistan. For each of them conflicts are being created in which they are expected to get bogged down, and the further away these conflicts are from the future theatre of new military operations, and the more intensive they are, the greater the chance the United States has for a complete destabilization of the Central Asian region. Having disrupted this area of the Chinese Silk Road, the United States will then have to finish the campaign in the Pacific Ocean. Here they will be forced to act in a personal capacity—the opportunities for indirect actions being too few in this area.

It is already quite apparent what exactly will be used as a distraction for Russia—a difficult and protracted conflict along the entire Western border from the Baltics to the Black Sea. It is difficult to predict whether this will indeed transform into direct military clashes, but the fact that Russia will be forced to build up its military presence in this area is beyond doubt. Considering that there are not nearly enough combat-ready units and formations in our army, the southern direction will inevitably be left substantially bare.

To exclude the possibility of a manoeuvre, we may well be faced with an expansion of Russian-speaking foreign legions of the Islamic State in the Caucasus. That is, of course, if the United States manages to divert the attention of the exceedingly difficult to control Shura (Council) of the Islamic State from the southern direction against Saudi Arabia—which, in itself, has a considerable importance for the United States because the Arabian peninsula plays a key role in supplying China with hydrocarbon fuels.

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In essence, the two diametrically opposed points of view in the American establishment arise from a conflict of interests: between which of the two goals appears to be a greater priority in constructing a corridor of expansion of the Islamic State—the Arabian Peninsula or the North Caucasus (and, with it, the Lower Volga region).

One way or another, the conflict in Ukraine, and now the escalating problem of Transnistria, has a much greater importance for the global plans of the United States than simply resolving regional problems in Europe. It is imperative for the US to maintain and continue to inflame the conflict to keep the Russian Armed Forces in a state of readiness to repulse a variety of threats from the western direction. The period over which this conflict will continue is determined by the state of preparedness of the United States to launch destabilizing processes in Central Asia. By the looks of it, we are talking about one and a half to two years.

Naturally, all this is not binomial theorem and can be calculated well in advance. However, the Russian leadership appears to expect that it will have enough opportunities either for a manoeuvre or for the simultaneous repulsion of various threats. The bad news is that all counteractions being prepared have the form of purely straightforward responses.

Indirect actions, as can be seen from the example of the Donbass, appear to be extremely inefficient. The Minsk Collusions had as their goal the task of substantially tying down Kiev and in general to lower the level of the threat coming from Ukraine. To some extent this worked; however, tensions immediately arose in Transnistria, and the direction they will take is still unclear. The errors and mistakes made last year, when it was possible and necessary to eliminate the threat emanating from Kiev by liquidating the Junta, have now translated into a complete loss of initiative on Moscow’s part, and, therefore, into being forced to play second fiddle. There are no doubts that if Russia will somehow be able to solve the problem of Transnistria, then the United States will create another—most likely in the Baltic States.

On a strictly rational basis, the Kremlin’s indecision on the Ukrainian issue can be explained precisely by the realization that the initiative has been lost, and that any move will immediately create a new node of tensions, which would then have to be prevented by the same direct means—by strengthening the military grouping in the western direction, which, as it is, appears to have exceeded all levels of tolerance.

The ineffectiveness in using indirect methods that would exclude the need to apply direct military force or the threat thereof, the absence of instruments for conducting modern hybrid warfare, and the talentless policies in the Donbass and in Crimea render Russia’s opportunity to regain the initiative quite illusory.

There is, of course, an opportunity. And not just one. It would require a complete revision of the policies in the Donbass, the removal of all the marionettes, the creation of proper governmental authorities that are able to effectively control the territories, and the creation of proper armed forces in the place of the Militia—and the resumption of hostilities for the purpose of a march on Kiev.

If such a decision appears to be impractical because of the obligations accepted by Moscow in Minsk, there remains the possibility of creating yet another structure of an indirect struggle with Kiev through the establishment of a government in exile and a Ukrainian Army of National Liberation under its command. This structure had no part in the Minsk accords and therefore has no concomitant obligations.

It is clear that non-trivial methods require non-trivial approaches; however, so far everything has been going strictly in accordance with the American scenario, for which a variety of versions are perfectly acceptable—all of which would mire Russia ever deeper in a tangle of problems. What we need is to seize the initiative, to exit the conflict by transferring our role “by agreement” to a new or to another entity. In so doing, Russia would substantially free its hand to secure room to manoeuvre in geopolitical space and with adequate resources.

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Discussion

8 thoughts on “Differences in Approach

  1. The above scenario vis a vis Ukraine excludes what will probably happen in the next year due to rising tensions over the cost of living, i.e. protests leading to riots, leading to…?

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    Posted by Ralph, in London | June 4, 2015, 15:08
  2. There are three considerations which the author seems entirely to have omitted from consideration. First, in his reference to past missed opportunities by Russia to overthrow the junta in Kiev and establish a Moscow-friendly regime in its place, the author has not taken into consideration the prohibitively costly dual costs to such a strategy. One is that the western half of Ukraine and its population is not pro-Russian, and would undoubtedly become a hotbed of partisan and guerrilla activities against the Russian forces of security and occupation. Such activities would be long-term and bolstered by covert CIA support – to become a long-term cancer on the Russian economy and Putin’s political support at home. The second of these dual costs would be that the entire Western world, including the EU, North America, and many other areas around the globe would interpret this action by Russia as a breech of international law and a premeditated attempt to rebuild the Soviet Union, thus engendering another Cold War far worse than anything presently being experienced in Europe and Russia.

    The second point which the author has failed to consider is that Putin and the Russian leadership is firmly (and perhaps correctly) of the view that a war between the Russia and the United States is coming. The present Russian regime, as was the case with Stalin’s USSR early in World War II, is doing all it possibly can to buy time in order to prepare militarily for the coming war. One need only look at the status of Russia’s latest military technologies – number of the Armata tanks (not scheduled for mass production until 2017), the number of the latest Sukhoi jet fighter planes, the new production plans for heavy strategic bombers, and rate of production of the newest ballistic missile submarines in order to recognize that Russia will not be prepared in its technology to properly defend itself against NATO for at least another half decade. Russia’s main deterrence against a United States preemptive strike is its capacity to survive a first strike and devastate the United States in a nuclear response. However, of the 305 operational ICBM missiles available to the Russian military, only 64 are road-mobile. The others could conceivably be destroyed in the American first strike. And, unlike the United States, Russia does not have satellites in position to detect the launch of enemy missiles at the time of launch. The Russian missile detection technology cannot locate an incoming missile until it is within a very few minutes of impact.

    The third factor which the author neglects is that Russia is, in its strategic military operations, no longer acting in isolation. As a result of the rapidly growing military collaboration with China, Russia must take into consideration the views of Beijing. At this point, the relationship is collaborative. However, within a few years, the relationship is likely to become a military alliance. Faced with that consideration, it is easy to recognize Moscow’s reticence to strike against the Kiev junta and to understand Putin’s thinking – not now, not yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by R Michael | June 4, 2015, 17:20
    • It surely will become a military one! Meanwhile, China should get rid of those us dollars, because us WILL stop paying its debtors at a certain point, to regain financially.

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      Posted by lsammart | June 6, 2015, 15:59
  3. The situation on the ground in Ukraine is very different from the scenario played out here. Understand the US and its goal and understand the history of Ukraine and you will very quickly realise that the US did its homework many years ago….in fact many years before the collapse of the Soviet Union thanks to Gorbachev. The plan was laid during WW2 and when the war finished the US rished to gain as much of its financial investments and knowhow that had been ploughed into pre WW2 Germany as it could. The invasion of France was as de Gaulle commented afterwards….never an attempt to free france but the quickest way to get to nazi Germany. After the war was over the Ukrainian Nazi Stefan Bandera fled to Germany, specifically Western Germany and US controlled Munich. Why? Simply because he was supported by the US without which he could not have lived in a post war europe. Forward to the recent years and Bandera has been made a hero of the people……..again for a reason….to drive a wedge between Western and Eastern Ukraine. The American Intelligence had done its homework and knew that the peoples in Eastern Ukraine would never support a coup where Nazis were put in power. Had nazis not been put in power, had the East been represented, had the Russian language, spoken by almost all in the Donbass not been outlawed then it is quite possible that the East would have agreed with the West……but …and this is a big but…..this was never the intention of the US. The intention was to drive a wedge between the two and create a situation where conflict would be started. By this method the US could attain its real goal/s……which had nothing to do with Ukraine itself at all. The goal was Russia, specifically Putin and his government of Russia. The US was….and still aims to dethrone the great leader, install its chosen governors after having caused Russia to be broken into smaller states. Reason? Resources and raw materials of which Russia has an abundance and which US corporations would get to exploit and a Russia that was no longer a threat to the US domination of the world. To date this has not gone as planned…..so to plan two…..lets try and draw in China….Basically along similar lines…..just think…if the US can draw in China and issue sanctions, I am sure those sanctions will include a cancelling at some point of hte trillions of dollars of US debt that China owns. In addition any conflict or indeed the potential of one is a nice little revenue earner in the US arms industry and hopefully pick up the US economy….. So there is the plan. As with all plans things can and do go wrong and so far all the methods used by the US to draw Russia into conflict including MH 017 have failed.

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Martin | June 4, 2015, 18:36
  4. Reblogged this on gerryhiles.

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    Posted by gerryhiles | June 4, 2015, 20:07
  5. I strongly object to El Murid’s destructive ideas. He says, “There is, of course, an opportunity. And not just one. It would require a complete revision of the policies in the Donbass, the removal of all the marionettes, the creation of proper governmental authorities that are able to effectively control the territories, and the creation of proper armed forces in the place of the Militia—and the resumption of hostilities for the purpose of a march on Kiev.” His words are ambiguous, but I take them to mean he advocates removal of the current DPR/LPR Prime Ministers Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky, if these are the “marionettes” he refers to. He also seems to advocate replacing the highly effective DPR/LPR militias with “proper armed forces”, which would be Russian, if I understand him. I’ve dutifully plowed through several of his articles in the past, I consider him a traitor to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Aside from shock and awe value, I do not understand why he is published on the Slavyangrad website. Like Strelkov, he feeds propaganda to the enemy in Kiev.

    El Murid also says, “If such a decision appears to be impractical because of the obligations accepted by Moscow in Minsk, there remains the possibility of creating yet another structure of an indirect struggle with Kiev through the establishment of a government in exile and a Ukrainian Army of National Liberation under its command.” First, in practical terms, Minsk is not binding for Moscow. The value of Minsk lies solely in appearances, and the agreement is perpetuated by all parties as long as it serves a need. Though many don’t realize it, Minsk does serve a very important need for Donbass: it is implicit in the underlying strategy for the survival of the two Republics. I agree that Moscow should set up a government-in-exile for legitimate president Viktor Yanukovich; it should have done this in March or April of 2014. I caution, however, that El Murid’s imperialistic “Ukraine Liberation Army” is not only absurd, it is a direct call for World War III.

    El Murid has a fan club, apparently because he knows how to make people angry. This is not constructive. Why is he not simply ignored by reasonable websites that advocate freedom and independence for Donbass?

    Like

    Posted by kpomeroy | June 10, 2015, 18:54
  6. Reblogged this on unbiasedsyndicate.

    Like

    Posted by unbiasedsyndicate | June 17, 2015, 16:25

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