America’s Proxy War

A Perspective on Russia-Ukraine War

Kalyan Guha

Putin and Russia's modern ideological framework elaborated first time in great details by Putin in Valdai discussion club on October 21, 2021 can be traced back to works of Russian Philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev and his modern counterpart Alexander Dugin. It is Eurasia centric, rooted in their very very turbulent history and strong traditions of Russian Imperial state, Orthodox Christians’ moral and ethical values. Very strong survival mindsets and instincts due to geography, harsh climate and having seen Tartars' raids over centuries,2 World Wars, Bolshevik revolutions, civil wars, 1991 USSR collapse.

Also, their economic frugality and overall economic management post USSR collapse in spite of very harsh series of economic sanctions and strangulations by US -UK-EU is very praiseworthy with low debt to GDP ratio, low fiscal deficits (even in 2020) and trade surplus being maintained for decades.

So, this war which was in a way forced onto them by US-UK-EU -NATO states and Pentagon-London-Wall Street elites for the benefit and survival of their Industrial-Military-Finance world has not only to do with Russia's re exerting itself to regain their military superpower status and historical pride but also a message to rest of humanity against the design of West's hedonic, super-consumerist, culture.

Putin can see from a very specific vantage point where western civilisation is leading whole planet to.

Politics is extension of economics and war is a mere continuation of politics by other means.

To understand current global geo politics and particularly Russia-Ukraine (NATO-USA-EU-UK) war one has to go back little in past and has a look at two great western visionary strategists whose overarching imperative for more than a century now has been to maintain hegemony over the Eurasian landmass.

In 1904, when British empire was collapsing and London based international banking cartel moved to infiltrate and co-opt the governing institutions of the United States and hijack its wealth and military power in continued pursuit of their own imperial ambitions, Sir Halford Mackinder explicitly formulated this objective in his Heartland Theory in his masterwork—“In Democratic Ideals and Reality": “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; who rules the Heartland commands the World-island; who rules the World-island controls the world.” By World-island, Mackinder meant Eurasia.

As the empire builders infiltrated the US, they took their policy objectives with them, including the imperative of ruling Eastern Europe to control Eurasia. In his 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard", the Empire’s court great intellectual, Zbigniew Brzezinski articulated this objective as America’s own priority and explained the rationale behind it:

“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia… Eurasia is the globe’s largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. … About 75% of the world’s people live in Eurasia and most of the world’s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60% of the world’s GDP and about 3/4ths of the world’s known energy resources.”

NATO extension towards east post-USSR collapse has to be seen in this context the ultimate goal for US empire is to break Russia, create chaos and fragmentation like in Middle east to extend its control beyond western Europe and have freedom to plunder the huge natural resources (oil, gas, uranium, gold, diamond etc). This sky reaching ambition no other country except US with US$ 25 trillion GDP and US$ 850 billion defence budget can only nurture and aim to achieve, which they have been meticulously doing post WW-II. Of course, this is in the long run.

Keeping this long term goal in the horizon, when one sees fierce competition in current fossil fuel based energy intoxicated modern civilisation for capturing energy market particularly Natural Gas/LNG market of EU by US (the largest LNG exporter in 2021), Qatar, Russia in the background of revolutionary breakthrough in Fracking technology attained in US and worldwide push for going to NG/LNG from crude petroleum and coal to be carbon neutral by 2035 the desperation and many mechanics of current geo-politics and war become apparent.

There is a big big push by US to displace Russia from EU energy market if not completely at least significantly. This can't be achieved without scaring the EU (Germans and France particularly) of Russian demon with at least a controlled zonal war. Where else is to demonstrate this other than at Russia's doorstep in Ukraine where only Slavs will kill one another and rest remain safe.

For one thing the current Russia-Ukraine conflict will not escalate to WW-III.

So far things have been unfolding as per grand design of US deep state. What does US deep state want? It wants to retain its current global economic and military supremacy as long as possible.

For that on one side it needs to contain Russia (nominal GDP US$ 1.7 trillion, 2021) which though economically much weaker compared to US (nominal GDP US$ 22.6 trillion, 2021) is a military nuclear superpower having nuclear deterrence with US. On the other side it also needs to not only contain but checkmate China which is and till covid 19 has been growing rapidly as rising economic superpower (nominal GDP US$ 18.1 trillion, 2021) though not yet a military nuclear superpower in absence of adequate nuclear arsenals compared to US and Russia. Also, China has ambitions and well thought out road map to be No 1 economic and military nuclear power sooner than later. They have been aggressively pursuing OBOR (One Belt One Road) initiative, massive infrastructure development, rapid defence modernisations along with development in all fields of cutting-edge technologies.

First task of containing Russia looked and has been much easier since 1991 USSR collapse as NATO and EU kept expanding further and further east almost encircling Russia from east and south east.

Second task of containing China went little unattended as US having invaded and occupied Iraq (2003-2011) and Afghanistan (2001-2021) has been bogged down with middle east over last two decades and failed to focus on China.

In Obama's 2nd tenure it was time to refresh US global strategy and focus on China to contain its rise utilising it same global resources by redeploying optimally. They had to slowly therefore come out from middle east. So, Obama tried to reconcile with Iran in spite of Israel's strong resistance.

Trump was obsessively focussed on China and tried to check and slow down its pace by going for all out-trade war, war against so called "intellectual property theft" and blocking its cutting-edge technology companies like Huawei. This brought China closer to Russia more for militarily supports if needed. Trump however rubbed US European NATO allies mainly France and Germany and failed to unify NATO-EU alliance (Macron even said that NATO is brain dead). Also Trump reversed Obama's progress with Iran, but toward end of his tenure he could successfully initiate bringing Israel to reconcile with UAE, Saudis and others.

With Trump gone and Biden on seat of power the deep state started getting their acts together and started coolly implementing their plans step by step. They understood correctly that it will be difficult to contain China having military backing from Russia.

So, the new current two prong strategy is to pin down Russia and aggressively contain China. US quite masterfully has been implementing this since Biden came to power. They realised NATO alliance, though very effective in Europe would not be that effective on South China Sea and Indian ocean front.

So AUKUS, a trilateral security pact between US, UK and Australia was signed in September 2021 and US-UK agreed to pass on nuclear submarine technology to Australia ditching France from the already signed deal.ParallellyQUAD, a strategic dialogue forum between US, Japan, India and Australia is being energised. US knows that China will eventually take over Taiwan but US wants to safeguard Japan and South Korea from any spill over of China-Taiwan conflict in that area during takeover and would like Australia to assist them in that.

Ukraine was a well thought out trap laid by US to pin down Russia. It was a win-win for US and lose-lose for Russia. US very well knew that Ukraine is Russia's red line and Putin has prepared well to not let Ukraine become part of NATO. They had emboldened Ukraine president Zelensky with enough financial and military assistance and a hollow promise of making NATO member sooner than later. Also, US recruited and supplied enough azov fighters to fight Russian army.

US knew that if Russia does not stop Ukraine militarily from becoming NATO member US wins as then US will approve Ukraine's membership in NATO and subsequently install missile launchers and have military as well as air bases in Ukraine, thus achieving first strike ability to paralyse Russia's key military installations very quickly and launch all ground based offensive capabilities to break Russia or blackmail them at every step.

On the other hand, if Russia stops Ukraine militarily then also US wins, they can demonstrate to world and particularly EU that Russia & Putin are aggressors and ready to destroy Europe &world, if not challenged, which will bring entire NATO together and energise united European front against Russia to keep it checked, not to talk about imposing Mother of all sanctions, banning all Russian media, banning all Russian flight to EU and US airspaces.

This was thus a catch 22 situation for Russia-damned if they invade Ukraine and damned if they don't.

Didn't Russia understand this?Yes, they understood and yet they invaded Ukraine. But why?

The reason for that lies in Putin's reading of history of Russia's invasion by Napoleon in 1812 and Hitler in 1941. On both occasions the invading army entered Russia forcing Russia to pay a huge price in terms of destruction of properties and human lives. This tragedy is deep rooted in their minds. They don't want to make the same mistake this time and let NATO armies invade Russia in case of war. They would rather fight and stop them at their western Ukrainian border rather than in Moscow.

That is the reason Russia invaded Ukraine and will like to have it as a vassal or buffer neutral state.

So, US has achieved its objectives by
a) pinning down Russia, b) uniting and energising entire NATO and EU, c) banning sanctions of already completed Nord stream II d) imposing all possible economic, financial, social, cultural sanctions and boycott e) demonising Putin and Russia to rest of the world.

This is more than what US deep state wanted. They never wanted to confront Russia directly with nuclear arsenals. This proxy war suffices.

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Vol 54, No. 38, March 20 - 26, 2022