American “hawks” seek to escalate the conflict between the United States and Russia
American “hawks” seek to escalate the conflict between the United States and Russia
INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC STRATEGIES
Last year, in the material of the RUSSTRAT Institute “Nuland vs Biden: who is in charge of the White House?” the internal political situation in the United States was described, and it was pointed out that the US State Department is playing its own game in US-Russian relations, which is different from the position of the White House administration.
In the January RUSSTRAT article “Global trends and challenges for Russia in 2022“, it was predicted that in the United States conditional “pigeons” will lose to the “hawks” of American foreign policy, and they will try to draw Russia into the conflict in Ukraine. This scenario has already been implemented. However, according to reports from the White House, the intra-clan struggle is only escalating, and this factor will undoubtedly affect both the course of the conflict in Ukraine and Russian-American relations.
The story that began on February 28 with the statement of the EU Representative for Foreign Policy and Security Josep Borrell that the EU countries are ready to transfer Soviet-made fighter jets to Ukraine has received a rather serious continuation.
On March 5, the publication Politico received information from an anonymous source in the White House administration that the United States is negotiating with Poland over the possible transfer of Soviet-made fighter jets to Ukraine. However, the office of Polish Prime Minister Andrzej Duda said on Twitter that it will not provide Ukraine with fighter jets.
On March 6, in an interview with NBC News, the head of the US State Department, Antony Blinken, said that the United States supports the supply of aircraft to Ukraine from Poland, on which Ukrainian pilots can fly. In return, Washington is ready to transfer American-made aircraft to Warsaw.
In an interview with CBS, Blinken said: “This is being given the green light. In fact, we are now talking with our Polish friends about what we can do to meet their needs if they really decide to transfer these fighters to the Ukrainians.”
On March 7, the head of the office of the leadership of the republic’s government, Michal Dworczyk, said: “Poland has not conducted, does not conduct and will not conduct any military operations from its territory. We are not a party to the conflict and will not be.” When asked about the prospects of sending Polish fighters to Ukraine, Dworczyk pointed out that no decisions had been made on this issue. “And if they are adopted, they should be coordinated and adopted at the level of the entire NATO,” he said.
On March 8, it became known that the Polish government is ready to overtake 28 MiG-29 fighters to the Ramstein US Air Force Base in Germany for their further transfer to Ukraine. The publication Politico pointed out that such a proposal from Poland “stunned Washington”.
An anonymous senior White House administration official told the publication that the US intelligence community and the Department of Defence oppose the transfer of Polish aircraft to Ukraine. “The Polish government did not even consult with its American counterparts before making such an announcement,” Politico wrote.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said late in the evening that his leadership “does not consider the Polish proposal viable”. He explained that the prospect of using a NATO base to fly fighter jets into the skies of Russia-dominated Ukraine “raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance”.
On March 9, Kirby reported that the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, notified Polish National Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak that the United States would not support the transfer of aircraft to Ukraine. A Pentagon spokesperson explained: “The intelligence community has assessed that the transfer of MiG-29s to Ukraine may be mistaken as escalatory and could result in significant Russian reaction that might increase the prospects of a military escalation with NATO,” Kirby said.
However, on the same day, Blinken spoke about the transfer of fighter jets: “Poland’s proposal shows that there are some complexities that the issue presents when it comes to providing security assistance”. “So what we’re doing right now is continuing to consult very closely with Poland, with other NATO Allies on this and the logistical challenges that it presents,” Blinken explained during a press conference at the State Department.
On March 10, Politico published an article stating that, according to three White House officials, US President Joe Biden personally made the decision on the transfer of fighter jets to Ukraine and agreed with the arguments of the Pentagon and intelligence that such a decision was inappropriate due to the frank involvement of the United States in the conflict in Ukraine.
If the publication Politico presented this information in a neutral tone, the Washington Post newspaper in an editorial criticised Joe Biden’s decision. According to the editors, there is no difference between the MANPADS already sent to Ukraine, as well as ATGMs and MIG-29s – all these are “deadly weapons”.
As the Washington Post points out, Biden’s decision is a fiasco for NATO. “The essence of reliable deterrence is to make the enemy believe that certain actions will trigger a response.” However, by refusing to supply fighter jets for fear of escalation, “Biden is allowing Russia to contain the United States.”
The editors believe that this behaviour of the president is becoming the norm, because in Afghanistan, the United States hastily evacuated so as not to provoke the Taliban, and, as a result, received humiliation, which probably influenced Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a special military operation in Ukraine. In addition, in February, the Pentagon canceled a planned nuclear missile test after Russia issued an “unspecified nuclear threat”. This is another blow to the credibility of American deterrence, the Washington Post pointed out.
Of course, the Republican Party of the United States did not miss the opportunity to promote itself on such a weakness of the Democratic president. More than 40 Republican senators wrote a letter in which they demanded that the Pentagon immediately ensure the transfer of aircraft, air defence systems and other weapons of NATO partners to Ukraine.
However, given the previous analytical materials of RUSSTRAT, we can conclude that the head of the State Department Blinken continues to play his game in US-Russian relations and, despite the warnings of the Pentagon, pushes the United States on the path of direct confrontation with Russia. Agree, it is very doubtful that after the office of the Polish Prime Minister publicly announced the refusal to supply fighter jets, they continued to seek a solution to this issue without appropriate pressure from the US State Department.
At the moment, it can be noted that only Biden’s personal decision prevented a new stage in the development of the conflict between the United States and Russia, which could escalate into World War III.
All this is done by the “hawks” of US foreign policy quite consciously, since only when announcing the start of a special operation in Donbass, Vladimir Putin warned that Russia would respond sharply to any intervention by external forces and the consequences would be such as history has not yet seen.
The representative of the Russian Defence Ministry Igor Konashenkov pointed out that the provision of airfields by third countries for the Ukrainian Air Force can be regarded as their involvement in combat operations. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov also said: “We have warned the United States that the orchestrated pumping of weapons from a number of countries is not just a dangerous move, it is an action that turns the relevant convoys into legitimate targets.”
Biden in public statements stands on his own: “The United States will not fight with the Russian Federation in Ukraine, but will protect the territory of its NATO allies.” “We will not wage war against Russia in Ukraine. A direct conflict between NATO and Russia is a Third World War, which we must strive to prevent,” the American president stressed.
However, as was indicated in the RUSSTRAT material “A year of Joe Biden’s rule: results and prospects“, due to a series of failures, Biden is gaining toxicity among the American electorate and on the eve of the November congressional elections, the Democratic Party may decide to remove him from office under one pretext or another.
Indirectly, this scenario is confirmed by an attempt to give foreign policy weight to US Vice President Kamala Harris. Instead of the US president, she spoke at the 58th Munich Security Conference. From March 9 to 11, Harris visited European countries, and her visit was only representative in nature – to demonstrate support for the United States to European NATO partners, but without any new agreements.
Summarising the above, we can conclude that the “hawks” in the United States do not give up trying to aggravate US-Russian relations. If Biden steps down as president of the United States, the weaker and more controlled figure of Kamala Harris will take his place, which will open up the prospect of a new stage in the conflict between the United States and Russia.