Thursday, February 5, 2015

US Washington-based strategist sees the US strategy in Ukraine as a continuation of strategies in Iraq, Libya, and Syria by the same means, but with different local agents

A US Washington-based strategist sees the US strategy in Ukraine as a continuation of the same disastrous (and chaos- and destruction-breeding) strategies in Iraq, Libya, and Syria by the same means, but with different local agents, in his concluding line, he observes:

"Sending weapons without an overall strategy is not a hard choice, but it is one that the United States has readily made before, often with adverse results. Providing anti-tank missiles to the Free Syrian Army did not change Syria’s or Russia’s calculus, but rather prolonged the demise of the FSA at the hands of Assad’s forces. Russia continues to arm Syria, the conflict continues to cost hundreds of thousands of civilian lives and the FSA is almost completely destroyed, but with no resolution in sight. Arming the militias of Libya and conducting air strikes on their behalf, with no strategy to create a Libyan nation or a Libyan army post-Qaddafi has resulted in one of the most disastrous American foreign policies in the region. Iraq is another example that providing weapons does not a fighting, or a successful, army make. Now ISIS forces drive around in American Humvees, while Shia militias have access to M1A1 Abrams tanks and MRAPs. It is important that the United States learn from these mistakes and seek a better outcome for Ukraine."

Michael Kofman in the National Interest makes several factually correct or almost correct observations, while he still repeats and recycles a bulk of the other anti-Rusian propaganda (i.e. concerning MH-17). He also understands correctly that the Minsk Deal was the West's frank attempt at achieving a barely disguised (except for the most unconditional admirers of Lavrov and Putin) Russia's political capitulation and that, in its boldness and success in making Moscow sign unto the Minsk accords, both the public and the secret ones, Washington and its allies considered Minsk to be a "politically and diplomatically brilliant" move on their part with the fifth and sixth columnists and other implants merely left to present it and sell it to the public and their blind fans as either a success, if not victory, of Russian diplomacy, or, if not, then as a totally insignificant piece of paper. Lavrov took the pain to keep praising the Minsk Deal as Vladimir Putin's own initiative and achievement. 

But Kofman is no fan of US adventurism; though, while he is rejecting some lies of the US establishment, he keeps and adheres to others. Apparently, he is one of those who came to believe that, as one needs to pick one's battles, one also needs to pick one's lies--if only to survive and continue working in an environment such as Washington D.C.

Among the things where he decided to make courageously and factually rather correct statements stand out these:

1. Moscow's "previous references regarding the Russian world, or Novorossiya, have already been eliminated from official rhetoric."
2. "The only visible agreement between NATO and Ukraine on the composition of separatist forces appears to be that the overwhelming majority of fighters are locals and likely Ukrainian citizens, which completely undermines the premise of the entire report that Russian forces are the key participants and their casualties will prove a deterrent."
3.  "It is widely recognized in Moscow that signing the Minsk ceasefire was a wholly unforced strategic mistake, as it achieved none of its stated political objectives, while making Russia a party to the conflict with obligations that could subsequently be pointed to by the West."
4. "After Minsk, the West keenly levied economic and diplomatic pressure for Russia to implement provisions of the ceasefire agreement, while Kyiv had to do essentially nothing except hold the existing line of control. This presented Moscow with either POLICY CAPITULATION, or continued suffering under the sanctions regime. Either way, the WEST HAD TIME TO WAIT, and Russia did not. For the West, politically it was brilliant, diplomatically it was brilliant, but militarily it was dangerous. Russia has undertaken its only viable option, to launch another offensive, defeat Ukraine and erase the Minsk agreement by forcing Kyiv to sign a new one."
5. Needless to say, Kofman is careful not to mention Ukrainian Nazism and the Banderite ideology and war program of the US-supported junta.

Michael Kofman is a Public Policy Scholar at the Kennan Institute, Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

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