Are we really expected to believe that sending weapons and soldiers across the Atlantic Ocean and deep into Eastern Europe is for peace and security? And that this is a good way to spend our national treasure? What benefit do the American people get from the nonpartisan congressional delegation – which included Minnesota’s Senator Amy Klobuchar (a repeat of 2016 ) – escalating tensions by going to Ukraine to back threats against Russia?[i]
It’s madness for our nuclear-armed nation to threaten another nuclear-armed nation on its borders, far from our shores. Shouldn’t we consider it reasonable, then, when the president of Russia asks, “How would Americans feel if we put our missiles on the borders of Canada and Mexico?” [ii]
While U.S. officials are sounding the alarm that Russia is moving troops inside their own country, our troops are stationed at 800 U.S. military bases within foreign countries around the world.[iii] There are 70,000 U.S. military personnel at bases in Europe alone.[iv]
In January, U.S. 8,500 troops, a carrier strike group, and fighter jet squadrons were placed on high alert[v] to support a multinational NATO Response Force. We were told that our military is not going to fight in Ukraine and had only been called up to stand by.
But the U.S. already had military inside Ukraine. In a press briefing on February 2, while announcing that 3,000 more U.S. troops would be sent to neighboring Romania and Poland, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said: “[A]s for the Florida National Guard trainers, they are still in Ukraine. There’s been no decision to – to change their status. They are still there providing advice and assist to Ukrainian armed forces.”[vi] The fact that these soldiers were stationed there indicates advanced planning for some time, not a response to a new crisis.[vii]
Officials have not been as forthcoming about the fact that near the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, the U.S. military has maintained a Special Operations training center for the past several years with “a mission to build up an elite fighting force in Ukraine.” After the 2014 U.S.-orchestrated coup in Ukraine which installed a Western-friendly government, a secret training program for Ukrainian special operation forces began in an undisclosed state in the southern United States. The program was initiated in 2015 during the Obama administration, continued through the Trump and Biden administrations and was run by paramilitaries working under the CIA.
According to the Yahoo News reporter who investigated and spoke with former intelligence and national security officials, “the program has included training in firearms, camouflage techniques, land navigation, tactics like ‘cover and move,’ intelligence, and other areas.” Characterized by officials as being there solely for intelligence gathering or defensive purposes “if Russia invades” [viii], it’s promoting aggression. The presence of these American soldiers flies in the face of Washington’s claims to be so concerned about protecting Ukraine’s national sovereignty against a foreign invasion.
In actuality, this sounds like the U.S. is a foreign invader.
Something even more disturbing was revealed in a special TIME investigative report. Erik Prince, founder of the notorious Blackwater company (renamed Academi) had been scheming to develop a $10 billion business plan for Ukraine. This soldier of great fortunes was seeking a private military operation in Ukraine for “strategic planning, logistics, risk management, and security forces training and consulting concerning security risks.”[ix]
Manlio Dinucci, an Italian peace activist and founder of the antiwar movement “No War, No NATO”, warns of a casus belli brewing in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of the Donbass – the independent, eastern part of Ukraine where a large Russian population lives:
Tactical nuclear weapons were designed for use in a battlefield and have up to three times the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
“The Russian Defense Minister Shoigu denounced that in the Donetsk region there are ‘private U.S. military companies preparing a provocation with the use of unknown chemicals.’ It could be the spark that causes the detonation of a war in the heart of Europe, a chemical attack against Ukrainian civilians in Donbass, immediately attributable to the Russians of Donetsk and Lugansk, which would be attacked by the preponderant Ukrainian forces already deployed in the region, to force Russia to intervene militarily in their defense.”
And he continued:
“In the front line, ready to slaughter the Russians in the Donbass, is the Azov battalion, promoted to a special forces regiment, trained and armed by the U.S. and NATO, distinguished for its ferocity in attacks against the Russian populations of Ukraine. The Azov, which recruits neo-Nazis from all over Europe under its flag traced from that of SS Das Reich…” [x]
If these neo-Nazis are creepily reminiscent of World War II, the U.S. is doing nothing to calm things down (as Ukrainian President Zelensky asked Biden to do because threats of war were tanking his country’s economy).[xi] Instead, our country is escalating tensions by threatening Russia’s security as there is the possibility of planting missiles in Ukraine with the capacity to strike Moscow in a matter of minutes.
When NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was originally created in the wake of World War II, its stated purpose was the defense of Europe. However, a declassified document revealed that Britain’s Lord Ismay, the organization’s first secretary-general, said it was necessary to “keep the Soviets out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” [xii]
With the break-up of the Soviet Union, the military alliance began to expand to include more countries, eventually moving deep into eastern Europe right up to Russia’s border. Ukraine, became a flashpoint between U.S.-dominated NATO and its designated adversary, Russia.
Today it’s harder for the U.S. to alienate Russia and keep the countries across “the Pond” together in pursuit of Ukraine via NATO. Germany and other parts of Europe have their own interests such as needing convenient and cheap natural gas transported by Nord Stream 2, the pipeline that was built from Russia to bring the gas to them. China is also interested in Russia’s hydrocarbons. At the opening ceremony of the 2022 Olympics, President Xi pledged to have the Russian president’s back on Ukraine and Putin spoke of gas and oil deals and the strengthening of an alliance between the two nations. China.[xiii] These are just some signs that geo-political-economic power has been shifting on the Eurasian continent for some time.
“There is danger in provocation over Ukraine with nuclear powers involved. Our country needs to act diplomatically, in cooperation with the other nations.”
But, instead, to maintain primacy in Europe, the U.S. is modernizing what is estimated to be its 100 tactical nuclear weapons that reside in underground vaults, guarded by the U.S. Air Force. These are “low-yield” nuclear weapons, considered battlefield tools with 98 percent to three times the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The Permissive Action Link (PAL) codes to activate them are under U.S. control. If the choice is made to use them, they will be loaded into fighter planes at bases in NATO member states: Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and Turkey.[xiv] Russia also has nuclear weapons; they are held on its own territory.[xv]
If activated for the battlefield, these tactical nuclear weapons could kill hundreds of thousands, even millions, and render land uninhabitable forever. In addition, the nuclear power plants generating electricity for Ukraine that could come under fire in war.
NATO should stop expanding and should be ended forever.
U,S,/NATO is creating a dangerous situation with Ukraine on the Russian border. Map: theconversation.com.
Call our senators and tell them “No war with Russia! Stop sending weapons and funding war! End NATO now!
Minnesota Senator Klobuchar: (202) 224-3244
Minnesota Senator Tina Smith: (202) 224-5641
The Congressional switchboard for any state: (202) 224-3121 to connect to your senators’ offices.
Mary Beaudoin is the editor of the Women Against Military Madness Newsletter.
[i] “Bipartisan U.S. Senate Delegation Travels to Ukraine,” 2022. AP NEWS, January 17, 2022. tinyurl.com/yckp5kup
[ii] “How Would America React If Russian Missiles Were Placed at the Border of Canada and Mexico?”, Russian Insight Press conference, youtube (VGRTK December 23, 2021). tinyurl.com/ezzbb84j
[iii] Vine, David, The United States of War: a Global History of Americas Endless Conflicts from Columbus to the Islamic State, (University of California Press. 2020).
[iv] Sullivan, Becky, “Explaining the U.S. military presence in Europe as 2,000 more troops deploy,” (NPR. February 4, 2022). tinyurl.com/t3urtxfh
[v] Copp, Tara, “Pentagon Puts 8,500 Troops on ‘Heightened Alert’ over Russian Threat to Ukraine,” Defense One. January 24, 2022. tinyurl.com/23ak2dur
[vi] “Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby Holds a Press Briefing,” U.S. Department of Defense. February 2, 2022. tinyurl.com/c4r52bys
[vii] Vandiver, John, “Special Forces Press On in Ukraine amid Threat of Russian Invasion,” Stars and Stripes, January 2022. tinyurl.com/2p9aapm8
[viii] Dorfmann, Zach, “CIA Trained Ukrainian Paramilitaries May Take Central Role If Russia Invades,” Yahoo News. January 13, 2022. tinyurl.com/mw3w955z
[ix] Shuster, Simon, “Exclusive: Documents Reveal Erik Prince’s $10 Billion Plan to Make Weapons and Create a Private Army in Ukraine,” time.com, July 7, 2021. tinyurl.com/mw3c9ddk
[x] Dinucci, Manlio, “The Blackwater Is in Donbass with the Azov Battalion”, voltaire.net (Originally published in Italian in Il Manifesto), February 1, 2022. tinyurl.com/ys9v3atn
[xi] Stern, David L.; Dixon, Robyn, “Ukraine’s Zelensky’s Message Is Don’t Panic. That’s Making the West Antsy,” Washington Post. January 30, 2022. tinyurl.com/yjjjc25e
[xii] “NATO Leaders. Lord Ismay,” North Atlantic Treaty Organization. tinyurl.com/2h33p6y6.
[xiii] “Breaking: Putin Hails Unprecedented Partnership Russia Achieved with China,” youtube (VGTRK February 4, 2022), tinyurl.com/46spfjtk; “Putin and Xi Proclaim Bond as Russia Deploys More Forces Near Ukraine,” The New York Times, February 3, 2022. tinyurl.com/52asc96p
[xiv] “Fact Sheet: U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe. Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, armscontrolcenter.org/Europe”, August 18, 2021. tinyurl.com/55vntu5c
[xv] “Congressional Research Report: Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons,” Congressional Record Service, July 15, 2021. tinyurl.com/2p8hp345