The West’s Interest to the Attrition of the Russian War in Ukraine

2022/03/08 | Note, political, top news

Strategic Council Online – Opinion: Ukraine crisis is one the important issues before Biden’s Administration in the field of foreign policy which is considered in a way as the continuation of crisis in Crimea peninsula annexed to Russia in 2014. Dr. Fatemeh Nekoo Laal Azad, Expert of international issues

Ukraine has become one of the important challenges in relations between the U.S. and Russia since 2014. Yet, the time lapse did not help the crisis sort out, instead, parallel with rising tensions between the two countries and Russia’s determination to confront NATO expansion, Ukraine crisis and subsequently crisis in relations of Russia and the West has been spiraling.

Within the recent days and weeks, American authorities stressed on the critical situation at Ukraine border as well as the certainty of Russian military invasion. They claimed that based on their information, Russian invasion of Ukraine was certain. However, the claims were rejected by Russia but ultimately the attack took place.

In fact, the Ukraine crisis turned to war when the Russian President recognized two provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk in East Ukraine as two autonomous republics and put forward historic claims against Ukraine from one hand and he got the authorization from Russian parliament to use military force outside Russia from the other hand. The Russian measure by itself indicated the unavoidability of war.

In reaction to Russian President measure, Germany halted the authorization of Nord Stream 2 gas line, England imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and or banks. On February 22, 2022 in an executive order, the U.S. President also imposed sanctions on monetary and banking sectors of Russia. It seems that other U.S. allied countries will take similar steps.

When announcing the imposition of new sanctions on Russia on February 22, 2022 Joe Biden said he was committed to defend each and every inch of NATO members’ territory, and in case of non-withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, he would dispatch more forces to Eastern European NATO members.

The mentioned situation means that both sides of the crisis are in the state of vicious circle of action and reaction, the ultimate result of which will be war and rising crisis in East Europe as well as in relations of Russia with the West. As the practical measures of both sides depicts another status, the U.S. stress on keeping the diplomatic channel open did not leave any effect to tranquil the crisis.

The reason why Russia staged a war against Ukraine relates to security concerns of the country. In fact, the remarks raised by the Russia authorities implicate that military measures of the West in Eastern Europe within the past few months have concerned Russia, because the Western countries, particularly the U.S., have helped Ukraine and other Eastern European countries remarkably within the recent weeks.

In this respect, Lloyd Austin, the U.S. Secretary of Defense stated that the United States is committed to help Ukraine defend itself with providing more weaponry. The U.S. has recently deployed a consignment of $ 200 million worth of weapons to Ukraine. It worth to note that from 2014 to 2021 the U.S. has exported $ 2.5 billion of arms to Ukraine.

It is necessary to mention that in November 2020 as part of joint training group of multinational – Ukraine, about 150 personnel of task force from Florida National Guard were dispatched to the country to replace Washington National Guard. Likewise, the U.S. authorized the NATO Allies, i.e. Lithonia, Estonia and Lithuania to transfer arms to Ukraine. Moreover, in military field on the top of transfer of arms and weapons, the U.S. has followed the military coordination with its Allies as well as stationing military forces in the Eastern Europe. Washington has announced that it plans to station more military forces in countries near to Ukraine (Poland, Romania and Germany).

Among the latest example of cooperation with NATO Allies, there was Neptune Strike 22 military exercise in which the USS Truman carrier of the U.S. was also participating.

In fact, the U.S. military initiatives and measures cover three areas; stationing of military force, accompaniment of Allies for coordination in military filed and transfer of arms. In military stationing area, at the outset Biden Administration announced that it has put on alert 8500 troops in order to deploy them to Eastern Europe.

According to John Kirby, the Spokesman of the Department of Defense, the objective is to strengthen the defense of Eastern wing of NATO Allies. He said:” the forces will not be deployed to Ukraine which is not a NATO member”. Along with this issue, Biden Administration has recently announced that nearly 3000 American troops will be dispatched to areas closer to Ukraine. John Kirby expressed his views in this respect that these forces will be sent to Poland, Romania and Germany to strengthen positions. Kirby underscored the commitment to defend other NATO members but added that the deployments will not be done by NATO. Before the crisis, the U.S. had almost 7000 troops in Europe, nearly 6000 of whom stationed in Eastern Europe.

In addition to direct military measures, the U.S. tries to make committed European partners to defend against Russia. Remarks made by Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General as saying:” NATO will continue to take necessary measures to protect and defend all Allies, including by strengthening of the Eastern part of the coalition”, can be considered among the U.S. breakthroughs in this field. Moreover, as a part of reorganization of the military forces in the (green) continent, Denmark has announced its intention to send a frigate to Baltic Sea and four F-16 fighter jets to Lithuania. According to the reports, the Netherlands has also sent two F-35 fighter jets to Bulgaria, and France has also claimed to be ready to send troops to Romania.

Now, that Russia has started a war against Ukraine, according to the aforementioned vicious circle, one should expect the West’s reaction. It seems that the Western countries are not only looking for intensification of sanctions against Russia but also engage the country in an attrition war in Ukraine, the result of which will be Russia’s weakening. Today, Ukraine is the playground of Russia and the West and it seems that the U.S. is not scared of Russian military intervention, because having regarded the economic situation of Russia, the attack of this country  on Ukraine and its continuation can lead to Russia’s weakening.

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