Caitlin Johnstone: Incentivizing Russia To Hit NATO

The message to Moscow at this point — with de-escalation and detente entirely missing from public discourse — is that they’re going to get squeezed harder and harder until they attack NATO itself. 

 F-16 Falcon fighter jets over Colombia in 2017 during a U.S.-Colombian  training exercise. (U.S. Air National Guard)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to a reading of this article.

The omnicidal war fiends won the debate over sending tanks to Ukraine, so now it’s time to start arguing for sending F-16s.

In an article “Ukraine sets sights on fighter jets after securing tank supplies,” Reuters reports the following: 

“Ukraine will now push for Western fourth generation fighter jets such as the U.S. F-16 after securing supplies of main battle tanks, an adviser to Ukraine’s defence minister said on Wednesday.

Ukraine won a huge boost for its troops as Germany announced plans to provide heavy tanks for Kyiv on Wednesday, ending weeks of diplomatic deadlock on the issue. The United States is poised to make a similar announcement.”

Just in time for the good news, Lockheed Martin has announced that the arms manufacturing giant happens to be all set to ramp up production of F-16s should they be needed for shipment to Ukraine.

“Lockheed Martin has said that it’s ready to meet demands for F-16 fighter jets if the U.S. and its allies choose to ship them to Ukraine,” Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp reports. “So far, the U.S. and its allies have been hesitant to send fighter jets to Ukraine due to concerns that they could be used to target Russian territory. But the Western powers seem less and less concerned about escalation as the U.S. and Germany have now pledged to send their main battle tanks.”


A New York Times’ article, “How Biden Reluctantly Agreed to Send Tanks to Ukraine,” is subtitled “The decision unlocked a flow of heavy arms from Europe and inched the United States and its NATO allies closer to direct conflict with Russia.” Its authors David E. Sanger, Eric Schmitt and Helene Cooper write:

“President Biden’s announcement Wednesday that he would send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine came after weeks of tense back-channel negotiations with the chancellor of Germany and other European leaders, who insisted that the only way to unlock a flow of heavy European arms was for the United States to send tanks of its own.

His decision, however reluctant, now paves the way for German-made Leopard 2 tanks to be delivered to Ukraine in two or three months, provided by several European nations. While it is unclear whether it will make a decisive difference in the spring offensive that President Volodymyr Zelensky is now planning to take back territory seized by Russia, it is the latest in a series of gradual escalations that has inched the United States and its NATO allies closer to direct conflict with Russia.”

When even the myopic empire scribes at The New York Times are acknowledging that Western powers are escalating aggressions in a very dangerous direction, you should probably sit up and pay attention.

In his recent article for Responsible Statecraft, Mission Creep? How the U.S. role in Ukraine has slowly escalated,” Branko Marcetic outlines the ways the U.S.  empire has “serially blown past their own self-imposed lines over arms transfers,” over and over again relenting to war hawks and requests from Ukrainian officials to supply weapons which it had previously refrained from supplying for fear that they would be too escalatory and lead to hot warfare between nuclear superpowers.

Marcetic notes the way previously unthinkable aggressions like NATO spy agencies conducting sabotage operations on Russian infrastructure are now accepted, with more escalations being called for as soon as the previous one was made.


Toward the end of his article, Marcetic drives home a very important point which needs more attention: that the western alliance has established a policy of continually escalating every time Russia doesn’t react forcefully to a previous western escalation, which necessarily means Russia is being actively incentivized to react forcefully to those escalations.

“By escalating their support for Ukraine’s military, the U.S. and NATO have created an incentive structure for Moscow to take a drastic, aggressive step to show the seriousness of its own red lines,” Marcetic writes. “This would be dangerous at the best of times, but particularly so when Russian officials are making clear they increasingly view the war as one against NATO as a whole, not merely Ukraine, while threatening nuclear response to the alliance’s escalation in weapons deliveries.”

“Moscow keeps saying escalatory arms transfers are unacceptable and could mean wider war; U.S. officials say since Moscow hasn’t acted on those threats, they can freely escalate. Russia is effectively told it has to escalate to show it’s serious about lines,” Marcetic added on Twitter.

A good recent example of this dynamic is the recent New York Times report that the Biden administration is considering backing a Ukrainian offensive on Crimea, which many experts agree is one of the most likely ways this conflict could lead to nuclear warfare.

The Biden administration has assessed that Russia is unlikely to reciprocate an escalatory aggression, according to the article. But the basis for that assessment apparently comes from nothing other than the fact that Russia hasn’t done so yet.

“Crimea has already been hit many times without a massive escalation from the Kremlin,” the Times quotes a RAND Corporation think tanker as saying to explain why the Biden administration thinks it can get away with backing a Crimea offensive.

But as DeCamp explained at the time, that’s not even true; Russia did significantly escalate its aggressions in response to strikes on Crimea, beginning to target critical Ukrainian infrastructure in ways it previously had not.

So, Russia has in fact been escalating its aggressions in response to attacks on Crimea; it just hasn’t been escalating them against NATO powers. As long as Russia is only escalating in ways that hurt Ukrainians, the U.S. -centralized power structure does not regard them as real escalations.

The take-home message to Moscow being that they’re going to get squeezed harder and harder until they attack NATO itself.

And of course, that will be seized on and spun as more evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a reckless madman who is attacking the free world completely unprovoked and must be stopped at all cost, even if it means risking nuclear Armageddon.

Russia would of course be aware of this obvious reality, so the only way it takes the bait is if the pain of not reacting gets to a point where it is perceived as outweighing the pain of reacting. But judging by its actions the empire seems determined to push them to that point.

It really is spooky how much de-escalation and detente have been disappeared from public discourse about Russia. People genuinely don’t seem to know it’s an option.

They really do think the only option is continually escalating nuclear brinkmanship, and that anything else is obsequious appeasement. They think that because that’s the message they are being fed by the imperial propaganda machine, and they’re being fed that message because that is the empire’s actual position.

I’ve been warning about the increasing risk of nuclear Armageddon for as long as I’ve been publicly engaged in political commentary, and people have been calling me a hysterical idiot and a Putin puppet the entire time even as we’ve moved closer and closer to the exact point I’ve been screaming about at the top of my lungs all these years.

Now there’s not a whole lot closer it can get without being directly upon us. I deeply, deeply hope we turn this thing around before it’s too late.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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46 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: Incentivizing Russia To Hit NATO

  1. Black Cloud
    January 30, 2023 at 09:46

    Follow the money.

    US arms sales are at an all time high. Congress dumps tens of billions more than asked for into “defense” while the US economy collapses. Forget the crumbling infrastructure, failed health care and education, rampant homelessness, and so on, because there is no profit in them.

    Most of the “aid to Ukraine” goes to the Pentagon and the military industrial complex. NATO countries that have depleted their military supplies by sending them to the black marketeers (Ukraine) are forced to resupply from the US.

    Logic has utterly failed. If Ukraine is doing so well against Russian why do they desperately need more arms of every flavor? Becuase all of their equipment – formerly the largest and best equipped army in Europe – has been destroyed.

    As the end (of the cashcade) approaches the floodgates open to pour even more arms into Ukraine (and NATO), and efforts to expand the war to NATO via provocations ramp up in a desperate last ditch effort to continue cashing in.

  2. Old Joe
    January 29, 2023 at 00:20

    In World War II, when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, and started the actual war, the headlines in the German newspapers told the German people that Poland had attacked Germany. Hitler and Himmler pulled people out of the prisons, killed them, dressed them in uniforms, Polish and German, and laid them out around a German radio station with the claim that Poland had crossed the border and attacked the peaceful Germans. The Germans were of course only responding to Polish aggression.


    These sorts of people don’t need an excuse. They just make stuff up as needed.

    And of course, both “Remember the Maine” and “Remember the Gulf of Tonkin” turned out to be Big Lies. And the Lusitania was carrying war weapons and ammo to the front in addition to its passengers, and was thus a legitimate target in a war.


    Remember the Maine was William Randolph Hearst’s Big Lie, and the time known as Yellow Journalism. The Gulf of Tonkin was revealed to be a lie when Daniel Ellsberg leaked and Sen. Gravel read into the Congressional Record “The Pentagon Papers”. I’m surprised anyone even takes that one seriously anymore. Daniel Ellsberg has a book for sale about it on his website if you want to learn more. Might even be in a library, but who knows in these times.

    These sorts of people don’t need an excuse. They just make stuff up as needed.

    • Greg
      January 29, 2023 at 21:58

      Excellent responce

  3. January 29, 2023 at 00:20

    Caitlin’s article hits the nail on the head. Mindlessly escalating danger is the name of US/UK/EU war games against Russia in Ukraine. Perhaps it gets down to the fact that the US-led western war making countries have lost the ability to reason, to analyze, to see extreme danger. Being full of their sense of ‘superiority” blinds them and threatens the entire world. Yet our countries are suffering from the huge sanctions they unwisely employed against Russia that have harmed their own economies, especially in Europe, far more than Russia, which had built up its self-sufficiency over years. America does not want peace, it needs war for its economy, which is largely devoted to wars… What to do ? march for peace? constantly nag about the stupidity and vicious criminality of western wars, which destroy the world community’s ability to co-operate, to find a way to live sustainably and at peace under the sun, moon and stars??? That dammed industrial/military/media complex…

    • Bruce Edgar
      January 29, 2023 at 21:22

      The escalation is not mindless at all. Consider what powerful “keep us safe” nightmares motivates Joe Biden at this moment in tine:

      His spectacular failure in the withdrawal from Afghanistan;

      His spectacular failure to rein in his son Hunter Biden who received a highly paid, do nothing job in Ukraine because his father was the President;

      The fact that Joe Biden as VP was sent by Obama to create and steer (with Victoria Nuland’s help) the 2014 uprising which is at the heart of the current crisis

      His political survival is at stake. As well as Obama’s .

      Which means, it is time for an impeachment: for the political survival of America.

      I can’t believe I grew up in this country.

  4. Jackson
    January 28, 2023 at 23:59

    In the 2020 Presidential Election, there was one anti-war candidate in both corporate parties. She struggled to get support levels of 1% or 2% in half of the electorate. Therefore, with 99% of Americans enthusiastically voting pro-war, I think you may need to reconsider your statement of “we all want to live”.

    There is both the “pro-Armageddon” faction in the Team Red party, as well as the “Anything for a Profit – Wall St” faction in the Team Blue party that appear to dispute your statement. Armageddon appears to be popular in America, and not just as a Bruce Willis movie. Very popular indeed. I hear they even are already planning a sequel to what they are certain will be a box-office hit of mushroom cloud proportions, although they do admit that casting may be a problem. The rumors are that this might be the first all-AI Oscar winning blockbuster.

    I sure as heck did not see a groundswell of anti-war candidates in the mid-terms, promising to slash military spending and use the money to help Americans, and don’t even hear a hint of a rumor of such a thing for next time. If Americans ‘all want to live’, they are being very, very quiet about it.

    There was a million person strong, No Nukes concert in Central Park. The problem is that it was 40 years ago, back when people did want to live.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      January 30, 2023 at 12:41

      That was on June 12, 1982, when 800,000 people turned out to protest nuclear weapons in Central Park and in San Francisco, another 60,000 marched and called for a ban on nuclear weapons which I helped to organize. Today, there is not even a whiff of a genuine antiwar movement or a single Democrat, including members of The Squad, who dared to vote or speak against the largest military budget in history, including the unaccountable funding for the war in Ukraine, which last year, already, was larger than the next 11 nations combined.

      The bed Americans have made for themselves will likely end up expanding into the world’s tomb. And who could be more appropriate to preside over that end game scenario than Joe Biden?

  5. Rudy Haugeneder
    January 28, 2023 at 16:58

    I too have been warning about total war for some time, and been seen as a silly old fool who doesn’t understand international social, political and military politics that, these people argue, are some kind of bulwark against such as outcome, even as they support a total attack on Russia territory in that part of the world, as modern diplomacy with attached punch. They are punch drunk and, unfortunately, it’s a poison that could kill them and me, a senior who prefers to let Nature decide when my time is up rather than others who, it seems, are unwittingly bent on suicide.

  6. Dave
    January 28, 2023 at 15:08

    The Russians are the adults in the room. The Collective West know that they have completely miscalculated, and are actively attempting to bait Russia into a wider war. A prominent part of the miscalculation of the hybrid war was financial, with the West now hoisted on their own petard as the petrodollar is now threatened with the debt bomb moving closer to detonation. Perhaps this accounts for the escalation – there is no going back for the West – they must weaken and destabilize Russia, otherwise they fear collapse themselves. The Hegemon is desperate, and Putin knows this. Pray that Putin does not fall for the bait. The West may delay victory for Russia, but Ukraine is being effectively de-militarized, as its military is nearing collapse.

  7. Vera Gottlieb
    January 28, 2023 at 10:16

    There is a saying in Spanish…’estan buscando algo que no se les ha perdido’. Looking for something they haven’t lost. Fanning the fires of war…shows how deaf, dumb and blind the West, under US/NATO influence, has come. Frankly, I have admired Russia’s patience…

  8. Henry Smith
    January 28, 2023 at 09:18

    The reality is that with these ‘advanced’ weapons – Tanks and F16s – there needs to be an awful lot of logistics support and training. This brings into question whether this is real or just western chaff to fool the ignorant and stupid.
    Training can take from months to years and will probably be carried out elsewhere in NATO countries.
    Logistics (ammunition and spare parts) would have to be done in country and therefore represents an easy target.
    With aircraft, if they are actually based in Ukraine they will be easily destroyed BUT if they were flown from another country then the conflict widens because that other country then becomes a legitimate target.
    IMO all this talk is NATO PR. These weapons wont change a thing for Ukraine or Russia but it allows the American psychos and their poodles to appear strong.

  9. glider
    January 28, 2023 at 05:38

    The escalation is not “reluctant”. It is steady and planned why the war-hawks making the decisions. They are intentionally “slowly boiling the frog”. It is a method of selling their war, and testing the Russians. They badly want a hot war that won’t go nuclear, but are willing to risk that very event, for their power grab

  10. Dr. Hujjathullah M.H.B. Sahib
    January 28, 2023 at 04:10

    Nothing will turn this foolishly concieved escalatory momentum towards detente and peace because the Western escalatory mania is the result of being bitten by the rabis-afflicted Neo-Cons and Indo-Zions hogging U.S. security and “defense” policies. But whether these profiteering policy-hawks would really go all the way to upscale their current Arm-and-get-on sales pitch to a disasterous real Armageddon that spreads out of Ukraine remains doubtful. Putin certainly is not a fool to easily fall for this irresponsible bloody idiocy. This is an idiocy that only the American public, as guided by their saner minds, can stop !

  11. January 28, 2023 at 03:30

    The US is rocket rattling and flag waving. Sorry, Caitlin this “escalation ” is just the bravado of a bully without the ability to back up this threats. The Russians are prosecuting the SMO methodically. HIMARS changed nothing. Nor did Western supplied artillery. Rather, they gave Zelensky a false sense of confidence that the money would keep on flowing. He is now reportedly close to being a billionaire. He wins even if the country loses. As of this writing, the Russians have been steadily destroying AFU assets allow along the present “contact line” in the Donbass theater. Their stated primary objective is to free all of Eastern Ukraine, including the Black Sea coast. Once the line between Zaporozhe and Krasyn Liman collapses, only Kramtorsk, Servsk, Slavyansk and other cities in the north of the region remain — more easily taken. Then comes the Kharkov region and the west bank of the Dniepr . Ukraine will be left with nothing but Galicia – and largely depopulated of Ukrainian speaking Ukrainians. Western tanks or fighter aircraft are not suited to the Ukrainian battlefield. Patriot missile will be ineffective. The will only be available in quantity after the war is over. They are a giveway to the MIC, which has posted 49% gains in profits. But such giveaways weaken both the US and Europe and promote the shift to a multipolar world. If you are interested in the basis for this opinion, go here.

  12. firstpersoninfinite
    January 28, 2023 at 00:17

    Well-said Caitlin Johnstone! We are in an extremely dangerous moment. But the cynic in me says that Biden will make a deal with Davos attendant and long-time visitor to the White-House Putin to wait until the 2024 election is over and receive some way out of the morass. Meanwhile, Putin can play a greater foil than even Trump played in ensuring Biden’s election victory for a second term. Cynical, yes, but the innocent dead do not have a vote in the future, whatever side from which they are sacrificed.

    • January 28, 2023 at 13:15

      This war has been planned since the Minsk Agreement and Merkel herself avoided how NATO was buying time against Russia. The sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines is yet another proof. A list of sanctions and Russophobia policies across the world is yet another proof. Today tanks tomorrow jets. Putin is so naive to even think of a peaceful solution. the Russian Federation is encircled and when Turkey and Israel will enter in it will be too late for Russia. This escalation was planned and will ultimately respond to depopulation calculated by NWO. Only western populations can stop this as the Americans did to stop the Vietnam wars. Massive protests against their own governments to de-escalate and respect the Minsk Agreement and repair the pipelines. Only blind warmongers cannot foresee this coming hecatomb. God bless 2023.

    January 27, 2023 at 22:48

    While the West moves tanks, and probably later, F-16s into Ukraine; Russia has been moving submarines and nuclear missiles out to sea in the direction of Western countries and the US. It is World War 3, but in slow motion. I never doubt that Russia’s strategy is to entice the West into Ukraine and do its killing there, controlling the battle space, while husbanding its resources and warriors. Russia has time and it’s using it proactively–not re-actively– to defend itself, by among other things: destabilizing Western economies, growing its influence in the world, coming up with a new financial system, and most importantly, strengthening the cultural values and traditions of its people. All the while the West is disintegrating in its hubris, brutality, and hate.

  14. DHFabian
    January 27, 2023 at 21:29

    Joe Biden ran on provoking war. In the two years since taking office, his administration has followed in Trump’s footsteps, provoking Russia via Ukraine and China via Taiwan, back and forth. Two of the three world nuclear superpowers. Response? Well, there really hasn’t been one – several sizable protests, virtually ignored by media. If we’re still here next January, most news will be set aside in order to focus on the presidential campaigns. This is what the “final stages of Empire” look like.

  15. jack johnson
    January 27, 2023 at 21:14

    When the US invaded and occupied Iraq, Iran was supplying Iraq with small arms and weapons. The US proclaimed if this continued it would be an “act of war”. Wonder what changed in this case.

    • A Concerned Westerner
      January 28, 2023 at 12:08

      I agree with your perspective. Russia is responding to decades of lies, insults, deadly threats and escalation by a West that is losing control of everything in its world – economic interests, the trust of its citizens, and military dominance. Despite control of the Western propaganda machine, the West doesn’t win actual wars by running their mouths, because it would have been all over last March if that was the case. This whole exercise now is about posturing to save face and justify the existence of NATO. NATO is of no value unless it can protect its members from being attacked and that’s what it desperately wants – an attack on a European member of NATO to justify its existence. If that doesn’t happen then ratchet up the threat escalations to where Russia responds with overwhelming force. Yes it looks like the nutters do want a war with Russia. But what happens when US cities are being bombed and destroyed by Russia in response to a US directed attack on Crimea?

    • J Anthony
      January 28, 2023 at 18:02

      Double-standard hypocrisy coming from US government? But of course.

  16. shmutzoid
    January 27, 2023 at 20:14

    “We had to destroy the village in order to save it”. That bit of insanity from the Vietnam war is now reflected within US imperial managers assessing escalation via conventional weapons vs nukes. Except, we’re talking about possible nuclear winter killing off much of humanity, not just a village in Vietnam.
    ———- i do wonder if and when Western public will ever grok that this is a war ON Russia by US/NATO. I dunno. The corporate media grip on the flow of info is ironclad. Rational discourse with anyone who “consumes” only MSM is impossible.
    ——- Russia did everything possible to avoid this conflict. You would never know this following only corporate news. The approved story lines are: Ukraine is fighting for freedom and democracy………… Russia’s attack was unprovoked…………. US had nothing to do with the coup of 2014……..,.,. There are no neo-Nazis in Ukraine – they’re, er, ‘freedom fighters’. ……..Putin is evil, the latest Hitler, bent of re-constituting the USSR, and, Satan himself!!

  17. CNfan
    January 27, 2023 at 19:46

    WWI was engineered and WWII was engineered. Now WWIII is being engineered. The Collective West is controlled by a banking mafia (“banksters”, said FDR), for whom the bulk of the population is disposable.

  18. January 27, 2023 at 19:08

    The US is at war with Russia and Europeans will do the fighting war damage dance. The US is at war with China though it’s not settled that South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Australia will agree to doing the fighting and dying there. The US is at war with Iran, a country with the strongest coastal defenses on Earth. Russia has opened the Volga and Don rivers to Iranian shipping. This connects Iran to the Beijing-European freight route through Moscow and provides Iran with a safe and short shipping route to the Mediterranean sea.

    Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela are being prodded by a US war stance and bullying threats. Iran, the first empire on Earth, has not attacked anyone in six hundred years. Chess masters there face grade b checker players with nukes. It’s definitely scary.

    Many other social economies are effected; What will Mexico, Indonesia, California, Brazil, Vietnam and Argentina do?

    Gearóid Tóibín O’Conghaile

  19. Bob Browning
    January 27, 2023 at 18:55

    C.J. and others are correct, the US won’t allow legitimate diplomacy. The global capitalists have bankrupt their system hence the coordinated push for their reset- tey have nothing to lose.

    • Adam Gorelick
      January 28, 2023 at 19:23

      The United States is doing an excellent job of destabilizing it’s own (and the EU’s) economies sans Russian skullduggery. This is America’s Last Stand as global hegemon and most of the world is understandably completely fed up. An alternative to the Swift system (and I.M.F. and World Bank) is inevitable with the likes of BRICS. Nor does Russia need to “entice” the West into the Ukraine theatre. Western countries have largely become invertebrates in the U.S. orbit. It’s difficult to believe, but this is the world we live in.

  20. January 27, 2023 at 18:38

    We won’t rest until everyone is dead.

    • Rob Roy
      January 27, 2023 at 22:34

      Sometimes I think, just get it over with already…and I would be sorry only for babies and animals.

      Rootin’ for Putin.

    • Adam Gorelick
      January 28, 2023 at 18:04

      Ripped From Tomorrow’s Headlines : U.S./NATO To Send Low-Yield Nuclear Missiles To Ukraine. Will tactical nuclear weapons remain beyond consideration? Before the Nord Stream pipeline was blown up by the U.S., that would have seemed unbelievable as well. The bizarre, taunting escalation underway by the U.S. seems increasingly divorced from reality. Powerful forces want to prolong this war for as long as possible. Thus far, the longer the horror continues in Ukraine the closer the world appears to be getting to a cataclysm.

  21. eric siverson
    January 27, 2023 at 18:26

    Russia haas not been able to defeat Ukriane in one year in a conventional war . Yet i believe Russia could totall destroy the USA the most powerful military force in the world in one day . This may not make sense to most people , Yet i’am afraid this is true .

    • DHFabian
      January 27, 2023 at 21:56

      There is a g0od reason for that. “Destroying Ukraine” is not Russia’s goal. Their strategy remains that of destroying the infrastructure at minimal loss of life, to bring down (US war puppet) Zelensky. We see a classic case of Russia playing chess while the US/Zelensky plays checkers. Ukraine was a region of Russia (like a province) from the 1700s to 1991, when it became an independent country. US business (and military) interests poured in. Note the US role in Ukraine’s 2014 coup, and in installing Zelensky in 2019. Note the US role in provoking and financing Ukraine’s war – not Russia vs. Ukraine, but Zelensky’s fascist forces in western Ukraine attacking eastern Ukraine (Donbas region, etc.), which had voted to align with Russia rather than the West. A crucial point: Ukraine has a sizable ethnic Russian population, esp. in the eastern oblasts, which Zelensky apparently set out to eradicate. War will continue until Zelensky is gone, and US/NATO is forced back into complance with the 1991 NATO treaty.

      A little complicated, but on the garbage we’re fed about this war, keep one thing in mind: Conflict-drained Ukraine is roughly the size of Texas, while nuclear world power Russia is twice the size of the US. If Russia wanted possession of Ukraine, they would have it. Russia’s focus is on blocking US efforts to take over Ukraine, installing US/NATO missile bases near the Ukraine/Russian border, and launching nuclear world war.

    • Mikael Andersson
      January 27, 2023 at 22:27

      Two subs hidden in the sea. The USA doesn’t know where. One in the Pacific and the other in the Atlantic. Multiple missiles with multiple warheads. Goodbye how many – at least a dozen – large USA cities. Let’s say there are some spare subs, just in case. Can you name 12 major US cities? New York, Washington, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, St Louis. That’s 12. Terrified? I am.

      • Lee Vail
        January 28, 2023 at 10:07

        Norfolk Naval Base in Norfolk VA will be a primary target should it come to that.

      • RandolphNugent
        January 28, 2023 at 11:00

        How many Yanks would give up these cities, and perhaps a 100 million people dead, for Ukarine?

    • rosemerry
      January 28, 2023 at 01:06

      Russia was not trying to “defeat Ukraine” but to make it into a reasonable nation which is not a threat to Russia.It regarded Ukraine as a neighbour and spent all those years trying to have peace, but the USA and NATO hate such an idea and have used Ukraine as an excuse for attacking Russia. The pretence to care about Ukraine is obvious to anyone who is fair, but the “Empire of Lies” will not admit this.

      • steve
        January 28, 2023 at 08:18

        Well said. I believe this narrative is slowly seeping through the wests population. Once the masses realises the huge con that has been played on them dollar empire will fall. Will that empire allows the world to get that far without life extinction is another matter.

  22. James McFadden
    January 27, 2023 at 18:21

    Eric Schmitt seems to be the new Judith Miller for NYTs anti-Russian pipeline to the neocons. Remember his fake story about Russian bounties on US troops in Afghanistan. He was also blaming Russia for the Spain mail bombs. Connections to CNAS. Any articles where he’s a co-author are likely part of the anti-Russia propaganda campaign.

  23. IJ Scambling
    January 27, 2023 at 18:19

    We also have (including here at CN comments) the accusation that Russia is “dithering” and should get on with it. Whether MK Bhadrakumar is correct or not, that “the supreme art of war . . . to subdue the enemy without fighting” (Sun Tzu) applies to Putin’s strategy. and why Russia has confined its operations to a slow approach, further provocation via attack on Crimea could change the war immediately. Surely this is why the recent Russia mobilization to build up more powerful forces following the failure of the SMO approach.



    • Red Star
      January 28, 2023 at 07:59

      ““the supreme art of war . . . to subdue the enemy without fighting” (Sun Tzu) applies to Putin’s strategy. ”

      Indeed. People seem to think wars can only be fought the American way – bombing everyone back to the stone age.

      If anyone doubts the Russian strategy, they might consider that Ukraine is 20% smaller this time last year, and the fact that that 20% wasn’t bombed into submission but democratically elected to join the Russian Federation.

  24. Valerie
    January 27, 2023 at 18:05

    “I’ve been warning about the increasing risk of nuclear Armageddon for as long as I’ve been publicly engaged in political commentary, and people have been calling me a hysterical idiot and a Putin puppet the entire time even as we’ve moved closer and closer to the exact point I’ve been screaming about at the top of my lungs all these years.”

    And it’s not as though you will have the satisfaction of being able to say “I told you so”.
    But perhaps the “unobserved and quietly watching” will take note. A bit like “so long and thanks for all the fish”. (Douglas Adams)

    • Mikael Andersson
      January 27, 2023 at 22:29

      Val, nobody has (or wants) the satisfaction of being able to say “I told you so”. We all want to live.

      • Valerie
        January 28, 2023 at 04:13

        Correct Mikael. It was said in a “tongue in cheek” sort of way.

  25. Lt. Big Muddy
    January 27, 2023 at 15:20

    During the Vietnam War, America regularly bombed the “Ho Chi Minh Trail”.

    As America defined the rules at that time, bombing a 3rd country to hit your enemy’s supply lines was A-OK and totally patriotic and blessed by God and Jesus, as we were told from the pulpits and by the TV news.

    • Mikael Andersson
      January 27, 2023 at 22:31

      Hello Caitlin. Attack NATO – where? Are NATO forces in Ukraine NATO forces? Why are they there? Are they legitimate targets? If Russia blows up a USA tank in Ukraine is that an attack on the USA – which we are to believe isn’t in Ukraine? If Russia shoots down a US jet that isn’t there, is that an attack on NATO. Is an action against a NATO weapon in Ukraine an attack on NATO? The USA will argue that its purpose is to “protect” its forces – forces that aren’t in Ukraine ? Personally I think anything on Ukrainian land or in Ukrainian airspace is a legitimate target. My opinion includes things outside Ukraine that deliver capability into Ukraine. Russian restraint is noted.

      • DMCP
        January 28, 2023 at 08:56

        You ask fair questions but I think you miss the main point: the US seeks to destroy Russia but does not have a ‘smoking gun’ to justify launching its weapons against Russia. Just as the Spanish-American war had ‘Remember the Maine’, WWI had ‘Remember the Lusitania’, WWII had ‘Remember Pearl Harbor’, and the Vietnam war had ‘Remember the Gulf of Tonkin’. The US, by its escalations, is goading Russia to either make a direct attack on NATO forces that lie outside Ukraine (a la Pearl Harbor) or provide a situation the US could pretend was a Russian aggression (a la Gulf of Tonkin). When a missile fell across the Ukrainian border into Poland and killed two farmers, many in the Western governments and media were ready to use that as an excuse to go to war — until it was revealed to have been a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile.

      • Piotr Berman
        January 30, 2023 at 09:45

        Putin is very reluctant to create precedents for escalation, so if an attack will happen, it will be similar to an American action from the past. For example, destroying an undersea pipeline, like natural gas pipelines connecting Norway with UK, or Germany, or Poland. No subterfuge required, a hypersonic or ballistic missile could be used.

        Another possibility, more “delicate”, would be to improve significantly air defences in Syria (not cheap, but Russia can still afford it), and let Iran do the rest — like tit-for-tat retaliation for drone attacks last week.

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