SCOTT RITTER: Requiem for NATO’s Nightmare

The dysfunction of the Atlantic military alliance over Ukrainian membership was just the most public manifestation of the debacle that was the Vilnius summit.

President Volodymyr Zelensky during a memorial for fallen Ukrainian soldiers in Lviv in January. (President of Ukraine, Public domain)

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emerges as a tragic figure in the unfolding drama that is the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

He was asked to sacrifice the lives of his countrymen in order to be seen by the U.S. and NATO as worthy of joining their club. But when the sacrifice did not produce the desired result (i.e., the strategic defeat of Russia), the door to NATO, which had been left open a crack to tease Ukraine into performing its suicidal task, was slammed shut.

Despite NATO’s disingenuous machinations to maintain the optics of potential Ukrainian membership (the Ukraine-NATO Council, created during the Vilnius Summit earlier this month, stands as a prime example), everyone knows that Ukrainian membership in the trans-Atlantic alliance is a fantasy.

Ukraine is now left to pick a poison of its own choosing — accept a peace which makes permanent Russian territorial claims while forever foregoing the possibility, however distant, of NATO membership; or to continue to fight, with the likely outcome of the additional loss of territory and destruction of the Ukrainian nation and people.

Robert Graves’ autobiography, Goodbye to All That, does double duty by providing a template for Ukraine as it charts the passing of Europe’s old order — the U.S.-dominated NATO alliance, the European Union, the rules-based international order and all the post-World War II structures, which held the Western world together for nearly eight decades. They are all now crumbling around us.

Graves’ struggle to adapt to post-war England in the aftermath of the horrors of the First World War, and his observations of a nation collectively struggling to define itself, is a cautionary tale for what is in store for Ukraine. 

As Ukraine bids farewell to its former self, it must also part with its dreams of becoming one with a European community whose own longevity is very much in doubt. That is largely because of its disastrous involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Ukrainian trenchline at the Battle of Bakhmut, November 2022. (, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

Ukraine will never be the same after this war ends. Neither will the NATO alliance. Having defined the proxy war it is waging in Ukraine against Russia in existential terms, NATO will struggle to find both relevance and purpose in a post-conflict world.

The Vilnius summit on July 11-12 in many ways represented the high-water mark of Europe’s old order. The summit was the requiem for a nightmare of Europe’s own creation — the death of a nation, the nullification of a continent and the end of an order which had long ago lost its legitimacy.

Strange Isolation

Watching the reporting from the Vilnius summit, I was struck by the strange isolation of Zelensky as he sought to mingle with the leaders of NATO nations that called him friend and ally but treated him and the nation he leads as anything but.  Zelensky had pulled out all the stops to jockey Ukraine into position for NATO membership, only to be scratched at the gate.

Briefed in advance of a proposed NATO communique declaring that Ukraine would be invited to join the alliance “when allies agree and conditions are met,” the Ukrainian president was left to vent his frustration to an accommodating press only too willing to jump on the chance to flame the fires of scandal. “It’s unprecedented and absurd,” Zelensky bemoaned, “when time frame is not set neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine’s membership. While at the same time vague wording about ‘conditions’ is added even for inviting Ukraine.”

Mollified after being chastised by his NATO masters, Zelensky later changed his tune, speaking of his desire to join NATO, but in a new, non-confrontational manner. “The results of the summit have been good,” Zelensky told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a joint press conference, “but if we had got an invitation [to NATO], they’d have been perfect.”

From left, U.S. President Joe Biden; Zelensky, Stoltenberg and NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana in Vilnius on July 12. (NATO, Flickr, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Later, during a press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden, Zelensky stood mute while Biden continued to pour cold water on the prospects for Ukrainian NATO membership. “We’ve just concluded the first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council and — where all our allies agreed Ukraine’s future lies with NATO,” Biden said. “Allies all agreed to lift the requirements for the Membership Action Plan for Ukraine and to create a path to NATO membership while Ukraine continues to make progress on necessary reforms.”

One could sense the anger and frustration in Zelensky’s eyes as he listened to Biden add insult to injury by calling him “Vladimir.”

The NATO dysfunction over Ukrainian membership, however, was but the most public manifestation of the debacle that was the Vilnius Summit.

The Fantasy of Unity

While Zelensky was playing the role of someone desperately looking for a date to the prom — on prom night — Turkish President Recep Erdogan was playing hard to get. After agreeing to allow Finland and Sweden to join NATO during last year’s Madrid summit, Erdogan laid down stringent conditions which kept Finland from being ratified as NATO’s newest member until April 2023. He left Sweden in the lurch on the eve of the Vilnius summit.

Just before departing for Vilnius, Erdogan surprised many by linking Turkish ratification of Sweden’s bid to join the trans-Atlantic alliance with Turkey’s desire to join the EU. “First, come and open the way for Turkey at the European Union and then we will open the way for Sweden, just as we did for Finland,” Erdogan declared. Shortly after arriving in Lithuania, Erdogan met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, after which Erdogan reversed course, saying Turkey supported Sweden’s accession to NATO.

 Erdogan, Stoltenberg and Kristersson in Vilnius on July 10. (NATO, Flickr, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0)

While Erdogan did not get his invitation to join the EU, Sweden promised to actively support the modernization of the EU-Turkey Customs Union and visa liberalization regarding applications by Turkish citizens for visa-free travel to Europe.

But the Stoltenberg-Erdogan-Kristersson meeting was merely window dressing for more substantive behind-the-scenes horse trading between Erdogan and Biden, which saw Turkey green-lighted to buy new F-16 fighters and have its existing fleet of F-16 fighters modernized.

Getting F-16 fighters had been a major goal of Turkey’s ever since the U.S., in 2019, removed Turkey from a U.S.-led international program to develop and produce the F-35 fighter following Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 air defense system from Russia. The F-16 sale, however, had been stalled following the imposition of sanctions on Turkey in December 2020 as part of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) — the first time such sanctions targeted a NATO member.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Erdogan after talks at the Kremlin in March 2020. (Kremlin)

The U.S.  desire to see Sweden enter NATO as soon as possible appeared to be sufficient justification for the Biden administration to waive the CAATSA sanctions and send the F-16 deal to the U.S. Congress with its blessing. But Sweden’s accession is not guaranteed.

While the U.S. and NATO are pushing for Erdogan to call a special session of Parliament to ratify Swedish membership, Erdogan is holding off until October, when the Turkish Parliament convenes. Erdogan is looking for assurances that the F-16 deal will be approved by U.S. Congress. This is not sure thing, however, given concerns among lawmakers over Turkey’s strained relationship with NATO ally Greece, and the view that deconfliction there is as important as Sweden’s NATO membership.

To sum up: Biden and Stoltenberg highlighted the decision by Erdogan to move the application for Swedish membership to NATO onto the Turkish Parliament for ratification as a symbol of NATO’s “rock solid” unity.

Left unsaid is that Erdogan had to threaten NATO to get the U.S. to articulate a bribe that had the U.S. waiving its prior sanctioning of a NATO ally while at the same time compelling the U.S. to consider the security implications of the deal, given the open hostility that exists between Turkey and fellow NATO member Greece.

Webster’s defines “unity” as “a condition of harmony” and “the quality or state of being made one.” When it comes to the proper usage of that term, I don’t think the contentious relationship between Turkey and NATO qualifies.

Add to this France’s rejection of a proposal to open a NATO liaison office in Japan, and Hungary’s ongoing open disagreement with NATO and the EU over how to respond to Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, and one finds the NATO edifice riddled with fissures of discontent and disagreement which can only deepen as NATO stares the growing probability of a Russian military victory in the face.

Goodbye to All That

If the weeks leading up to the Vilnius summit were defined by the desire on the part of NATO to see the long-awaited and much-touted Ukrainian counteroffensive reach its maximum potential, the days which preceded the NATO gathering have confronted both Ukraine and its Western allies with the reality that the war is not going well for either.

The Ukrainian counteroffensive was formed around a core force of some 60,000 Ukrainian soldiers who received special training by NATO and European militaries on weapons and tactics designed to defeat Russian defenses. Since the counteroffensive began on June 8, Ukraine has lost nearly half of these troops, and a third of the equipment provided — including scores of the Leopard main battle tanks and Bradly infantry fighting vehicles that had been viewed by many as game-changing technology.

Back in 1993, George Soros postulated an architecture for a new world order premised on the United States as the sole remaining superpower overseeing a network of alliances, the most important being NATO, which would gird the northern hemisphere against a Russian threat.

“The United States,” Soros wrote, “would not be called upon to act as the policeman of the world. When it acts, it would act in conjunction with others. Incidentally, the combination of manpower from Eastern Europe with the technical capabilities of NATO would greatly enhance the military potential” of any U.S.-led alliance structure “because it would reduce the risk of body bags for NATO countries, which is the main constraint on their willingness to act.”

Forty years later, this very scenario is playing out on the bloody battlefields of Russia and Ukraine. The billions of dollars of military assistance provided by the U.S., NATO and other European nations is the living manifestation of the “technical capabilities” Soros spoke about, which are being married to “manpower from Eastern Europe” (i.e., Ukraine) to enhance the military potential of NATO in a way that reduces “the risk of body bags for NATO countries.”

Left unspoken are the hundreds of thousands of body bags that have already been lowered into the dark soil of Ukraine, highlighting the callous disregard for that human tragedy by the Vilnius attendees.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. His most recent book is Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity Press.

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

52 comments for “SCOTT RITTER: Requiem for NATO’s Nightmare

  1. bryce
    July 30, 2023 at 11:49

    UA couldn’t receive any more financial and military support if they were actual members of NATO and the EU; quite likely they would receive less.. UA is going down, having allied itself with serial losers..

  2. wildthange
    July 29, 2023 at 21:16

    Twentieth century world order fantasy leaders for massive waste of military funds on technology we cannot afford to use except on hapless 3rd world countries for weapons testing and using up unnecessary and unused old out of ate systems.
    The fear of wars to end wars and outlawing war then world wars for massive urban renewal projects with demolitions project we need new 21st century strategic for human civilization not controlled demotions to promote war for more controlled demolitions.
    The grand military protection racket is becoming the real existential threat along with civilizationsw enormous side effects.

  3. July 29, 2023 at 19:42

    Kudos to Scott Ritter for this insightful and informative reporting, and to ConsortiumNews for publishing it. Also, I similarly felt compelled to mention noticing that all 11 of the previous comments posted herein are thoughtfully related to the subject of the article.
    Doris – ““Putin has lost the war.” Looks like Biden’s “Mission Accomplished” moment.”

    John R. Moffett – “And of course, they double down again appointing Viki Nuland to assistant secretary of state.”

    James White – “The requiem actually came down as soon as BoJo the clown was dispatched to nix the deal that would have spared a million combined Ukrainian and Russian deaths and the endless sorrow of their loved ones.”

    Em – “So much for the US’s Crafty Secretary of States Policy Speeches!”

    Papi Phonic – “Disrupt. Destroy. Depart. The modern-day Marshall Plan.”

    Mark Thomason – “So NATO has committed suicide. The EU is merely facing an illness that will change if going forward, rather like a heart attack survivor making life changes.”

    ?For those herein who may be interested, Seymour Hersh has an interesting take on what prompted Putin to recently vacate the agreement on grain exports; a topic not included in the current propaganda of NATO and its proxies?
    As Usual,

  4. Lubica
    July 29, 2023 at 19:37

    Yes…a tragic figure. A photo of lonely Zelenskiy….yes, I know. And then I read the Australian ABC – this is how you make myths…and continue to keep them…. “For about 20 minutes he [Zelenskiy] roused the crowd. What struck me was his complete lack of fear – this man would almost certainly be one of the highest targets in the world for an assassination.” hxxps:// How long these lies will continue?

  5. Jeffrey Blankfort
    July 29, 2023 at 19:08

    Why has it been so difficult for anyone to spell out, including Ritter, that NATO membership requires the unanimous (!) approval of all of its membership which, should Ukraine have actually been admitted under present conditions, would have placed all of its members on a war footing with Russia and vice versa, a position, I suspect, that the populations of many if not most of NATO’s members would not only not support but would bring significant numbers of their populations in the streets calling for changes in their governments. A safeguard against that happening has been a second requirement for membership: the applying country must not be at war or aggressively divided.

    • torture this
      July 30, 2023 at 11:13

      I’ve heard all of it over and over but I don’t watch much corporate news.

  6. susan mullen
    July 29, 2023 at 18:04

    “Their blood, our bullets,” said a grinning Oliver North on Fox News in Dec. 2022 as he urged US taxpayers to hurry up and send weapons to Taiwan.

  7. IJ Scambling
    July 29, 2023 at 16:58

    Use of the term “tragedy” by Scott Ritter with this “requiem” is obviously suitable—a quick glance at images in the copy resonates with WWI and trench warfare. The horrible reality of Ukrainians, lately being impressed in the ancient manner of forcing recruits into service, then being inadequately trained and slaughtered, all while Zelensky and his Washington and EU sidekicks play political games, is difficult to grasp and express adequately.

    From WW I poet Wilfred Owen, who died on the battlefield aged 25:

    Anthem for Doomed Youth

    What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
          — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
          Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
    Can patter out their hasty orisons.
    No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; 
          Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
    The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
          And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

    What candles may be held to speed them all?
          Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
    Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
          The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
    Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
    And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

    (PS this is a sonnet; not an easy form to deal with)

  8. Louie
    July 29, 2023 at 16:54

    Scott Ritter has said so many things so far that didn’t happen it is no longer funny. Perhaps he was ok arms inspector in Iraq, but I find his ‘analysis’ often has no basis in reality. I completely stopped following his writing on Telegram when he announced that Prighozhin was compromised by foreign intelligence agencies and this is why he started mutiny to ‘take down Russian government’. Neither mutiny had anything to do with overtaking Russian government, nor he was compromised by the foreign intelligence.

    • Michael Kritschgau
      July 31, 2023 at 06:41

      Ritter always stated that what he says are his opinions and that his information is also based on outside sources and that these sources are limited.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      July 31, 2023 at 14:25

      Do you mean, for example, Ritter’s statement that if Finland and Sweden joined NATO, they would “cease to exist as nations?”

  9. A Boyles
    July 29, 2023 at 14:14

    It’s clear the West has lost its way. The lies and propaganda that has been broadcast from our mainstream media, owned by the Western oligarchs, and directed by the politicians they bought and paid for, has confused and muddled the ability of the vast majority of Western citizens to see the truth. We’re not an unstoppable military force, Russia alone has shown it is defeating NATO supplied and trained troops. Russia is so confident it regularly taunts NATO to send it own troops to the battlefield, as demilitarization of NATO can *really* be escalated by sending Poles, Germans, Italians, and especially American soldiers, into the meat grinder. They all would fare far worse than Ukrainians as the Ukrianians have years of battlefield experience the others don’t. But our politicians know our Western armies would be obliterated by Russia, so it just won’t happen. Therefore the West has shown its face, and it has lost face. As a citizen of the West I don’t care about military victory in Europe. I want to see all nations leave in peace and not to be fighting wars. The evil Deep State of all nations which is led by the international banking cabal love wars though as they indebt societies ever more. Yet the Russians Chinese and BRICS nations have broken this model and have surpassed the West already in military, political and economic terms. Finally it’s time for the West to accept we are not the biggest, not the smartest, not the envy of the world. And that’s a small price to pay for world peace. I hope it happens.

  10. Mark Thomason
    July 29, 2023 at 14:11

    Turkey probably won’t get those F-16s. It is still opposed in Congress, by powerful forces.

    However, Turkey will get the IMF bailout funds it needed. That might be enough to keep it cooperative about Swedish membership.

    • LarcoMarco
      July 29, 2023 at 22:29

      Glendale sits smack-dab in the middle of Adam “Peace” O’Schiff’s congressional district. His Armenian constituents could make things interesting.

  11. Mark Thomason
    July 29, 2023 at 13:54

    “a European community whose own longevity is very much in doubt”

    Some form of the EU is likely to survive. The original ideas of the European Coal and Steel Community was and important economical benefit that worked well. The following ideas meant to end the last 400 years of constant European Wars was an obvious essential amist the ruins of post-WW2 Europe.

    However, the geographic extent of the EU, and its supranational function, both could be limited without entirely abandoning those economic and peaceful benefits.

    In contrast, NATO had become something new, not the protection against the Soviets that it was, but rather a functional part of an American Empire. That empire has now failed, and Europeans may well bail out of it. If so, NATO will disappear. Some other alliance format may follow, but it will not be what NATO has been since 1990.

    So NATO has committed suicide. The EU is merely facing an illness that will change if going forward, rather like a heart attack survivor making life changes.

    • Mark J Oetting
      July 30, 2023 at 05:22

      Interesting take on the current state of affairs in Europe. It would be positive for EU nations to pursue cooperative economic and peaceful relationships especially if Russia is included. I must agree with Scott Ritter NATO is now a dead man walking. Hopefully my United States will be forced to reform as well.

  12. shad
    July 29, 2023 at 13:32

    Here is what Evil looks like –
    Scott Ritter: “The billions of dollars of military assistance provided by the U.S., NATO and other European nations is the living manifestation of the “technical capabilities” Soros spoke about, which are being married to “manpower from Eastern Europe” (i.e., Ukraine) to enhance the military potential of NATO in a way that reduces “the risk of body bags for NATO countries.”

  13. Adele Abrahamse Roof
    July 29, 2023 at 13:08

    Why is Zelensky always dressed as if he were a poor military combatant fighting on the font lines for his country? It would seem that a multimillionaire who owns several homes around the world would have enough money to buy a suit and tie. I find his fashion statement disingenuous and a turnoff.

    I see Zelensky as a man only interested in personal power and prestige, willing to sacrifice the infrastructure and youth of his country to an unwinnable war. Now I hear that he is postponing elections. In other words, he is instituting martial law, so he’s not even interested in being the leader of a democratic nation.

    He ran on a peace platform, and he has failed miserably there, due to his unwillingness to have made reasonable concessions to Putin, who doesn’t want enemy missiles on Russia’s border with Ukraine. Who can blame him? The US would not stand for that either, if we were in that position.

    I will never vote for Biden, who has never seen a war he doesn’t like.

    • July 30, 2023 at 01:11

      I always thought that he is dressing casually so that he can be perceived as being “hip”, “cool”, or “relatable”, and not like the stereotype of the stodgy apparatchik.

      He is a phony, and certainly not a “man of the people”.

    • Observer
      July 31, 2023 at 08:41

      I find myself in the strange position of defending Zelensky: it was not really his choice to wage suicidal war. Remember that at first, he tried to tell the Ukronazis to withdraw from the front line — they told him to “Get stuffed!”. And when the two sides tried to negotiate a ceasefire at the start of the Russian offensive, the lead Ukrainian negotiator was bumped off as soon as he returned to Kiev. Since then, Zelensky has usually been surrounded by Ukronazi thugs and NATO gunmen. He would have to be very foolish not to undertand what will happen to him if he steps out of line. Instead of listening to him reading his script, just look at the expression on his face. Even an experienced actor cannot really conceal his feelings.

      So what is he to do? Like most Ukrainian politicians of the last decade or so, he has been busy lining his pockets and acquiring hideaways.

    • Wade H.
      July 31, 2023 at 13:19

      I don’t know. It is kind of fitting for a man who started out as a comedian to now dress up like a clown.

  14. Lorna Hillman
    July 29, 2023 at 13:01

    When will Zelensky wake up and accept he is being played by NATO. I guess once you’ve drank the poison, it’s a point of no return. The mass murder going on in this and the ongoing lies/propaganda to keep feeding it is proving to be the worst of times. I thank Scott Ritter, Chris Hedges, Vijay Prashad, Caitlin Johnson, Noam Chomsky, Dimitri Lascaris, Jeffrey Sachs and others for their courage and humanity in trying to get the truth out there.

    • Norah
      July 29, 2023 at 22:40

      On the contrary, if anyone is being played, it is NATO by Zelenskky. Neither of them are honest brokers, NATO being simply an arm of the Empire-controlled US Military, and Zelenskky being an improving actor who has absolutely zero interest in Ukraine, but 100% interest in his own pocket. When Russia begins to close the gap on Kiev, this scoundrel will high-tail it the USA or perhaps Israel.

    • willow
      July 31, 2023 at 15:53

      change “played” to “paid” and you have your answer

  15. July 29, 2023 at 12:25

    “Tragic” isn’t the right word to describe a millionaire comedian with numerous properties in the EU, who allied himself with Nazis, banned elections, and sent thousands of his fellow countymen to rheir deaths.

    Biden’s little pal Vladimir will do just fine.

    • J Anthony
      July 30, 2023 at 08:51

      You’re right, near-future history will not be kind to Zelensky, nor Biden, nor any scum who continue to advocate for the current travesty.

  16. July 29, 2023 at 11:23

    Please forgive me if my comment is in the form of poetry and long…
    From Ukraine to the Philippines

    This writing is a testament to empathy,
    Rooted in the depths of my heart’s affinity.

    It flows from my experiences,
    My sincerity and true,
    It is the essence of my travels,
    My care and the pursued research.

    For I love both people,
    Ukraine to the Philippines,
    I care deeply for their nations,
    And my heart lives among them.

    I shared stories and meals,
    Embraced their struggles,
    Saw their wounds,
    Felt their ideals.

    Like ants under giants,
    They have borne heavy weights,
    Colonizers’ greed,
    And deceivers’ false states.

    To the Philippines, they said:
    “We’ll save you from Spain,”
    Yet colonization followed,
    Inflicted lasting pain.

    Then, as cobbles,
    The colonizer,
    Trod on the Filipinos’ pride,
    Exploited their loyalty,
    Used them for a rollercoaster ride.

    Now to Ukrainians,
    They promise liberation’s hand,
    But they too will be used,
    Their dreams turned to sand!

    In the face of this history,
    I pen these lines,
    A witness to their struggles,
    To the hopes, also the confines.

    For I stand with both nations,
    United in heart,
    In empathy, understanding,
    And the solidarity of art.

  17. Frank Lambert
    July 29, 2023 at 11:11

    Unfortunately for world peace, the European continent has lost the will to stand up to Imperial America’s endless wars around the globe and think they’ll will be safe and sound protected by the military might of the US. From whom will they be “protected?” The Russian Federation finally intervened to rescue the people in the Donbass Region and for Crimea, they voted to become part of Russia again, and were not “annexed” as portrayed by the biased mainstream news outlets in the US and Europe.NATO is just the gunman for western capitalists and the international bankers to rule and plunder the resources of other nations who don’t have the means to defend themselves against the “world’s only super-bully!”

  18. Papi Phonic
    July 29, 2023 at 10:31

    Disrupt. Destroy. Depart. The modern-day Marshall Plan.

    • Jon Adams
      July 30, 2023 at 11:10

      What happened to Iraq was done deliberately.

  19. Charles E. Carroll
    July 29, 2023 at 10:12

    Very sad to be living in the decline of U.S.

  20. Lois Gagnon
    July 29, 2023 at 09:35

    The sooner NATO dissolves, the safer we’ll all be.

    • Norah
      July 29, 2023 at 22:54

      The sooner the USA dissolves , the safer we will all be. But the USA won’t dissolve, it is going to war right now on just about all the old foes, Russia, China, N Korea, Cuba ( soon ) , Iran etc. Clearly the Globalists ( we used to call them Capitalists ) are supremely confident, but if a conventional war fails , nuclear war will certainly follow. The outcome of that is not clear, but must surely include substantial damage to the continental USA. And if the Western Empire should lose, we can fully expect the USA to be split in roughly the same way Germany was after WW2, or completely balkanised with Alaska going to Canada, the South-Western states to Mexico and the remainder being split into two parts. Over-confidence can be just as bad as under-confidence. Both are usually mis-judgements.

      • J Anthony
        July 30, 2023 at 08:54

        Should a thermo-nuclear war ensue, I expect, being here on the northern east coast in the tri-state area, to be obliterated first.

  21. James White
    July 29, 2023 at 09:21

    Very well written by subject matter expert, Scott Ritter. The Vilnius meeting was indeed an inflection point for the constant psychological operations issued by NATO spy agencies and the pathetic legacy press: ‘As long as it takes, shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, unprovoked aggression.’ Constantly repeated lies and empty pledges. And the ultimate con, Ukraine is winning. The requiem actually came down as soon as BoJo the clown was dispatched to nix the deal that would have spared a million combined Ukrainian and Russian deaths and the endless sorrow of their loved ones. Now the corporate message is a bit more sober, but not by much. Ukraine has been sacrificed on the altar of hubris, arrogance and U.S./NATO hegemony. What sort of wretched people align themselves with this atrocity. Their names are Biden, Nuland, Blinken, Sullivan, Pelosi, Graham, McConnell, Von der Leyen, Borell, Stoltenberg, Scholz, Baerbock, Johnson and Sunak. No earthly justice can ever compensate the victims of this tragedy. A special place in hell should be reserved for the perpetrators.

    • Philip
      July 29, 2023 at 17:56

      And of Macron? Who tried to play both sides.

    • Larry McGovern
      July 29, 2023 at 20:21

      Add CIA Director Burns to the list!!

  22. mgr
    July 29, 2023 at 07:25

    Thank you. America lost its moral compass long ago and in so doing forfeited any leadership role in the world. Now, it is only bully and bluster. And, a big hello to the leaders of the EU. You are the stupidest, most craven people in the world. This is what happens when little people of no real qualifications insist on playing leader. Begone all you exemplars of “Western enlightenment.” Leave while you can. In a rational society, it would be “run for your lives!” Viktor Orban of Hungary is the only one who has consistently shown any common sense on the matter of Ukraine.

    As Gilbert Doctorow has astutely asked several times: Europe has been pouring money into NATO for decades. Obviously, it was not used for maintaining a battle ready armed force. So, just in whose pockets has it landed?

    • TR
      July 29, 2023 at 21:03

      No Earthly justice, indeed. We’re all becoming accustomed to this sentiment. Nice point about the psyops inflection at Vilnius.

      My question is what Earthly horrors we shall all suffer due to our condoning this atrocity. They were *our* “leaders”, after all…

  23. Jeff Harrison
    July 29, 2023 at 01:13

    Very good Scott. Frankly, the Ukies deserve everything they’re getting. Specifically their asses kicked. Their patrimony from the USSR was impressive. Antonov, a gas pipeline that was making a good annual income, lease income from Russia’s leasing of Sevastopol, The Donets basin (Donbas) – see USGS pamphlet b2201-e.pdf for a discussion of the oil, coal, and gas deposits in the Donbas – which is now Russian, a fully armed and operational train system and electrical system and so on. The Ukies screwed the pooch all over. Antonov is closed. They are making a lot less from the gas pipeline and will make even less as time goes on. Obviously, Russia isn’t going to pay the Ukies for Sevastopol. Since the Ukie’s outstanding characteristic is laziness, they haven’t done the required maintenance on the oil/coal/gas fields and besides Russia now controls them. Their train/electrical systems are heavily damaged thanx to the Ukies pissing the Russians off. But you’ll notice that the Russians haven’t totally taken out the train and electrical systems. But the Ukies are begging Russia to do that.

    • Litchfield
      July 30, 2023 at 23:37

      Thanks for stating what should be well known but is not:
      The Russians were actually the best friends the Ukes had.
      Now they have blown it.
      The EU egged them on, used them to poke Russia and Gazprom.
      This poking started in the early 2000s at least.
      Then add in the toxic American Biden/McCain/Nuland/Pyett hanky=panky.
      It seems like no one in the Ukraine’s so-called political class was able to escape the Curse of Gogol.
      It’s a potentially rich land but it is a haunted land.

  24. Em
    July 28, 2023 at 21:12

    Just now viewing today’s (07/28/23) Ask the Inspector, Talking about Ukrainian president stating that they had taken back 50% of the territory that Russia first occupied at the beginning of the SMO.
    As understood, Kiev and the other cities Russia traversed; they were “never actually plaed under the authority of the (Russian) army”, therefore, in the first place, Russia never held these areas as ‘occupied territory’.
    So much for the US’s Crafty Secretary of States Policy Speeches!

  25. July 28, 2023 at 20:37

    The US has been in the business of destabilizing or destroying other countries for a long time, friend and foe alike. The US elites think that to remain in power, all potential rivals must be hammered down or eliminated. NATO keeps Germany down, Russia out and the US in, as they say. The crap has really hit the fan with the incredibly inept and corrupt Biden administration going to war against Russia in Ukraine. And of course, they double down again appointing Viki Nuland to assistant secretary of state. You know that’s going to end well.

  26. IJ Scambling
    July 28, 2023 at 19:26

    On Napolitano today (Friday) Scott Ritter also took on Biden’s statement made after the Vilnius Summit that Putin has “lost the war” by clearly indicating why it’s the reverse. It’s difficult to accept that Biden can speak these delusions on CNN when there is so much indication from independent media that Ukraine is being sacrificed in a horrible slaughter. Meanwhile, NATO squirms with machinations and distrust.

    • Valerie
      July 29, 2023 at 08:43

      Biden can speak delusions and the NY Times can print them:

      “New York Times admits, then covers up, massive Ukraine casualties”

      Andre Damon

      25 July 2023 WSWS org

    • doris
      July 29, 2023 at 11:52

      “Putin has “lost the war.”
      Looks like Biden’s “Mission Accomplished” moment. Sure wish we could get these delusional war criminals out of our government. Listening to RFKjr on Joe Rogan on the June 13th episode, gave me a sliver of hope that it can be done, IF the America people wake up and stop supporting the red/blue war-mongering status quo. The man is brilliant and MORAL, but Americans seem to go for dumbshit war-loving psychopaths, so I’m not holding my breath that he can pull it off. I am crossing my fingers though! And campaigning for RFKjr.

      • IJ Scambling
        July 29, 2023 at 15:44

        I think RFK Jr is honest, and it’s coming across with his appearances–a straight talker, very convincing, versus the usual weaseling. Even though I don’t agree with him 100%. I hope he has a good security detail watching carefully wherever he goes. He should stay out of crowds and open limousines.

      • July 29, 2023 at 15:46

        Good for you, Doris! For the first time, I have actually put up significant $$ for a candidate.

      • TR
        July 29, 2023 at 21:08

        Bugs me that Trump isn’t given proper credit for his stance on this whole degenerate E. Europe/NATO thing.

        • JonnyJames
          July 30, 2023 at 12:45

          Credit for what? He’s a chronic bullshitter: that’s all he is – a bag of methane gas. All talk, no action. He appointed John f-in Bolton and Fat Mike Pompeo Ffs! Let’s not be so naive as to believe political blah blah. Trump deserves as much credit as Biden – none!

    • SH
      July 29, 2023 at 11:53

      Shucks, Biden has been known to play fast and loose with the truth since before the days he was elected to anything – why anyone believes anything he says is beyond me – other than his one truism – “nothing will fundamentally change”, and that includes his lying …

      • IJ Scambling
        July 29, 2023 at 15:38

        Agreed. Maybe one of these days he won’t get away with it so easily–as with the Hunter fiasco breathing down his neck.

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