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Slowly But Surely, Biden And The West Are Ramping Up Involvement In Russia-Ukraine War

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By JAKE SMITH

 

If we said, ‘Yeah, okay, go ahead [and fire into Russian territory],’ then you’re really putting the Russians in a corner to do something to top that, and who knows what that might be.

As Russia’s war against Ukraine drags on, the U.S. and the NATO alliance are increasing their involvement in the conflict, presenting risks for a more direct confrontation with Moscow.

President Joe Biden reportedly gave Ukraine the green light in May to start firing U.S.-provided weapons directly into certain parts of Russian territory, as NATO members consider a similar policy and the possibility of sending trainers to train the Ukrainian military. The new initiatives would represent a shift in NATO’s policy of engagement in the war and could further escalate the proxy conflict with Russia.

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly convened on Monday and urged the alliance to remove a ban currently preventing Ukraine from firing Western weapons directly into Russian territory, echoing calls recently made by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and top officials from Britain, Sweden, Latvia, Poland and Lithuania. Kyiv has long requested that it be allowed to fire Western-provided weapons into Russia, with officials bemoaning that the NATO ban has prevented them from effectively countering Russia’s advances.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken Antony Blinken during a press conference on Wednesday did not signal any immediate policy change plans on how Ukraine is allowed to use U.S. weapons against Russia. But Biden has reportedly already given Kyiv permission to fire into Russian territory, according to the Financial Times, which Blinken failed to mention on Wednesday.

“The president recently directed his team to ensure that Ukraine is able to use U.S. weapons for counter-fire purposes in Kharkiv so Ukraine can hit back at Russian forces hitting them or preparing to hit them,” a U.S. official told Politico on Thursday, adding that the administration’s policy stance against long-range strikes inside Russia “has not changed.”

But Moscow has warned that if NATO allows Ukraine to fire their provided weapons into Russian territory, it will escalate the war and potentially drag alliance member nations further into the conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that such an action by NATO would represent another escalation that could “lead to serious consequences.”

“Providing Ukraine with the means and the permission to strike deep into Russian territory significantly increases the chances of a direct U.S.-Russian clash, which in turn could lead to the use of nuclear weapons,” George Beebe, former CIA analyst and director of grand strategy at the Quincy Institute, a non-interventionist foreign policy think tank, told the DCNF. Beebe noted that it was unlikely that Russia would utilize tactical nuclear weapons in the interim but instead potentially target American assets such as satellites, creating “a cycle of tit-for-tat retaliation with the United States that proves difficult to manage and contain.”

Even though Ukraine could benefit from using Western weapons to fire against Russia — as its own domestic weapons are not capable of effective, long-range strikes — the West’s hesitation on the matter may have created a “hype” that will invite a Russian retaliatory response, Jim Townsend, an ex-NATO and Pentagon official and senior fellow at the Center for New American Security, a foreign policy think tank led by former Democrat officials, told the DCNF.

“We have made this such a big deal that it will force the Russians to react one way or another. All of a sudden, it has become a red line drawn by the Russians, highlighted by the U.S. not wanting to escalate,” Townsend said. “And now, it has got such a high profile publicly that if we said, ‘Yeah, okay, go ahead [and fire into Russian territory],’ then you’re really putting the Russians in a corner to do something to top that, and who knows what that might be. So I think that certainly does run a risk of escalation, even more so than it did earlier in the war.”

Aside from weapons policy, members of the NATO alliance are also considering the idea of sending troops into Ukraine to help train Ukrainian forces. Ukraine suffers from a worsening manpower shortage and is rapidly recruiting and conscripting new men for the war effort; Kyiv has requested the U.S. and NATO to help train them.

A NATO-backed training presence in Ukraine, which would be the first of its kind since the war began, could bolster the country’s fighting abilities against Russia, whose own military does not suffer from the same manpower problems.

But if NATO-allied troops stationed in Ukraine are caught in the crossfire of an attack from Russia, it could prompt the entire alliance to take much more direct action in the conflict. Article Five of the NATO treaty stipulates that “an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all” and the alliance is then obligated to collectively take “action as it deems necessary,” including through armed force.

“Let’s say there are French trainers or German trainers in Ukraine, and they’re killed in a Russian missile strike,” Michael DiMino, a senior fellow at Defense Priorities and former CIA official, told the DCNF. “So now, what do we do? What happens after that? Do we go ahead and avenge those casualties and have the U.S. or France or Germany — again, all NATO members — engaged in some kind of limited strike on Russia? Is Russia not going to view that as an act of war and then not respond?”

If NATO troops are killed in a Russian attack and the alliance chooses not to pursue retaliation, it could come with the risk of undermining the alliance’s promise to defend itself.

“Even relatively small numbers of Western boots on the ground would create an enormous incentive for Russia to target them; failure to do so would only encourage the West to believe that Russia would tolerate greater and greater direct Western involvement over time,” Beebe told the DCNF.

Kyiv officials and Zelenskyy will attend a June peace summit in Sweden “to provide a forum where world leaders discuss paths towards a just and lasting peace in Ukraine; over 160 countries have been invited, including the U.S., although Biden has not signaled that he will be in attendance. Kyiv will also have a presence at the annual NATO summit in July, where, among other issues, existing and new initiatives to bolster Ukraine’s security will be discussed, potentially including sending troops to the region and lifting Western weapons use restrictions.

Featured image: WASHINGTON (May 15, 2024) US President, Joe Biden, delivers remarks during the 42nd Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. (DHS photo by Tia Dufour)

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Globalists at NATO summit push for greater US involvement in Russia-Ukraine conflict

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From LifeSiteNews

By Andy Shalfly

In anticipation of Trump’s retaking the White House, the NATO globalists want to lock the U.S. into a joint pledge of at least $43 billion in new military support for Ukraine over the next year, for which American taxpayers will be looted by Congress to pay. This month Joe Biden and European countries are sending dozens of expensive F-16 fighters to Ukraine, which can strike Russian cities with deadly missiles.

As pro-war globalists convene in D.C. this week for their annual NATO summit, at the grand Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on Constitution Avenue, their No. 1 goal is to permanently entangle the U.S. in the war between Russia and Ukraine.

This America Last crowd has even developed a multi-point plan to further ensnare the U.S. into this perpetual war, making it more difficult for a President Donald Trump to deliver peace as he vowed at the debate.

Central to the globalist scheme is a proposed new agreement among the NATO members to promise to admit Ukraine into the alliance, which is what provoked the Russia-Ukraine War in the first place. This senseless war has inflicted up to a million casualties and caused many millions of refugees.

Meanwhile, military contractors have been lobbying leaders of both parties to expand NATO’s footprint around the world, while funneling tens of millions of dollars in cash to congressional candidates willing to vote for their deadly agenda. So it’s hardly surprising that congressmen from both political parties are lining up to expand NATO and waste hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars on its boondoggles.

Not Trump. He defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 by describing NATO as “obsolete,” while pointing out that Russia never would have attacked Ukraine if Trump had been the president.

In anticipation of Trump’s retaking the White House, the NATO globalists want to lock the U.S. into a joint pledge of at least $43 billion in new military support for Ukraine over the next year, for which American taxpayers will be looted by Congress to pay. This month Joe Biden and European countries are sending dozens of expensive F-16 fighters to Ukraine, which can strike Russian cities with deadly missiles.

Every time Ukraine uses American weapons to strike a target in Russia, it subjects Americans to possible retaliation by Russia, which it is fully capable of doing, even with nuclear warheads. Russia has vowed to retaliate against the U.S. for attacks on Russia inflicted by U.S. weapons, and Biden should not be placing Americans at risk of this harm in this way.

Those at the NATO summit in D.C. want to establish a command center at a U.S. base in Wiesbaden, Germany, along with other hubs in Eastern Europe, to compel wider and greater participation in this misguided war against Russia. An increase in Western training of Ukrainian soldiers is on this summit’s agenda, which could easily lead to sending American advisers and then troops to the battlefield, as happened in Vietnam.

Most Americans are unaware that this month the United States is being drawn further into this war with Russia due to the advanced new weaponry that Biden is shipping there. Tensions have recently increased due to this escalation, with Russia launching new strikes on Ukrainian air bases in anticipation of the F-16 fighter planes.

Democrats in Congress are demanding that Biden send far more weapons to Ukraine, and some of those applying this pressure on Biden are the same who insist that he quit his re-election race. Biden may appease his critics within the Democrat Party by ramping up our arming of Ukraine.

Moscow is barely 500 miles from the border with Ukraine, well within the range of a missile launched by an American-made F-16. Soon deadly missiles from Russia could be striking the Western world in retaliation, and U.S. military bases could become targets if NATO is allowed to entangle us further in this war.

Presumably with the approval of Biden, the Netherlands is already delivering 24 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, at a total cost of more than a billion dollars. There are doubts as to whether Ukraine can protect these expensive planes from being destroyed by Russia, so there will be an incentive for Ukraine to use them quickly to strike deep inside Russia.

As the host nation’s president, Biden is expected to lead this NATO summit but, at the same time, Democrats are holding meetings this week to decide whether to force him out of his re-election race. Ukraine’s Zelensky is attending this NATO summit, despite not being a member, and Biden will have little say about what is decided.

Leadership from the Republican Party in addition to Trump is needed at this perilous moment. Congressional leaders should vow to reject sending more weapons and funding to fight a hopeless war against Russia, a war where there are no American interests at stake.

Reprinted with permission from the WND News Center.

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Europeans Aren’t Concerned About Russian Bear Invading Continent After Ukraine

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By MORGAN MURPHY

 

The foreign policy blob in Washington, D.C., would have us believe that Vladimir Putin is Adolf Hitler 2.0 and must be stopped before he rolls over the rest of Europe. It is an intellectually lazy argument.

In the first place, Russia has struggled in its fight with Ukraine—a small nation with one-fourth Russia’s population and far fewer resources. How would Mother Russia fare against the combined firepower of NATO? Likely not so hot: Europe’s economy is six times larger than Russia’s. Likewise, the population advantage of Europe stands three-to-one over Russia.

Aside from Russia’s vast nuclear weapons stockpiles, it is no match for Europe.

Putin knows he would be crushed in a head-to-head with NATO and has repeatedly made clear that he has no interest in going to war with any NATO country, including Poland.

Secondly, if Europe was seriously under threat from the Russian bear, you might think that Europeans themselves would be more alarmed. They don’t seem to be. In fact, across nearly every threat measured by the Munich Security Council, trends show a downward ebb among Europeans. To most, Russia ranks as a threat below radical Islamic terrorism and mass migration. The Germans are more worried about cyber attacks than Putin; to the French, racism is more worrisome.

Aren’t these the very people America is spending $185 billion in Ukraine to protect from Russian expansionism?

Across the European continent, the United States maintains 100,000 troops on 185 major military bases and 78 minor sites (minor being defined as less than 10 acres or $10 million). Taken altogether, American forward operating bases in Europe sprawl over 265,000 acres with an estimated value of $95.5 billion. When one examines the Department of Defense’s annual budget, protecting Europe is America’s largest yearly expenditure—and that’s before Ukraine supplemental funding is added to the tally.

Yet the average resident of Berlin is likely more worried about his email getting hacked than he frets about the Kremlin rolling tanks through Deutschland.

Europe was the world’s center for combat power from roughly 1400 until 1945. No more. Even the larger armies of NATO are struggling to maintain effective combat power. The British Army cannot sustain a complete expeditionary armored brigade. At 23 years old, the Charles de Gaulle, France’s flagship and sole aircraft carrier, is reaching the end of its effective lifespan but sea trials are not expected to begin for its replacement until 2036.

The French have less than 90 heavy artillery pieces—Russia is losing more each month fighting Ukraine. Reporting in October 2022 found that Germany only had enough ammunition for two days of war, far below the NATO 30-day minimum. In 2022 NATO exercises, none of the Bundeswehr’s 18 new Puma infantry fighting vehicles were able to complete the drill.

Ukraine has revealed many of NATO’s weakness. These led a professor of war studies at the University of Warwick, Anthony King, to remark that Europe has “systematically demilitarized itself because it didn’t need to spend the money. They have basically gone to sleep.”

That ambivalence toward defense comes across in another recent survey of Europeans. Sixty percent of Italians, 47% of Germans and 40% of the French are in favor of cutting off arms shipments to Ukraine. Across Europe, 60% think that Ukraine will be an economic burden. Among the French, Spanish and Italians, more than 40% either don’t know or don’t care who wins the war in Ukraine.

Perhaps America’s security blanket for Europe has been too heavy and we have indeed lulled the continent into a stupor. Or maybe Europeans are correct in their assessment of Putin—that his invasion of Ukraine is not a precursor to the reassembly of the U.S.S.R.

In either case, more American taxpayers are questioning the D.C. logic that demands ever-increasing blank checks for a war with no end in sight.

Morgan Murphy is a former DoD press secretary, national security adviser in the U.S. Senate, a veteran of Afghanistan.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Featured image credit: (Screen Capture/CSPAN)

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