No. 11August 4, 2023
U.S./NATO Proxy War in Ukraine
Signs of Unsustainability of Proxy War in Ukraine
The Financial Times reports that the White House is struggling to acquire more artillery shells to send to Ukraine. The U.S. has reached the bottom of its own barrel. Presidential spokesperson Jake Sullivan said, “We discovered that the ability to mass produce that ammunition would take not days or weeks or months, but years, to get to the level that we need.” In response, the U.S. continues to turn to its “allies” and client states to free up any stockpiles they may have. One U.S. official recently announced the U.S. has signed deals with South Korea and Bulgaria for 155 milimetre rounds of ammunition and is hopeful that Japan will make a similar agreement soon.
The newspaper also reports that Ukrainian forces are currently using about 8,000 artillery rounds per day. Total U.S. productive capacity of 155 milimetre rounds is at best about 24,000 shells per month.
A recent CNN report sheds further light on this matter. It says that according to the Pentagon, to date, the U.S. has provided Ukraine with over 2 million 155mm artillery rounds. The Defense Department has set a goal of producing 70,000 artillery shells per month and is now producing just under 30,000 shells monthly, an Army spokesperson said. This is up from around 15,000 per month when the war in Ukraine began in February 2022.
Another example given by Nebraska Republican Senator Deb Fischer, a member of Senate Armed Services and Appropriations Committee, noted that the Lockheed Martin production line for Javelin anti-armor missiles is capable of producing 2,100 missiles a year, while Ukraine has been using 500 of the missiles a day. Fischer said, “That’s a red flag right there.”
All of it confirms that the U.S./NATO proxy war is categorically unsustainable yet the U.S. and NATO persist in trying to convince their own people and the whole world otherwise. The U.S and NATO say they have given Ukraine everything required to defeat Russia on the ground. In other words, they blame Ukraine for the lack of success which will, in the end, not go well for them. Fighting the war to the last Ukrainian and taking the Ukrainian armed forces and people for granted will sooner rather than later give rise to their revolt against what is being done in their name.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on July 27 that “Ukraine is well prepared and well trained to be successful,” but that Ukraine’s military relies too heavily on artillery. The Wall Street Journal however says the U.S. was well aware this was not the case. It says that Western officials knew Ukraine lacked the military capability to retake territory Russia has captured. Still, NATO pushed Ukrainian forces to launch a so-called counteroffensive. “When Ukraine launched its big so-called counteroffensive this spring, Western military officials knew Kyiv didn’t have all the training or weapons — from shells to warplanes — that it needed to dislodge Russian forces. But they hoped Ukrainian courage and resourcefulness would carry the day,” the newspaper said.
Promised Arms from Germany Fail to Materialize
On August 3, the German newspaper Die Welt published a report indicating that the large amount of arms promised to Ukraine by Germany on May 14 have, in the main, not materialized. These include weapons that Ukraine needs for its current so-called counteroffensive. It adds to the picture that not only is the money pit and quagmire of the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine unsustainable, but that the current so-called counteroffensive is based on empty promises from NATO members.
It writes that when Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky was welcomed to Germany on May 14 by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the two “presented themselves as trusted partners, called each other by their first names and the Ukrainian celebrated his host for his resolute support. This is because the federal government had put together a huge welcome gift for him – weapons worth 2.4 billion euros. This should have made Germany the second largest supporter of Kiev. Berlin promised to deliver the weapons contained in the package as soon as possible. But to date, Ukraine has received little of this.
“The Federal Government has the list of the weapons supplied available on its website. It was published for the first time in mid-June last year to counteract the prevailing perception that Germany hardly delivers anything to Kiev. As of the end of July, it contained a total of 120 items, including the state-of-the-art Leopard 2 and Marder tanks, which were promised at the beginning of the year after much hesitation and were delivered in the spring.”
Die Welt informs that it has continuously followed updates posted to the Ministry of Defence website to reconstruct the progress of arms deliveries. It informs:
“Accordingly, hardly any of [the promised arms] have been delivered in the past two months.
“The number of Marders, Iris-T, tankers and heavy-duty articulated trucks that have arrived in Kiev since mid-May is zero. Among other things, Ukraine received only ten (of 110 promised) Leopard 1 tanks, an air surveillance radar, twelve (of 18) Cheetahs [mobile anti-aircraft guns], just 850 rounds of artillery ammunition (of 26,350) and eight ambulances. The only promises that the federal government has fulfilled 100 per cent are those of the delivery of 11,000 food rations, three drone sensors and five metal bridges for the Biber bridge laying tank.”
Other promised arms, such as 5,032 shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons, have disappeared from the Ministry of Defence website.
More recently, Ukraine is pressing Germany for delivery of the German-Swedish-developed Taurus cruise missiles. Ukrainian Ambassador Oleksij Makejev urged the German government to rethink the debate on the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles, saying to the media recently: “We are already getting missiles like this from Britain and hopefully soon from France. We are counting on German Taurus rockets.” The cruise missiles from Britain and France are the Anglo-French Storm Shadow/SCALP missiles with a range of 560 km. The Taurus missile has a range of 500 km.
Politicians from the Christian Democratic Union, Free Democratic Party and the Green Party are in favour of sending this offensive weaponry to Ukraine, however Defence Minister Boris Pistorius (of the Social Democratic Party – SPD) is currently rejecting this.
Ralf Stegner of the SPD spoke out on August 3 against delivering Taurus missiles, saying on the radio station Deutschlandfunk that “an escalation of the war” with Russia must be avoided. He said of the long-range capability of the Taurus missiles, “The greater the range, the greater the damage and, in case of doubt, the risk of escalation.”
Ukraine has supposedly pledged not to use weapons received from NATO countries for attacks on Russian territory, but there are no guarantees from a regime that acts without principle. Its own military forces, especially the neo-Nazi battalions, have regularly carried out attacks on fellow Ukrainians, such as the people of the Donbas, but also false flag operations by the Azov Battalion during the current conflict. Ukraine is now carrying out drone attacks on Moscow.
U.S./NATO Proxy War’s End Goal
NATO’s Atlantic Council, in a recent interview with Mykhailo Podolyak, a key adviser to the Office of Ukrainian President Zelensky, revealed regime change and dismemberment of Russia are the end goal the U.S. and NATO have for continuing the conflict in Ukraine. Not deterred by heavy Ukrainian losses on the battlefield, Podolyak said, “Ukraine may not actually need to fight for every single inch of occupied territory. If Russia suffers two or three more significant military defeats in Ukraine, this will decisively demoralize Putin’s invasion force. They will then flee back across the border with weapons in hand, bringing the war home to Russia itself. As internal fighting between rival groups unfolds in Russia, Ukraine will be able to reestablish full control over the country’s internationally recognized borders. Eventually, we will likely witness mass protests in Moscow and the fall of the Putin regime.”
“Russia will not cease to exist entirely, but it should be clear to everyone by now that Russia cannot continue to exist in its current form,” Podolyak said. “Just like the USSR before it, Putin’s Russia has accumulated too many critical mistakes. Instead of trying to prop up the failed current regime, Russia must enter into a period of internal transformation. It is entirely possible that some ethnic minority regions within the Russian Federation will seek to break away, but that will not be critical for the overall survival of Russia as a state.”
According to Podolyak, talk of peace deals and potential compromises reflects the international community’s fundamental failure to understand the imperial nature of modern Russia. “Any attempt to reach some kind of compromise with Putin will mean the end of Ukrainian statehood. This much is perfectly clear to us. Nor will Ukrainians be the only victims. Unless Russia is defeated, Putin’s invasion will be vindicated and his entire regime will be revitalized. The consequences for international security will be disastrous. Why voluntarily make the world a more dangerous and unstable place?” Podolyak argued. “We are now witnessing the culmination of processes that began in 1991,” he said. “Everyone used to believe the USSR disintegrated more or less peacefully. But in reality, the process is not yet over. Today’s war is the last chapter in the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire.”
This is one of the NATO narratives that bears no relation to the true situation either in Russia or the world at this time.
Attempts to Organize a Negotiated Settlement to End the U.S./NATO Proxy War
In addition to peace initiatives taken by China in February and by seven African nations who took theirs to Russia and Ukraine in June, the presidents of Mexico and Brazil are also calling for a peaceful resolution to the U.S./NATO proxy war.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known to be a major proponent of peace talks, told Sputnik, “If both Ukraine and Russia agree to seek a solution to achieve peace, we will take part — if the parties to the conflict agree and convene [other countries] for this purpose. We are for peace if the two countries are represented, then yes.” AMLO as he is known, was answering questions during a press conference on July 31. The Mexican leader added that his government would support any initiative where a willingness to come together to hammer out a peaceful resolution to the crisis could be found. “We don’t want the Russia-Ukraine war to continue, it’s very irrational,” AMLO said. “The only thing that benefits from it is the war industry,” he added, noting that Mexico does not want to see the conflict “become commonplace.”
Mexico has joined the majority of countries in the developing world in maintaining staunch neutrality in the Ukrainian crisis, to the irritation of the United States and its allies. “We do not allow them to tell us who we should have relations with and who not,” AMLO said in late 2022.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil has also been pressing for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and has offered to play a role in facilitating that when both Russia and Ukraine show a willingness to pursue that end. In the meantime he has blocked the sale of any weapons from Brazil that could end up being used in the war and dispatched his chief foreign policy advisor, Celso Amorim, to meet with the leaders of both Russia and Ukraine as well as with Brazil’s counterparts in BRICS and other countries to build support for the need for a negotiated end to the war. Brazil’s position, as expressed by Amorim in an August 2 interview with the New York Times is that the territorial integrity of states must be respected but that security concerns, including Russia’s, also must be respected by everyone.
Regarding Brazil’s rejection of a request by Zelensky to host a summit for Latin American nations that Ukraine could attend, Amorim said Brazil would welcome Mr. Zelensky for a visit but would not host meetings for him. “Brazil does not have to be a stage for anyone, not for Zelensky, not for Putin,” he said. “We want peace, we want the Ukrainian people to live in peace, to end the war in which they are the main victims.”