Ex-DoD Analyst: Biden Team Risks Regional War, Energy Costs for Sake of Ukraine Escalation
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Joe Biden and his advisers seem "more than willing" to run the risk of a continuing regional war in Ukraine and consequences for neighboring countries to keep stoking the conflict involving Russia, former Pentagon analyst and retired US Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski told Sputnik.
Last week, Russia launched a special operation to demilitarize and "denazify" Ukraine after the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics asked for help to defend from intensifying attacks from Ukrainian forces. The Russian Defense Ministry said it is targeting Ukrainian military assets only and civilians are safe. In response, the West has rolled out still more sanctions against Moscow and moved to boost military assistance to Ukraine, including lethal weapons.
"Biden's advisers are more than willing to risk regional war, regional humanitarian crises, and higher energy costs for Ukraine and its European neighbors," Kwiatkowski said.
The United States has lobbied hard for Ukraine to join NATO since 2009, and US military aid and weapons to Ukraine have been sold and delivered several times under both Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Kwiatkowski noted.
"These actions have, as they were intended, escalated the conflict. This is US and NATO policy, and it was cited by Putin last week as a reason for Moscow's recognition of the two eastern republics, and his military attacks on Ukraine's military capabilities, chemical and biological laboratories, and political command and control," she said.
A report published three years ago by a highly influential US think tank gave important insights into the goals and methodologies of Washington's policymaking on Ukraine, Kwiatkowski advised.
"The US playbook on Russia, put forth in a 2019 report by the Pentagon's RAND Corporation can help us understand that both Biden and Putin understand what is happening, and how it is happening," she said.
The report is titled "Overextending and Unbalancing Russia: Assessing the Impacts of Cost-Imposing Options" and it noted that providing lethal aid to Ukraine was desirable, but would need to be "carefully calibrated" so as not to provoke conflict with Russia beyond Ukraine, Kwiatkowski said.
"The RAND study assessed the cost and risk of a variety of US and NATO actions, all geared towards destabilizing Russia," she said.
The recent rebellion in Kazakhstan, with significant Western intelligence involvement, failed to cause much international concern, as Russian forces as part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization peacekeeping mission quickly restored order, and withdrew afterward, Kwiatkowski noted.
"The Kazakhstan initiative does support the idea that overextending and unbalancing Russia remains a US objective," she said.
US policies continued to be quietly hostile to Russian interests in its own region rather than seeking compromise and accommodation with Moscow, Kwiatkowski observed.
"US low-level war with Russia includes ongoing efforts to deny oil and gas markets to Russia (hence the US hysteria over the already completed Nord Stream 2 being turned on), as well as denial of financial exchanges, and US advocacy for global economic sanctions on Russia," she said.
The United States was continuing to pursue conflict with Russia, beyond Cold War containment and into purposeful destabilization, Kwiatkowski commented.
"It most certainly is, and this effort may include an eventual regime change operation in Moscow," she said.
Nor was US activity vis a vis Ukraine, the Black Sea, the Arctic and the other borders of Russia, being "carefully calibrated" as the 2019 RAND report had recommended, according to Kwiatkowski.
Since the beginning of the Russian opeartion last week, "nearly 200 tons of additional weapons have been sent to Ukraine from the Pentagon, and EU and NATO countries are pouring weapons into the country," she said.
Escalating the conflict was clearly in the publicized interest of the United States government, and its closest NATO allies like Britain, Kwiatkowski explained.
"On one hand, these are self-defense weapons, and without training and command and control, don't add a lot to the ability of the Ukrainian government to resist the Russian army. But it is very much in line with ensuring that the cost to Russia will be higher on the ground," she said.
The continuing behavior and policy making decisions of Biden and his top advisers and political allies gave cause for concern about whether the current crisis would be brought under control, Kwiatkowski warned.
"[Given Biden's] past culpability in Ukrainian government corruption and machinations, his chicken hawk foreign policy team none of whom have worn a military uniform and the worry of the US Democratic Party about possible loss of Congressional majorities nine months from now, the world should be worried," she said.
Ukraine’s own leaders should still seek a genuine neutrality solution to their security problems rather than try to join NATO, the expert advised.
"If Ukraine can withstand the destruction of its military capability, while maintaining its independence, all parties, including the US, ought to be seeking a Switzerland-esque solution -- a heavily armed population, trading with all and allying with none, and ultimately enriching the Ukrainian people, and not just their elites," Kwiatkowski said.