Does the White House want war in six months?
The main ideas of Biden's speech can be summarized along the following lines:
- "Russian aggression in Ukraine... transformed the landscape of European security…it's about the rights of nations on the frontier of Europe to choose their own futures; it's about the future of NATO, our collective self-defense, and our unity, our strength, our ability to deter aggression together."
- Russia under the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev was more manageable for the US, but when Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012, "he set Russia on a very different course almost immediately, recriminalizing libel, calling off direct elections for governors, and making it harder for political parties to register." It was marked by "aggressive repression at home, including the silencing of the mothers of soldiers deployed in Ukraine, contempt, contempt for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia's neighbor, Ukraine, but also Georgia and Moldova, [as well as] disregard for Russia's own commitments made at Helsinki, Paris, and Budapest."
- The transition process in Ukraine is difficult. The US has already provided billions of dollars to Kiev in assistance and loans, as well as military equipment and training.
- "The Kremlin is working hard to buy off and co-opt European political forces, funding both right-wing and left-wing anti-systemic parties throughout Europe." Russia needs to do so in order to counter-balance US influence there.
- "The United States' sanctions on Russia must and will remain in place until the Minsk Agreement is fully implemented" (After the G7 meeting, existing sanctions were renewed).
- Biden stated that Russia must be coerced militarily first and mentioned NATO's readiness action plan and Article 5 of the NATO Treaty as the main pillars of the anti-Russian strategy in Europe.
- The US is "pursuing the Transatlantic Investment Partnership to create growth and jobs and strengthen the global trading system." Biden presents it as the future foundation of European security. However, in reality it will place the US in the center of the world economy, not Europe.
- Anti-US forces in Europe, Biden claims, are corrupt and revisionists. "Civil societies, dissidents, and gays" are allies of the US in Europe and will be useful for strengthening the transatlantic community.
After his speech, some VIP participants asked questions regarding the US establishment and how to continue preventive diplomacy against Russia. So Xavier Solana, a former NATO secretary general, asked how the Minsk Agreement could be respected if the Ukrainians don't control their own border (he meant the part where the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk regions have direct contact with Russia). Solana said that "we will not know if they are respecting that until the end of the year, because the border….has to be really recuperated by Ukraine. And I think we [must] keep on working together and we will win this battle."
Biden answered, clearly stating that part of the deal was that free elections should be held in the east, and that conducting them would be difficult. Biden didn't address the matter of free elections being held in regions under Kiev's control, focusing instead on the zone regularly attacked by Ukrainian armed forces.
Biden's parting words during this event held very significant meaning. He said that "We're looking for him (Putin) to, in our view, act more rationally. If he does not, we will continue to confront what I characterize as pure aggression".
What does that mean? What is rational in the eyes of the US? It is probably not limited to respect for the Minsk Agreement (Moscow actually helped broker the Minsk treaty, but Kiev didn't abide by it). Obviously Biden means that Russia should return Crimea to Ukraine, recognize that what it did was an act of aggression and submit itself to a judicial inquiry (under the supervision of the West). This would be followed by a search for the perpetrators (Putin will be among the first) and a payment of reparations. After that, Russia might feel compelled to adopt the neoliberal agenda in every aspect, from the implementation of more deep economic dependence to LGBT activism.
The terms are also indicated. Putin must change its course of action during this year and U.S. observers will verify what happens in Ukraine and along the border with Russia.
Otherwise, the US is threatening Russia with war.
Is Obama's administration really ready to attack Russia and is all the NATO noise in the EU just preparation for a grandiose battle in Eurasia? Probably no; the US can't even muster the strategic ability or popular approval to launch a successful campaign against ISIS – Barak Obama confirmed as much. However, Washington is very wise when it comes to launching hybrid wars of every shape and form – including terrorism, color revolutions, coup d’etats, proxy warfare and more.
So we’ll keep Biden’s words in mind and discover what happens as 2016 approaches.