While the USA thinks that Russia failed to succeed in its original objectives in the Donbass and in forcing a governmental change in Kiev, the long-term picture looks troublesome as the Russians have not only improved their tactics but also appear willing to pay the price and grind down Ukraine’s army.

Likewise, it is by now clear that it will take more than a few years in the US and Europe to rebuild ammunition and equipment stocks, while the Russians seem to have put their defense manufacturing on a full-time, day-and-night basis to bring supplies to the front.

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There are two key signals of a possible US-NATO change in strategy that are perceptible if we understand that NATO, at least so far, does what the USA says it needs to do.

New deliveries of special types of long-range ammunition to Kiev are the first signal. The second is the publicized switch by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland to favoring a refocus on retaking Crimea in a new Ukrainian offensive.

Nuland’s view is not supported fully by the State Department or the Pentagon, largely because of concern Russia may choose to attack Western supply lines in retaliation, leading to a broader war in Eastern Europe, starting with Poland and Romania.

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Both Poland and Romania, one should recall, are historical Russian stomping grounds. Joseph Stalin decided to support the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact in August 1939 because the Soviet leader saw it as giving him part of Poland and Romania’s oil fields.

There is a famous story that circulated during the Cold War about a Polish soldier facing an invasion by Russian tanks on one axis and German tanks on the other.

Standing there with one antitank weapon, what should he choose? Deciding to fire on the Russian tanks, the Polish soldier supposedly says, “Business before pleasure.”

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Fast forward to the present, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is known to worry about a wider conflict but may well have lost out to Nuland, a major proponent of the Ukraine war who wants at a Putin regime change in Moscow.

The evidence that Nuland has won the argument starts with the fact Biden has announced a new long-range weapons program for Ukraine and is also sending mobile bridging equipment that could help the Ukrainian army attack Russian forces in a Crimea offensive.

Such an operation itself would start with long-range glide bombs – joint direct attack munitions (JADAM), HIMARS with long-range, ground-launched, small-diameter bombs (GLDSB) and artillery strikes.

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It would then develop into a land offensive against Crimea.

The operational problem is that this scenario would require fighter planes that can fly to high altitudes of around 30,000 feet before launching JDAMS, kits that fit on iron bombs to give them GPS guidance.

But a bomb glides to its target, so to achieve standoff range high-flying aircraft are required.

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This would require Ukraine to use its MIG-29’s, but it has few of the fighters left. Thus the latest arms deliveries may include, in some form or another, Western aircraft probably flown by NATO pilots.

This would amount to a direct declaration of war, as both Blinken (who is against it) and Nuland (who is for it) understand. To launch such an offensive, for example as soon as this May, there’s no alternative to using Western aircraft.

There is bipartisan Congressional support for F-16’s for Ukraine, although that support is for Ukrainians to fly them, which is unlikely in the next three months.

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The Nuland threat to Crimea appears more and more to be a foregone conclusion: a US policy with existential implications for Europe and perhaps also for America.

The issue was decided by the new arms shipments (two separate announcements as late as March 3 US time). While no published decision has been made and Biden has been silent, the equipment being sent could only be intended for Nuland’s offensive on Crimea.

If there were a public announcement of a decision supporting Nuland, Blinken would likely have a heart attack – but the USA is sending long-range bombs and artillery as well as bridging equipment essential to attack Crimea.

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If such an attack is not envisioned, the Ukrainians don’t need this battle kit.

Meanwhile, there seems to be very little coherent US opposition to the unfolding scenario of what could quickly become a general war in Europe.

Ukrainian forces and Yellow-band mercenaries are now pulling out of Bakhmut and the battle for the small Donetsk city is nearly finished. So is this what happens next?

Asia Times / ABC Flash Point News 2023.

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Mad Mullah
Mad Mullah
Member
06-03-23 14:05

Crimea was the reason for the Russia-Ukraine, between the Anglo Zio-Nazi Khazarica mafia and the Russian Federation. The Zionists in Israel are being unmasked and need a new hideout to continue their religious rampage.

Who Benefits
Who Benefits
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Reply to  Mad Mullah
06-03-23 14:08

The Khazarica empire was established near the Sea of Azov some 2000 years ago, and caused havoc in Russia, the reason why Moscow does not want to see happening again.