For some time now, US President Joe Biden has been sounding the alarm over a purported plan by Russia to invade Ukraine. He has been joined by European allies in warning of tough action should Russia move troops into its southwestern neighbour’s territory.
America’s convictions of an imminent invasion are based on the large concentration of Russian troops on the Ukraine border. According to American media reports, US intelligence believes that up to 190,000 Russian soldiers combined with Ukrainian separatist forces have been deployed.
Combat units include about 120 of the estimated 160 Battalion Tactical Groups which are positioned within 60km of Ukraine. Some 35 of 50 air defence battalions are in place with over 500 warplanes within range of Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin however denies that there are plans to invade Ukraine, reducing the whole issues to a series of accusations and counter-accusations. What is clear is that, should Russia decide to pour troops south, the Ukrainian military will be absolutely overwhelmed.
Rhetoric and posturing
And despite all the rhetoric and posturing, President Biden and his Western European allies will do very little to prevent the fall of Volodymyr Zelenskyy and installation of a Russian puppet regime in Kiev. The US did nothing when, in 2014, Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and supported a separatist seizure of power in part of the eastern region.
The reality is that the US and its European allies under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) do not have the fight in them to commit military support for Ukraine against a Russian invasion. So far, the Western alliance can only threaten economic sanctions against Moscow and has notably been silent on promises of military intervention if Ukraine is invaded.
In any case, the US, despite having the mightiest military on the planet, has never won a major armed conflict since World War II. It suffered a humiliating defeat in the Vietnam War of the 1960s and has not a significant military victory since.
Just recently, it turned tail and fled Afghanistan because it finally got tired of a long occupation that showed no prospects of conquering a determined resistance. It won the battle to topple the Taliban regime after the 2001 World Trade Centre terrorist attacks but ultimately lost the war.
Sustained guerrilla resistance
Washington also ousted President Saddam Hussein of Iraq after a military invasion justified on lies about his amassing weapons of mass destruction but, again, it could not conquer in the long run. Even here, in the Eastern African region, the mighty US military fled a ragtag militia in Somalia.
It would be foolish for the Ukrainians to bank on substantial US military support if they are invaded. Instead, they should be planning for a sustained guerrilla resistance that, if driven with dedication and patriotism, should ultimately prevail against the superior Russian firepower.
Russia, like the US, also suffered a humiliating defeat on Afghanistan and should be wary of any lengthy occupation of a people determined to regain their freedom. Any battle for Ukraine must be based on the people’s determination to be free, rather than on American hot air.
One must also recognise the hypocrisy of the US in ramping up talk against Russian military designs on Ukraine. What is not clearly coming out is that Russia is determined to prevent a former client-state and the second-biggest country in Europe becoming a member of Nato and bringing a US military presence on its doorstep.
The US leads the world with massive military presence across all corners of the globe. In Europe, Nato forces keep a permanent check on Russia while in the Far East, US military bases and naval armadas effectively in keep watch on China.
One does not hear of Russian or Chinese militaries playing war games on American borders. Neither do we see Russian and Chinese armies abrogating for themselves the role of global policeman and strutting around the world stage overthrowing any leaders they don’t like.
Across the Middle East, the US has been a force of destabilisation with its regime-change policies that oust strong secular military leaders and create vacuums to be filled by violent Islamist extremist groups.
While a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be totally unacceptable, American posturing on the issue reveals the arrogance and dishonesty of country that, more than any other, is a threat to world peace with its history of military adventurism across all corners of the globe.
The Ukrainians should be left alone to fight their own wars for freedom instead of being reduced to pawns in the US campaign for world dominance.
[email protected]. www.gaitho.co.ke @MachariaGaitho