09.03.2023 Author: Henry Kamens

New Rand Report: “How NOT 2-Isolate & “Provoke” Russia with a Bag of Dirty Tricks?”

When the scenario is all mapped out, with different and various levels of conflict between the West and Russia, it is easy to conclude that lots of preparation and game theory has gone into the proffered reports by various think tanks, RAND, Atlantic Council, NATO, EU, etc. But include that with the level of diligence, it is highly ironic to see them getting caught by an investigative journalist blowing up Nord Stream, a strategic pipeline for European Energy Security, and then for them to outright deny it.

It is both sad and amusing How America “Took Out” The Nord Stream Pipeline, and got caught red-handed in the act by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. The New York Times called the action a “mystery,” but in fact the United States executed a covert sea operation that was kept secret—until now—was never that plausible.

Seymour Subterfuge on the Horizon

All of what is unfolding is known US policy, and there is yet more to come. Let us not forget the first Rand Study last year, which got some press, in which the authors investigated how the United States might use its military posture in Europe (specifically, ground forces) as part of a strategy to deter so-called “malign Russian activities”. That report was basically a roadmap which brought us to where we are now in Ukraine and the world, and it is not hard to predict what comes next.

Was it not Daniel Ellsberg who worked for the Rand Corporation during the Vietnam War who gave us, The Pentagon Papers, officially titled, “Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force”, and which was the final straw that helped to end that lost war for the US and its erstwhile allies. It was a lost cause, even from the beginning where the French were defeated and warned the US not to get involved, and it would only result in quagmire and eventual defeat.

In short, current circumstances are no accident: it is as if the US military has postured itself in such a way as to provoke Russia to escalate, as has been planned since at least 2014, and perhaps even earlier, at the NATO powwow in 2008 that first opened Pandora’s box by trying to expand NATO and encroach directly on Russia’s national security.

Now we have a new understanding of Deterrence and Escalation in Competition with Russia, a document of 295 pages which went into chilling detail that can be best described as How-to-isolate-and “Provoke” Russia with a joke bag of dirty tricks. Nothing new here, as this has been the policy before and after the Cold War and only better packaged now.

There was also a RAND “study” on the ESCALATION of conflict with RUSSIA up to “nuclear strikes” options – which included something about a “Ukraine” fighting for our “freedom” … (??) Now they don’t know what to do with the situation, as things are not going as planned. It has therefore been decided that it is better to promote fear tactics than seek ways to undo the mess inflicted on Europe and the World by the US.

The West really needs to back down. It won’t though—it will bring us to the edge of total extinction, e.g. the ticking doomsday clock, more akin to a ticking time bomb, and not too far in the future. It is not as if we don’t know the role the US Empire has in “provoking, prolonging and benefiting” from the conflict. It may not only be from a Dr. Strangelove-like event, but it is time to look closer at bio weapons, gains of function, directed evolution, and to revisit the origins and spread of AIDS.

It should be apparent, not only to The Kremlin, that more Western arms for Ukraine will only lead to escalation, and increase the risks of death and destruction for all. In the meantime, we start again with the PR spin, and more Ghost of Kiev-like stories—likely a diversion from the reality on the ground, and how things are not falling into place according to the US and NATO war gamers.

Shifting the Blame

It is so easy to cut loose with recriminations, finger pointing and shifting the blame, as

Caitlin Johnston writes:

“The most common response I get is something along the lines of, “Well if there is a nuclear war it will be Putin’s fault,” as though whose “fault” it is will matter to us while we’re watching the world end, along with the related “Well Russia shouldn’t have invaded then” and “Well Russia should stop threatening to use nukes then.”

People genuinely don’t seem to understand that in the event of a full-scale nuclear war, it will really be the end of everyone—as in the Day After Movie, (1983). The hawks in the US still kind of imagine everyone still being there and shaking their fists at Russia afterward, as they like to sit there “feeling self-righteous and vindicated for correctly saying what a bad, bad man Vladimir Putin is.”

But all that may be the perfect Red Herring, compared to the real threat to humanity, the issue of Pfizer’s reckless research, and bio research under the guise of bio threat reduction, DARPA, undertaken by the US and its strategic partners. “The key to understanding the Pfizer threat is that that there have been no international standards for either the security of such efforts or moral or scientific restriction – nuclear weapons are a joke in comparison.”

Mission Impossible or Mission Accomplished?

Getting back to the blueprints for destabilisation and the distracting attention from the root causes, it is not hard to come to the conclusion that the exit from Afghanistan was treated by the US and NATO as part of the plan to redeploy. Afghanistan was Mission Accomplished, coined by JW Bush Jr, first with Iraq, and then with the latest victim left in worse shape after 20 years of Mission Creep by the allies than when the war started. In other worlds, destroy a country, walk away and declare victory—and the same can happen in Ukraine.

Fast track to now with all the rhetoric of modern battle tanks for Ukraine coming from Germany, the UK and even the US, and German-made tanks being supplied from other NATO countries, suggests they are looking for a PR quick fix, “out of desperation” as the delivery schedule is a day-late-and logistical-dollars short” in support—a nightmare with no end in sight.

Nonetheless, this will prove more a symbolic and token gesture, as if the West was really interested in winning in Ukraine the tanks would have been in place long ago, when they could have balanced the odds on the battlefield a bit more in favour of Kiev. However, they are unlikely to be a game changer.

Not that that would have made any difference, especially considering how US warmongers have protracted the conflict into a slugfest. The refusal to negotiate on the part of Ukraine is based more on the political realities in those countries that pushed Ukraine into this predicament in the first place than any principle of Ukraine’s.

The current doubling-down is only too obvious, with US presidential elections coming up in 2024, with too many political careers and the survival of some parties on the line. It is now wait and see, and let the conflict run its course based on how the votes will be counted, and as the body count increases.

The Real Firefight

The real firefight is in terms of energy policy, and what will be the new world reserve currency – which is related who is holding much of the world’s gold, and whether US hegemony is on its last legs. The unintended blowback from failed intervention is coming from all directions, even Brazil, aside from the places readers of NEO know only too well.

It is not hard to understand that with so many balls in the air, and with too many distractions, they can all crash to the ground at once. But it is likely this one will end like so many other conflicts the US has started and walked away from, leaving a mess in its wake

Now even the British Press is predicting the same scenario, and how others will be left holding the baby, or having to finish the job. It seems that the US really does not have the intention of protecting Europe, or defending it from itself – the mess that the US has made is part of the greater ploys so clearly outlined in various Rand reports.

You can be sure one is likely being commissioned now about how to exit this “proxy war” and save face with honour, and not get slapped with too much mud. The exit strategy is as clear as was it in Afghanistan – get out when things go bad, exit to another part of the world, and start again, Asia.

Asia is looking like greener pastures now. Europe will have to clean up the mess, as predicated in the above linked article: “we simply do not have the military capability to remain so heavily engaged in Europe while ensuring effective defence in Asia. Whatever pleasant reassurances are offered up by American diplomats, the fact is that there will sooner or later be a hard pivot to the Pacific.”

Donald Trump will get the wish he expressed during his term in office, as Europeans will have to shoulder a much greater share of the burden of defending against the potential for Russian attack. This takes us back to Dad’s Army, and the need for an independent European Defence force, as NATO is a paper tiger for all practical purposes, disorganised and not combat ready, especially after sending everything to Ukraine.

Without Turkey, or any hope of American boots on the ground, the paper tiger does not have a very thick skin – more like rice paper, the pun intended. Soon American politicians will be able to sell an honourable defeat by claiming that their departure, and cutting back on the never-ending supply of weapons and materials, has more to do with getting Europe to carry its fair share of the weight—or in addressing the endemic corruption that puts Ukraine on the map.

Let us not forget how the European economy has been subsidised at the expense of American taxpayers, as they were free to direct their funds to their own GDP whilst simultaneously expecting the US to foot their security bill. Meanwhile, they also got cheap energy from Russia, so the free ride is now coming to an abrupt end. As one pundit so well stated, “they can no longer content themselves with getting fat and lazy while the US carries the load.”

Self-inflicted Wound

What is happening in Europe and Ukraine is a self-inflicted wound, a self-made product. Europe should have been more focused on collective regional security and not been so greedy. With a bit of self-interest in mind, this war may never have happened. But now they are going to have to pick up the check, and deal with some very upset voters who want to tack their skins to the barn door.

Europe should go back to what it does best, as Europeans “would rather spend their tax money on welfare/free education/housing migrants/and other fringe benefits” rather than on the military. It should see the brighter side of things, as they are now getting immigrants, albeit costly in the short term, of the right hue, and a religion closer to the dominant European.

This influx will help make up for the demographic crisis Europe is facing, as with any war and refugee flow there can be a silver lining. However the cost is a reverse energy dependence on the US and no return to how it was in the “good old days.”

Fortunately most Europeans are safe, and things are not as bad as in Turkey, and that is now like Ukraine, destruction.  The same can be said of the collective West which cannot see or admit openly that their policies are not working, but having just the opposite effect.

Peace with Dishonour

The West would rather attack musicians such as Roger Waters, who gave some interviews and spoke to the UN, much to the dismay of Ukraine and fellow travellers on the proverbial road. The former Pink Floyd band member, like some radical German political parties, is starting to sound as if he has solid feet on the ground in terms of policy and what the future holds.

Former Pink Floyd guys Roger Waters and David Gilmour have taken to fighting over social media. David Gilmour has a Ukrainian daughter-in-law. Last year he released a version of the Ukrainian national anthem under the Pink Floyd name. Roger Waters has been fighting for Palestinian rights, after hearing stories of Zionists raiding and throwing people out of their homes. He claims the Ukrainian civil war started in 2014 when they were ethnically cleansing Ukraine of Russians (plus having Nazis as soldiers, The Azov Battalion).

Waters comes across as anti-Jewish, anti-Ukrainian and pro-Russian to Gilmour. As Dagmar Henn concluded, when The AfD, Alternative for Deutschland, the Hawk, presented a motion for the German government to launch a peace (Dove) initiative, the majority in the chamber declared it to represent The Kremlin in the Bundestag for doing so.

As the RAND papers prove, they have long since reached the point where victory in Ukraine is impossible, and the West must somehow withdraw and save face with honour, which will be hard, even for gullible and vested politicians to swallow.

It is time to study the Vietnam War, the Quiet American, and what hard lessons from there can be applied to Ukraine and to the conflagration in Europe as a whole. Few Americans want to remember Richard Nixon when he spoke of seeking a “victorious peace” in Vietnam, and coined the term “honorable peace” for the first time.

Crucial to Nixon’s plan was the concept of linkage—using the Soviet Union to get the North Vietnamese to negotiate seriously. In this case, perhaps we can use the EU to get the US to do the right thing and negotiate with honourable intentions.

Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

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