It’s clear that the Biden Administration remains divided over what to do but that some members within it are dangerously flirting with the possibility of provoking what they mistakenly think might be a ‘manageable crisis’ with Russia.
US President Joe Biden scandalously quipped during Wednesday’s press conference that NATO might be divided over how to respond in the event that Russia stages a so-called “minor incursion” into Ukraine. This reveals that his team’s strategy towards Russia isn’t fully formed in the context of the undeclared US-provoked missile crisis in Europe that talks earlier this month were aimed at de-escalating. It also follows speculation from American intelligence agencies that the Eurasian Great Power is planning a “false flag” attack in Donbass in order to justify the use of force against its neighbour, which Moscow of course angrily denied. That claim prompted an Eastern Ukrainian militia leader to much more credibly allege that it’s actually British-trained Ukrainian operatives who are plotting a false flag attack there.
It’s objectively the case that tensions are soaring between the US and Russia as a result of recent talks failing to achieve legal guarantees for the latter’s security. In particular, Moscow is requesting that NATO formally declare that it won’t expand any further eastward and that it also won’t deploy strike weapons near Russia’s borders. The Kremlin also requested written replies to all of its very detailed proposals that its representatives recently discussed with their American counterparts. While the anti-Chinese faction of the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) has an interest in de-escalating tensions in Europe so as to enable the Pentagon to redeploy some of their forces from there to the Asia-Pacific in order to more aggressively “contain” China, their anti-Russian rivals disagree.
That subversive faction has evidently succeeded in at the very least delaying progress on that front, if not dangerously risking its reversal towards an even more intensified competition between these nuclear powers. There’s also a crucial domestic political context that’s recently come into play too, and that’s the Biden Administration’s latest spree of legislative losses on the home front. Some speculate that the incumbent’s team might try to provoke an international distraction that they might mistakenly believe could be “manageable” in order to rally the country behind its elderly leader. The timing is such that this could proverbially “kill two birds with one stone” by prompting the fearmongered “minor incursion” by Russia during next month’s Beijing Winter Olympics in order to spoil that latter event.
Strategically speaking, this is ominously similar to what the US did during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics when it encouraged former Georgian President Saakashvili to provoke a similar “minor incursion” by attacking Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia during the start of those Games. History might once again be repeating itself for the above-mentioned self-serving reasons. Just like back then, the US thought that any kinetic proxy crisis with Russia would be “manageable” but the outcome shattered their expectations. So too might something similar happen vis-à-vis Ukraine since any “minor incursion” by Russia would likely be aimed at completely neutralizing the military threat to its national security from that neighbouring nation. In other words, the US would suffer a massive strategic setback.
Nevertheless, depending on the scope and scale of the fearmongered “minor incursion” that might be prompted by the US’ anti-Russian “deep state” faction either encouraging Kiev to commence a third round of Civil War hostilities in Eastern Ukraine and/or unthinkably attack Russian forces across the border directly, the US-led West may or may not impose its threatened worst-ever sanctions regime against Moscow. In theory, artillery and missile strikes from within Russia’s own borders against hostile Ukrainian military targets might be sufficient to neutralize imminent threats without its forces having to cross the international frontier. That might enable Russia to respond below the sanctions threshold while still inadvertently spoiling the Beijing Winter Olympics like the US might be hoping.
It would also be enough to provoke the foreign crisis that Biden’s team might have dangerously convinced themselves that he needs for domestic political reasons related to distracting Americans from his failed legislative agenda and getting them to rally behind him on a so-called “patriotic” pretext. Depending on how the sequence of events is spun to average Americans, it could also possibly give the Democrats a fighting chance ahead of the midterm elections later this year. It’s admittedly a gamble, but as the saying goes, “desperate people do desperate things” and the Biden Administration is becoming increasingly desperate as a result of its latest legislative setbacks. The “minor incursion” that their anti-Russian “deep state” faction might be plotting to provoke could therefore be seen as a realistic scenario.
Observers should remember that while the insight shared in this analysis makes sense from the perspective through which the author has lately been interpreting the US’ approach towards Russia’s security guarantees, anything can still happen since its “deep state” dynamics remain opaque by their very nature. This means that the “minor incursion” scenario might not actually come to pass if something changes behind the scenes and thus alters its “deep state’s” calculations. It’s clear that the Biden Administration remains divided over what to do but that some members within it are dangerously flirting with the possibility of provoking what they mistakenly think might be a “manageable crisis” with Russia. The next four weeks till the upcoming Olympics’ closing ceremony on 20 February will be telling.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.