Delivering a talk at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan recently, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine needs NATO’s continued support for as long as it takes, because if Russian President Vladimir Putin wins, the message to Moscow and Beijing will be that they can achieve what they want with the use of “brute force” which would make the world more dangerous and us (NATO) more vulnerable. Stoltenberg was perhaps not seeking a prize in hypocrisy; it was a natural instinct that he and his ilk in the West have developed – pot calling the kettle black!
With respect to brute force, General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander, NATO during the Kosovo War, had gone on record to say that while bombing of Afghanistan had commenced in preparation of the US invasion of that country in 2001, the Pentagon had already decided to “take out” seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran) in the next five years. This perhaps is more brutal than brute force.
More significantly, the record of the US-led NATO, in terms of invasions, bombing civilian populations, use of chemical and biological weapons, assassinations and the like has been atrocious and barbaric. In Ukraine, the US-NATO combine is applying the same “hammer” approach but with a difference this time. They sit on the fence and fuel the war, while Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky is happy shedding Ukrainian blood and having his country destroyed – playing the geopolitical prostitute for America.
Despite the adverse global impact of the Ukraine war in terms of economy (including Europe), energy and food shortages, plus disruptions in supply chains, the US is bent upon fuelling the Ukraine war albeit also offering Russia territorial concessions and a demilitarised zone in eastern Ukraine.
The latest is that the POTUS Joe Biden has approved a new $2.2 billion package of arms and munitions, which the Pentagon said included a new rocket-propelled precision bomb that could nearly double Ukraine’s strike range against Russian forces. The ground-launched small-diameter bomb (GLSDB) has a strike range of 150 km. France and Italy are to supply Ukraine mobile surface-to-air missile systems – MAMBA/SAMP vehicle-mounted medium-range missiles.
Zelensky is pleading vociferously for modern fighter aircraft but instead the West is supplying modern battle tanks to Ukraine. Poland is providing 14 Leopard tanks to Ukraine, after Germany approved the move. Germany is also to supply Leopard tanks to Kiev while the US would provide Abrams tanks after Ukrainian crews are trained to operate them. These tanks fire depleted uranium (DU) ammunition, the effect of which on humans is kidney damage and cancer of the bone or liver. The US and NATO militaries have used DU penetrator rounds in the 1991 Gulf War, the war in Bosnia, bombing of Serbia, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and airstrikes in Iraq-Syria during 2015. But this time it is Russia they are fighting, using Ukraine as proxy.
Ukraine needs NATO’s continued support as a Russian win would convey the message that Moscow and Beijing can succeed by using “brute force” thus making the world more dangerous
Some analysts are of the opinion that since US-NATO sponsored Ukrainian military operations are largely dependent on Starlink satellites of Elon Musk, Russia may resort to a space war given the fact that Russian space forces are better organised than the US. However, with the US-NATO using DU ammunition, a direct Russia-NATO engagement, leading to general nuclear war is closer to becoming a reality.
Despite all the noise about regulating space, weaponing of space has gone beyond only anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons. On August 12, 2015, the US reportedly fired a space-based kinetic weapon, ‘Rod of God’, at China’s Tianjin Port that killed 114 people and instantly destroyed six city blocks on the edge of the city of Tianjin. This was a weapon that can be dropped from high orbit to strike almost any land-based target. So, aside from ASATs, it is defence against space weapons and employment of land-based laser guns and microwave weapons that must be taken note of. In addition, ‘swarm satellites’ have arrived on the scene, which are cheap, difficult to detect and would have lesser redundancy against ASAT weapons because of sheer numbers.
China’s ‘Unrestricted Warfare’ (the plan to destroy America) expands the concept of warfare from military to both military and non-military means since such conceptual change increases the capacity in violence in other dimensions like politics, economics, and information networks, and such rise in violence-capacity is precipitated by the increase in technologies. It also advocates that warfare constitutes an independent sphere of action in which ethical standards are not applicable.
The tools spelt out in ‘Unrestricted Warfare’ include: military – atomic, conventional, biochemical, ecological, space, electronic, guerrilla and terrorism; trans-military – diplomatic networks, intelligence, psychological, smuggling, drugs and virtual, and non-military – financial, trade, resources, economic aid, regulatory, sanctions, media and ideological.
It is known that the US has been involved in the rise, nurturing, supporting and arming of terrorist organisations like the Mujahedeen, Al Qaeda, Islamic State and Jabat ul Nusra. It has been using terrorists as proxy boots on ground, exploited rivalry between terrorist organisations and even resorted to killing terrorist leaders whenever it suited US national interests. But China is far ahead of the US in terms of unrestricted warfare while it also employs terrorism; it also maintains subtle links with terrorist organisations and has no inhibitions about overt relations with radical countries that use terrorism as a state policy.
Western scholars love targeting Russia but one wonders how much has the US examined the Chinese agenda of destroying America through refugees and immigration. Also, while enunciating the Red-Green Axis, the West forgets that European leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened her arms to Syrian refugees (who were not from Syria alone) to secure another term as Chancellor, encouraging other European countries to also follow suit.
The propaganda helped hail Merkel as a hero but her actions were based on pure political greed without any compassion whatsoever. Similarly, under pretext of the US-sponsored Anglo-Saxon and neo-Nazi ideologies, European leaders are pursuing their personal ambitions by fuelling the war in Ukraine at the expense of the economies of their countries and interests of the public – wagging their tails to Washington’s dictates’.
With the former POTUS Donald Trump trashing the Paris Accord on Climate Change and dismissing any relationship between periodic wildfires ravaging the West and climate change, no one can imagine if, and if not, China is exploiting the menace of wildfires and extremes of weather in the West as part its unrestricted warfare. Whether this can categorically be ruled out will remain a question given the ease of igniting fires in foreign territory and China’s focus on weather modification.
As it is, China is pumping drugs in target countries including India and is behind illicit Fentanyl running rampant on America’s streets, overdose of which has become the leading cause of death of American youth since 2019.
Latest is the sighting of two Chinese balloons; one over America’s western state of Montana and the other over Latin America, which has caused much commotion in the US and exchange of messages, or rather heartburn, between Washington and Beijing. The US has called them ‘spy’ balloons – the one over Montana spying on the US Air Force Base at Malmstrom and the ICBMs housed there. China maintains that the balloon is a civilian airship used for weather research, which has been blown off course.
Initially, the news was that the US did not want to shoot the balloon because the debris would fall below. But the actual reason was that it was out of reach at an altitude of 30-40 km. Once it descended to a height of 18-19 km, it was shot down presumably with an F-22 Raptor which has stealth technology. Notably, there are thousands of weather balloons in the skies, which are practically invisible to ground-based air defence radars because of low signature and thermal contrast. From America’s Joe Biden administration’s viewpoint, shooting down the balloon gives a false sense of being “tough” and diversion from America’s pusillanimous exit from Afghanistan under Biden, for which an inquiry has been instituted by the US House of Representatives.
The US has accused China of violating its airspace while Beijing has accused America of violating international norms in shooting down the balloon. China may have deliberately timed the balloon with the US Secretary of Antony Blinken about to proceed on a visit to China. After all, the US is trying its level best to undermine Chinese influence, its chip industry and using sanctions against China. At the same time, German and EU delegations have visited Beijing to boost trade, for which Australia also appears keen.
There is speculation that these balloons were a dry run for a Chinese EMP attack on the US, which could kill electronic equipment, particularly computers, satellites, radios, radar receivers and even civilian traffic lights in 90 percent of America, bringing the country to a standstill. This may or may not be the case but one thing appears certain that with NATO “itching” for war with Russia, a nuclear exchange is well on the cards and China would not lose the opportunity to deliver a killer blow to the US.
-The writer is veteran Special Forces of Indian Army. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of Raksha Anirveda