A war between the US and Russia over Ukraine would be catastrophic

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As a former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officer and a specialist in Russian doctrine and strategy who has participated in dozens of war games simulating a conflict between the US and Russia, I am seriously concerned about the high risk that Washington has for Ukraine will go to war.

If you thought $ 2 trillion and 6,000 Americans was a high price to pay to spend 20 years in Afghanistan without a win, then you haven’t seen anything.

The US costs and losses in a war with nuclear Russia would be catastrophic. Such a war is not to be won and it is not worth sacrificing the lives of Americans.

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Russia’s increased troop holdings along the Ukrainian border – including 114,000 soldiers, special forces, intelligence officers and heavy weapons, including tanks – commemorates Putin’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, along with recent high-risk encounters between US warships and the Russian Navy in the The Black Sea and Putin’s November 13 warning that the US is tossing the gauntlet in Moscow make up what is known in the intelligence community as “warnings and warnings”. an impending crisis.

Concerned about the high likelihood of a direct Russian invasion of Ukraine, US intelligence services have warned European allies that there is only a narrow window of opportunity to deter Putin.

Predictably, Washington “experts” are giving advice that is not based on reality, in this case that Ukraine is part of the vital interests of Russia, but not of the United States. Some advocate accelerating Ukraine’s admission to NATO, which, according to their “expert” point of view, would guarantee Ukraine’s security by obliging the US and NATO to enter into a Russian-Ukrainian conflict on behalf of Kiev. Others are calling for troops to be deployed in the region to deter KGB spy master Putin.

Russia has viewed Ukraine as its safety buffer against foreign invasions for centuries.

Under pressure and bullied, Ukraine should be free to pursue its own path of development. But unfortunately its geostrategic position, which borders on three sides on the much larger and militarily stronger Russia, dictates its fate in the harsh world of realpolitik. At least in Putin’s world.

The Russian head of state has stated on several occasions that Ukraine’s admission to NATO – a military alliance that Russia sees as its greatest threat – would cross a “red line”. Russia has viewed Ukraine as its safety buffer against foreign invasions for centuries. That is neither justified nor good. But it is and has been.

Ivan Il’in, a Russian Orthodox Christian thinker whose ideas Putin used in developing his own ideology, declared in his writings that an independent Ukraine was unthinkable “madness”. Like Il’in, Putin firmly believes that it is important to rule all the countries of Imperial Russia together to ensure its self-defense. While maintaining empires may be alien and anachronistic to US thinkers, it dominates the Russian way of thinking.

Washington “experts”, who notoriously understand poorly what motivates America’s foreign opponents, have no idea of ​​the centuries-old greed that Russia feels towards Ukraine. The reintegration of Ukraine and other post-Soviet states into a Russian-led union is viewed by Moscow as a question of national survival. It is this mentality that underlies Putin’s actions and policies, such as the annexation of Crimea.

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Putting US troops in Russia’s back yard would be interpreted by the Kremlin as a forerunner of a possible US kinetic action against Russia. Just the presence of US forces so close to conflict would put pressure on Washington, which has just been driven out of Afghanistan, to intervene on behalf of Ukraine.

Such an action would spur Moscow to activate its preventive “self-defense reaction”, which attacks the US homeland with destructive cyber and space war attacks. With Russia’s recent anti-satellite missile attack test, Putin has demonstrated Russia’s ability to cripple US satellites, on which we depend not only for our combat capabilities but also for myriad civilian purposes.

Putin, who fears he will be the target of Washington’s “regime change” doctrine, claimed by Saddam Hussein and Moammar al-Gaddafi, is prepared to overreact. Once the shooting begins, the war could very well turn into nuclear and debilitating cyberattacks on the American power grid.

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Nobody was able to win a war with Russia on Russian soil. Just ask France’s Napoleon, Germany’s Hitler and the Swedes, whose army was destroyed by the soldiers of Peter the Great in 1709.

Is Ukraine one of the US’s vital security interests? Is America’s security, territorial integrity, and long-term viability even remotely dependent on Ukraine? The answer to both questions is a resounding “no”.

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