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What War With Russia Would Look Like

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Steadfast Javelin II proves NATO strong, ready
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If ever a critical diplomatic negotiation was doomed to fail from the start, the discussions between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine and Russian security guarantees is it.

The two sides can't even agree on an agenda.

From the Russian perspective, the situation is clear: "The Russian side came here [to Geneva] with a clear position that contains a number of elements that, to my mind, are understandable and have been so clearly formulated including at a high level that deviating from our approaches simply is not possible," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the press after a pre-meeting dinner on Sunday hosted by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who is leading the U.S. delegation.

Ryabkov was referring Russian President Vladimir Putin's demands to U.S. President Joe Biden in early December regarding Russian security guarantees, which were then laid out by Moscow in detail in the form of two draft treaties, one a Russian-U.S. security treaty, the other a security agreement between Russia and NATO.

The latter would bar Ukraine from joining NATO and rule out any eastward expansion by the trans-Atlantic military alliance. At the time, Ryabkov tersely noted that the U.S. should immediately begin to address the proposed drafts with an eye to finalizing something when the two sides meet. Now, with the meeting beginning on Monday, it doesn't appear as if the U.S. has done any such thing.

"The talks are going to be difficult," Ryabkov told reporters after the dinner meeting. "They cannot be easy. They will be business-like. I think we won't waste our time tomorrow." When asked if Russia was ready to compromise, Ryabkov tersely responded, "The Americans should get ready to reach a compromise."

All the U.S. has been willing to do, it seems, is to remind Russia of so-called "serious consequences" should Russia invade Ukraine, something the U.S. and NATO fear is imminent, given the scope and scale of recent Russian military exercises in the region involving tens of thousands of troops. This threat was made by Biden to Putin on several occasions including a phone call initiated by Putin last week to help frame the upcoming talks.

Yet on the eve of the Ryabkov-Sherman meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken simply reiterated these threats declaring that Russia would face "massive consequences" if it invaded Ukraine.

"It's clear that we've offered him two paths forward," Blinken said, speaking of Putin. "One is through diplomacy and dialogue; the other is through deterrence and massive consequences for Russia if it renews its aggression against Ukraine. And we're about to test the proposition of which path President Putin wants to take this week."

Lessons of History

It is as if both Biden and Blinken are deaf, dumb, and blind, when it comes to reading Russia.

Ryabkov has alluded to a fact already made clear by the Russians there will be no compromise when it comes to Russia's legitimate national security interests. And if the U.S. cannot understand how the accumulation of military power encompassed in a military alliance which views Russia as a singular, existential threat to its members' security is seen by Russia as threatening, then there is no comprehension of how the events of June 22, 1941 have shaped the present-day Russian psyche, why Russia will never again allow such a situation to occur and why the talks are doomed before they even begin.

As for the American threats, Russia has given its response, any effort to sanction Russia would result, as Putin told Biden last month, in a "complete rupture of relations" between Russia and those countries attempting sanctions.

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Scott Ritter served as a former Marine Corps officer from 1984 until 1991, and as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 until 1998. He is the author of several books, including "Iraq Confidential" (Nation Books, 2005) and "Target Iran" (more...)
 

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3 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments  Post Comment


Lance Ciepiela

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Russia was given verbal assurances about the limits of Nato's expansion, but no written guarantees. In March 1991, John Major, for instance, was asked by the Soviet defence minister, Marshal Dmitry Yazov, about eastern Europe's interest in joining Nato. Major, according to the diaries of the British ambassador to Moscow, Rodric Braithwaite, assured him "nothing of that sort will ever happen".

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 12, 2022 at 5:33:42 PM

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David William Pear

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I can't put my finger on it, but it has to do with the stupidity of the 'American' people. I don't think Scott has factored that into his equation.

The British started WW1 which led to WW2 and the Cold War because they felt their empire was threatened by Germany. The heir to that empire was the U.S. which would rather have a world war than give up its empire.

There is no antiwar movement even after 20 years of foreign wars. U.S. bullying of defenseless countries has sucked the economy dry without a peep from the 'American' people. The left let their insane TDS spew Russophobia for over 4 years. The right has always been hostile to Russia. The oligarchs who really run 'America' have been drooling for the riches of Russian assets for several hundred years.

So, Jonny get your gun, tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree, and put the red white and blue on every front porch. Lockdown, conscription, and rationing will replace the Bill of Rights and it will be said to be the patriotic duty to come to the 'aid of our country'.

Any objectors will be severely punished. The infrastructure of the police state and anti-"domestic terrorism" is ready.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 12, 2022 at 11:35:55 PM

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Lance Ciepiela

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Yes, over 53,000,000 hits for Toby Keith's hit song.

After 9/11, 'The Red, White, And Blue' became 'a rallying cry' for everlasting wars and revenge against "the people who knocked these buildings down", yells Bush into his 'bullhorn' within days of 9/11,

except of course, Bush never investigates or determines who was responsible - 'wasn't' the Iraqis or the Afghanis - for causing all those explosions - 'review the evidence of federal crimes' - going off, 'almost simultaneously', in all 3 of those World Trade Center Towers, killing almost 3,000 persons. #PETITION.

Submitted on Friday, Jan 14, 2022 at 10:40:43 AM

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LeZ SeZ

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Scott,

And greetings from Melbourne, Australia.

Q1: Why does the Russian Government continue to provide energy to the US and Europe, going into these "discussions"?

Q2: If the war simulations as reported indicate that NATO would lose and quickly, why does the US / NATO push it this way?

Q3: Is it true that Russian electronic warfare can shut down Western Europe and UK communications? Same as Q2.

Regards ... Lez


Submitted on Friday, Jan 14, 2022 at 12:09:46 AM

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