While much of the world wonders when Russia will invade Ukraine, the US Senate's number 2 ranking member on the Armed Forces committee has added something new:
When will the US invade Russia?
Senator Roger Wicker disclosed that a US invasion of Russia is on the table. He spoke on national TV immediately after the Biden-Putin virtual summit about Ukraine.
Wicker revealed that US military action against Russia is actually under consideration. When asked, he explained, "Military action could mean that we stand off with our ships in the Black Sea and we rain destruction on Russian military capability."
To my knowledge President Biden is yet to endorse such military action. He's threatening more sanctions against Russia instead. I wonder what of this was discussed at the recent Biden-Putin virtual summit. News organizations have reported no substantial accomplishment at that meeting.
Putin, for his part, just wants US/NATO to agree to no further threats toward Russia, to not admit Ukraine as a member. Failing that, says one Russian official, Russia might even the score by adding defensive tactical nuclear weapons in its European territory. That would have been prohibited by treaty, but the US pulled out some time ago.
Wicker's aggressive comments, nonetheless, have stirred some alarm themselves. While he is a Republican, Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, the former presidential candidate, reacted in horror over Wicker's threats: "We are being pushed closer and closer to a hot war, a nuclear war," she exclaimed. Sounding exasperated she added, "I mean, it literally is insane."
Here in neutral Switzerland it looks to me like there are now two unacceptable threats being promoted. The first is the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Now the second is the threat of an American invasion of Russia.
However, I am not sure that either threat exists in a practical sense.
Russia denies it has any plans to invade Ukraine. Western politicians and media counter that with a report from American security agencies. These are the organizations that brought us reports of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and of Russia propelling Donald Trump into the presidency.
Time has shown in both instances that those reports were unreliable and lacked a factual basis. Is the Russian intent to invade Ukraine just more of the same?
I've seen reasons to suspect that it is. Allow me to present just two.
The first is the absence of a motive. Even Anne Applebaum, a sharp critic of Putin's, told CNN, "Rationally a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be insane." She points out if Russia were to occupy Ukraine it would be largely an unwelcome occupier and could face "a guerrilla war and violence for many years." She posited that an occupation wouldn't even be popular back in Russia.
Nonetheless, the Western media continues to assert that Russia is now preparing for an invasion. The primary physical evidence is the massing of troops and tanks along the Russia-Ukraine border. There well could be internal Russian troop movements. But there is no evidence that the action is aggressive and not defensive in case of a Ukraine-based attack on Russia.
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