With the decision of the West to provide F16 fighters to the Kiev government we are heading rapidly closer to a world war.
It is not that the F16s are likely to be a ‘game-changer’ -as the Western media have called all of the previous Western wonder-weapons provided to Ukraine. It is the fact that the decision to provide these weapons is one more example of the West crossing the red-lines they promised they would not cross about the provision of more military support to Kiev.
Once it becomes evident that F16s are not going to provide the military advantage to Kiev that has been promised (Kiev cannot provide the necessary air support infrastructure to create a safe environment for the new fighters), nor can they match the newer generations of Russian fighters and its surface and air to air missiles), the next Western red-line will have to be crossed.
The West, after saying that training Kiev’s pilots on F16s would take at least 18 months, now says the training will take 4 months. This very likely indicates that the pilots flying the F16s will not be Ukrainian – they will be Western military ‘retirees’ or ‘volunteers’ and/or be operated out of Polish airbases..
Kiev and the West is determined to ‘defeat’ the Russians in Ukraine- to ‘return’ Crimea and the Donbass to Ukraine (and then to carve up Russia in the way the neocons attempted to in the Yelstin years) . Given that President Putin gave the key rationale for the Ukraine invasion as protecting Russian speakers in the Donbass against neonazi Kievan troops, and given that Crimea has been a part of Russia since Catherine the Great annexed Crimea in 1783, a ‘return’ of Crimea and the Donbass to Ukrainian control would be an existential threat to the whole Russian Federation (not just Putin) and the Russian population would never accept that loss.
This is particularly so since Kiev has made it clear that it regards Donbass’ Russian speaking citizens as second class citizens who either have to be forced to speak Ukrainian or be exiled to Russia. Similarly Ukraine has made it clear that anyone in Crimea who has supported Russia (95% of the population at last count) will be deported to Russia once they ‘reassert’ control of the Crimean peninsula.
Western ‘intelligence’ and their military leaders are presumably aware of the existential nature of this war to Russia; although a knowledge of history and facts is not a prerequisite for decision-making in the US).
While NATO and the West insist they are not at war with Russia, the facts speak otherwise. Kiev’s military would have collapsed more than 6 months ago without NATO weapons; without NATO’s satellite and drone surveillance of Russian troops, without its ‘advisors’ on the ground in Ukraine, without the training of Kiev’s troops to use NATO weapons, and without the ‘retired’ NATO military ‘volunteers’ on the front line. NATO thus continues to pretend that its only providing ‘assistance’ to Kiev- the reality is very different – this is a NATO war.
It is now a very small step for NATO soldiers with NATO uniforms to be on the ground in Ukraine and supporting Kiev from NATO airbases and missile sites in Europe. Once that final line is crossed-possibly in the next few months, China will have no choice but to enter the war on Russia’s side. China has certainly provided economic support but likely no overt military support to Russia since the war began, and is fully aware that once Russia is disposed of and carved up, (as NATO strategists have made clear is the goal) they will be next.
The extension of the military ring around mainland China and the recent development of a second AUKUS/NATO military containment ring in the Pacific with New Guinea and other Pacific nations, plus the West’s universal abrogation of the ‘One China’ principle regarding Taiwan that the West had previously signed up to, are clear signals to Beijing that war with China is coming, and coming soon. Russia must survive for China to survive.
China continues to play a constructive and peace-making role in Ukraine as Patrick Lancaster notes, although to date, without success, unlike its outstanding recent success in brokering peace between Saudi Arabia and Iran to the great consternation of the U.S., U.K. and Israel, who had hoped that an Iran/Saudi confrontation would be the catalyst for regime change in Iran and access to its oil once again as in the ‘good old days’ of the brutal American controlled Shah.
The United States is desperate to ensure that it maintains total control of the economic strands of the global economy; it rightly sees the expansion of non-US dollar transactions as a major threat to it’s control, and its consequent capacity to threaten and cajole and extract the wealth of other nations who do not obey their wishes. And there are many in the West who are quite deranged enough for the world to endure World War 3 so that the West’s avaricousness can be maintained.
If the dollar collapses, the United States already in huge debt, will collapse rapidly. Its capacity to maintain its 600 plus military bases around the world will cease – and like the decline of the Roman Empire on fast forward, its military men will return home to vent their frustrations on the Empire.
Thus neither side in this war can afford to lose. Those of us on the periphery of this battle of the giants, need to maintain our safety as best we can!