How The West Is Caught In A Catch-22 Situation Over The Russia-Ukraine War

How The West Is Caught In A Catch-22 Situation Over The Russia-Ukraine War

by Venu Gopal Narayanan - Monday, October 17, 2022 03:10 PM IST
How The West Is Caught In A Catch-22 Situation Over The
Russia-Ukraine WarThe Russia-Ukraine war.
  • The only way the West can change the outcome of this conflict is by sending NATO forces into Ukraine.

    But they can’t do that because it would trigger a world war.

One of the most perilous tasks an analyst may undertake today is an assessment of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The amount of verified information which makes it out of that conflict zone can fit into a thimble.

Misinformation, disinformation, narratives and counternarratives swirl in swarms like flocks of kamikaze drones, bombarding each other into oblivion with the violent fury of an artillery barrage.

Political aims are unclear.

Local actions are excitedly magnified into major strategic movements, while strategic actions are either conveniently ignored or, depending upon which side the narrative emanates from, dismissed as failures.

Nonetheless, a few facts are becoming irrefutable, after almost eight months of a most confusing war.

One, this is a proxy war fuelled by the West against Russia, using Ukraine as a patsy.

Its political objectives are largely hazy, save for a vague intent to end Europe’s critical dependency on Russian energy, to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) into Ukraine, to contain Russia, and to regain control of the global oil price.

Two, the impact of this war has been felt more by its instigators than by Russia. Most of the European countries and America are presently reeling under severe economic crises.

Energy prices have skyrocketed, food and fuel shortages abound, currencies have taken a battering, and some states have formally slipped into a recession.

Three, the Russians have no such lack of clarity, and their economy has survived the bevy of sanctions imposed on them by the West.

The Russian rouble has strengthened since the war began, their revenues have multiplied manifold (ironically from sales of energy to Europe), they have vigorously reinforced a longstanding policy that any efforts by NATO to expand westwards, closer to the Russian borders, will be thwarted militarily.

Four, much of the world does not support this proxy war, and views it as a severe impediment to their recovery efforts following the onslaught of the Wuhan virus (the epidemic is still very much on in China).

Many countries of Africa, Latin America and Asia, including large economies like India and China, are, therefore, rapidly adapting to fresh supply chains, while using deft diplomatic footwork to steer clear of the fracas.

Five, public dissonance has emerged in Europe as a result of widespread economic hardship, and, by corollary, within the trans-Atlantic alliance.

Protests against inflation have begun, politicians are losing their jobs and their mandates, and more Europeans are now openly asking if it was really worth being led down the garden path by America into a crisis, and a war, they can neither comprehend nor control.

Six, and perhaps most importantly, dissonance is also finally rising in America.

Tulsi Gabbard, a popular politician of the Democratic Party, who ran a spirited campaign in 2020 for a presidential nomination, announced recently that she was quitting her party.

She voiced her opposition to America’s proxy war in Ukraine in scathing terms, calling her party leadership “now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness.”

Her bigger worries for America, she said, was the risk of nuclear war, and, that President Joe Biden was disastrously unclear on the political objectives of this conflict, as well as its geopolitical consequences.

Gabbard’s departure comes just a few weeks before the American mid-term elections.

Now, while spin doctors may seek to paint her as a junior politician from a small state — Hawaii, the truth is that her move will affect the Democrats to some extent, and could mark the rising of a tide against them, especially if she joins the Republican Party.

Seven, the biggest casualty of this conflict is the United Nations. It has been shown up to be an ineffectual body in its current structure, particularly because of a selective effort to prevent India from becoming a permanent representative with veto powers of its Security Council.

Votes are blocked, abstentions by important nations are the order of the day, and the war continues irrespective of what transpires at the UN. It is as if the UN doesn’t exist.

Eight, Iran’s rehabilitation on the word stage, and an erosion of pariah status enforced upon it by the West for four decades, is quietly on.

The course of this conflict has seen Indian politicians repeatedly state in public that an alleged global shortages of fossil fuels is an artificial construct which would disappear the day countries started sourcing more crude oil from Iran.

At the same time, a new trade corridor from Russia to India via Iran, the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC), has been operationalised this summer.

And, most significantly, Iran is supplying Russia with a large number of drones. They are being use by the Russians with devastating impact on the Ukrainian forces.

And finally, nine, the harshest fact is that Ukraine will never win this war no matter how much more arms or moral support the West sends to its puppet regime in Kiev.

A massive, coordinated missile strike by Russia on 10 October, which took out a third of Ukraine’s power grid, showed Kiev and the West what the likely outcome would be if Russia raised the stakes.

This was accompanied by a partial mobilisation of Russian reservists, which means that they will have a significantly larger number of troops ready both for deployment into the Ukrainian theatre, as well as in reserve in case NATO foolishly tries to escalate matters. (The military situation will be analysed in detail in a forthcoming piece.)

Thus, in conclusion, the only way the West can change the outcome of this conflict is by sending NATO forces into Ukraine. But they can’t do that because it would trigger a world war.

It is an ugly cleft stick situation they are in. With winter approaching, an exit strategy is thus urgently required, if more Ukrainians are not to be slaughtered at the altar of Occidental insanity, and if Europe is to not sink further into economic chaos.

Will the West come to its senses, pull back, and stop supporting its puppet regime in Kiev? Perhaps an answer may arrive after the results of the American mid-term elections are announced.

Venu Gopal Narayanan is an independent upstream petroleum consultant who focuses on energy, geopolitics, current affairs and electoral arithmetic. He tweets at @ideorogue.
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