Demands rise in Washington for a war between the United States and Russia
As the war between Russia and Ukraine entered its 10th day, the conflict is rapidly escalating. As the Russian military continues its advance towards the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, there are growing calls for direct US military intervention to target Russian forces in Ukraine.
On Thursday, US Senator Lindsay Graham, an influential Republican senator, called for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Is there a Brutus in Russia?” asked Graham, referring to the assassination of Roman Emperor Julius Caesar by Marcus Brutus and thus advocating what is, under international law, a crime of war. “The only way this ends is if someone in Russia takes this guy out. You would be doing your country – and the world – a great service.
Graham’s comments were just the most extreme example of a growing chorus within the American political establishment for greater military escalation. Many of these involved calls for the downing of all Russian aircraft operating over Ukraine, an action called the imposition of a “no-fly zone”.
“The debate over Ukraine’s no-fly zone is heating up,” wrote the hill.
“It’s a good time to renew my call for a no-fly zone, at the invitation of the Ukrainian government. I fear that if this continues, we will have to intervene in a more significant way, “representative Adam Kinzinger tweeted ( R-Ill.), an Air National Guard pilot, hours after Graham’s call.
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the Huffington Post that a no-fly zone should be “seriously considered.”
In a pre-recorded message, Ukrainian President Zelensky called NATO “weak” for not imposing the no-fly zone, saying: “NATO knowingly approved the decision not to close the skies above We believe that the NATO countries themselves have created a narrative that the alleged closure of the skies over Ukraine will provoke direct Russian aggression against NATO.
“All the people who die from this day forward will also die because of you, because of your weakness, because of your lack of unity,” Zelensky said.
For now, the White House and NATO have said they do not plan to impose a no-fly zone and thus enter into a direct military conflict with Russia, a major nuclear power.
“That would basically mean the US military shooting down planes, Russian planes. It is certainly escalatory. It would potentially put us in a place where we are in a military conflict with Russia. It’s not something the president wants to do,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told MSNBC on Monday. “We are not going to have a military war with Russia with American troops.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg echoed these statements saying, “NATO is a defense alliance…NATO is not looking for a war with Russia.”
While the first calls for a direct confrontation came from Republicans, they have now been echoed by members of the Democratic Party.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Democrat and a key figure in US President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, endorsed Kinzinger’s statements, although he came alongside a CNN caption warning that the establishment of a no-fly zone could lead to a “full-fledged war.
“He’s definitely onto something,” Vindman said of Kinzinger. “There is no risk-free option at this stage. There are only calibrated and risk-informed options.
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, also a Democrat, said The hill that “the option of a no-fly zone should not be taken off the table”.
“I just think it’s important to kind of protect all of your options,” he said. “And even though they have been recorded, I suspect there must be people who are still thinking about a more limited approach if that is necessary.”
Retired Brig. General Kevin Ryan told the Hill that he had “suggested” that “the United States and NATO could establish a no-fly zone in the western part of the country where Russian troops have not arrived”.
Over the weekend, four-star US Air Force General Philip Breedlove, who led US forces in Europe and served as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander from 2013 to 2016, demanded that the United States and NATO set up a no-fly zone over Ukraine. He admitted it would be “an act of war” against Russia.
Foreign Policeasked Breedlove, “Yet despite all of this, you said you would actually support the idea of a no-fly zone?”
To this, Breedlove replied, “Shall we sit and watch as a world power invades, destroys and subjugates a sovereign nation? Are we just gonna watch?
Breedlove went on to explain exactly what that would mean:
“If you put a no-fly zone in the eastern part of Ukraine, for example, and we are going to fly coalition or NATO planes into that no-fly zone, then we have to remove any weapons that can fire into our no-fly zone and cause damage to our planes. So that means bombing enemy radars and missile systems across the border. And you know what that means, right?It equals war.So if we are going to declare a no-fly zone,we have to remove the enemy’s ability to shoot and affect our no-fly zone.
Other calls for military escalation came from Washington Post in the form of an editorial. “Alas, the Russians are advancing in the south of the country, along the Black Sea coast, threatening to cut off Ukrainian forces. All the more reason for the United States and European allies,” said the To post writes, “to ship…weapons to his army, lest Mr. Putin actually win.”
These wildly belligerent statements come amid renewed warnings about how dangerous the situation is. “Russia’s nuclear alert means NATO must exercise caution,” noted a column in the FinancialTimes. He added that in the “current scenario, Russian leaders are more likely to use a tactical nuclear weapon to prevent or end the NATO intervention.”
He continued: “Russian leaders, for example, could see volunteers from NATO countries infiltrate Ukraine as a covert vanguard for a full-scale intervention. They might consider arms convoys arriving in Ukraine from NATO countries as the functional equivalent of an intervention.
The article concluded: “If it is really not the intention of Western leaders to intervene, they should ensure that their forces act in a way that convinces the Russian leadership. The world may depend on it.
In reality, Washington is taking extraordinarily provocative steps, seeking not a negotiated settlement to end the conflict, but to aggravate and escalate it.
On Friday, Voice of America, the US public broadcaster, published an article titled “American Veterans Volunteer to Fight in Ukraine,” which reported:
“A representative of the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington told VOA that 3,000 American volunteers have answered the nation’s call for people to serve in an international battalion that will help resist invading Russian forces. “
The article was later deleted without explanation.
Meanwhile, US and NATO weapons continue to flow to Ukraine’s borders, while the country’s financial system is largely excised from the global economy and subjected to a de facto economic blockade. .
According to the United Nations, 331 Ukrainian civilians have been killed in the fighting so far and 1.2 million people have fled.