While the “Crimean Platform” infowar provocation came and went without barely anyone even remembering, it still carries with it some worthwhile lessons that observers should study more closely.
Last month’s failure of Ukraine’s much-vaunted “Crimean Platform” to achieve anything tangible in terms of promoting Kiev’s reconquest of the Russian peninsula is instructive for observers because of the important lessons that it teaches. For starters, it was simply an information warfare provocation, albeit one which symbolically brought together the country’s top stakeholders, including Poland and Turkey. Nevertheless, those three and others could have still held relevant meetings on coordinating their regional policies without so much pomp and circumstance which cost Ukrainian taxpayers plenty.
The most immediate intent was to raise greater awareness among the global masses of Ukraine’s discredited legal claims to that former territory, but it only made headlines for a very brief moment before being forgotten amid much more important developments across the world. This suggests that megatrends such as the full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes catalyzed by the world’s uncoordinated efforts to contain COVID-19 (“World War C”) and the New Cold War between the American and Chinese superpowers are rightly considered to be more relevant to the global masses than regional infowar provocations like the “Crimean Platform”.
The only exception of course is if such provocations are pertinent to those megatrends like the new Australia–UK–US (AUKUS) trilateral military alliance is for the second-mentioned one. On that topic, AUKUS is the much larger manifestation of the “politically incorrect” trend of the US cutting deals behind its allies’ backs. It backstabbed France with AUKUS and, from the perspective of the Ukrainian leadership’s conceptualization of national interests, also backstabbed Ukraine by waiving most Nord Stream II sanctions over the summer. America’s abandonment of its own citizens and their local allies in Afghanistan also shows its unreliability.
Afghanistan and AUKUS help explain why the “Crimean Platform” went kaput. The US simply didn’t have the political will to follow through on its earlier hints to Kiev that it was prepared to revive the so-called “Crimean Issue” by making it a globally relevant topic once again. “Poland & Ukraine, Not Afghanistan, Were The First US Allies Abandoned By Biden”, with France following those three. Despite the continued presence of some influential anti-Russian forces in the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”), this policymaking structure has decided to prioritize “containing” China over “containing” Russia.
Ukraine thought that it had crucial significance for the US’ grand strategy due to the false reassurances that its American-backed leadership received from their partners’ “deep state” representatives, some of which might have actually been sincere but nevertheless failed to enter into fruition due to this structure’s recent recalibration of priorities. The relevant lesson is that puppet states cannot take their importance to their patrons for granted and assume that it’ll always remain the same as it once was. Pertinent policy changes can lead to the abandonment of support for what those countries regard as their national interests.
That said, it also shouldn’t be assumed that the US won’t ever return to this issue sometime in the future. Rather, it’s being kept on the back burner for the time being for possible revival at a later date if the US’ “deep state” finds it useful to do so. That of course might not happen, but it still can’t be discounted. Should that transpire, however, then observers can expect the US to encourage Ukraine to carry out certain provocations of either a kinetic (military) and/or non-kinetic (e.g. infowar) nature against Russia in order to generate global headlines once again. Kiev shouldn’t get its hopes up in the meantime, though.
If any of its representatives unilaterally provoke Russia through military means without first receiving approval from their US “deep state” patrons, then they’ll likely be hung out to dry for their insubordination and left to Moscow’s mercy. The US cannot simultaneously “contain” China and Russia with equal effort due to its finite financial, human, and physical resources. An unexpected geopolitical explosion in Eastern Europe could sabotage the US’ gradual redeployment of its forces from that theater, West Asia (“Middle East”), and South Asia (Afghanistan) to the Asia-Pacific and therefore undermine its anti-Chinese “containment” plans.
That doesn’t mean that some subversive anti-Russian elements of its own “deep state” might not try to pull this off by convincing Ukraine to do such a thing by falsely assuring it of the US’ total support, but just that it would be counterproductive to American national interests as its leadership presently understands them to be. This brings the analysis along to the final lesson, which is that “deep state” struggles within a puppet state’s patron can lead to those “junior partners” being exploited as pawns at the ultimate expense of their own interests. Ukraine simply couldn’t survive a real war with Russia if Moscow was provoked into fully defending itself.
All told, while the “Crimean Platform” infowar provocation came and went without barely anyone even remembering, it still carries with it some worthwhile lessons that observers should study more closely. Ukraine isn’t the only US puppet state in the world so other countries in similar positions might find this experience instructive, as well as those who are stakeholders in their stability. More such infowar provocations can be expected from Kiev and others in the future, but no one should expect them to lead to much of tangible significance unless they’re relevant to the two megatrends of World War C and the US-Chinese New Cold War.