On the fierce battlefield of Ukraine, all rules are thrown aside in the unfolding dirty war. The Great American Empire, which has reigned supreme since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1992 and boasts a legacy of independence dating back to 1776, refuses to accept defeat without dragging Russia down with it. The ramifications of this conflict extend beyond Ukraine, engulfing neighbouring nations and the European economy. General Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has openly declared America’s support for Ukraine, providing arms, money, equipment and intelligence. As Senator Lindsey Graham has noted, this war is seen as the most cost-effective venture for the US and the one that warrants the least support from the White House. Under these circumstances, the West has made it clear to Ukraine that it must be prepared for a protracted war of attrition until Russia relents, well beyond the first year of fighting.
It has become clear that the United States will not cease hostilities until Russia withdraws from Ukrainian soil. Several critical factors are driving this strategic decision, including the unshakeable morale of the Ukrainian people, their enduring sense of national unity and their deep-rooted hostility to Russia. In addition, Europe is standing firmly by America’s side, regardless of the mounting casualties in its own ranks.
Consequently, the casualties, material devastation and financial resources poured into the Ukrainian war effort are seen as collateral damage in the great war between the mighty forces of Russia and America. These include the bombing of critical infrastructure such as the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline linking Russia and Germany, air strikes on Moscow and the Kremlin, repeated attacks on Russian territory, the attempt to destroy the Crimean bridge, the targeted assassination of philosopher Alexander Dugin’s daughter by a car bomb, the bombing of the Nova Kakhovka dam, and the expansion of the conflict into Russian-majority cities in Ukraine and even within Russian borders. These actions are designed to provoke Russia into sending more troops, further entangling it in the war, increasing its losses and fuelling internal dissent against its leadership.
It will take more than the flooding of Kherson and the Russian defences along its southern perimeter to create an opening for the Ukrainian army, which has already lost over 350,000 soldiers and probably twice as many wounded. It is plausible, however, that the bombing of the Nova Kakhovka dam may have disrupted the expected counter-attack by the Western camp, delaying it by flooding targeted areas.
Both sides are feeling the strain of this war, although it has not yet reached the level of the most serious danger, the use of nuclear weapons. The United States has used its capabilities to the exclusion of its troops and the resources of its allies. Russia, on the other hand, has built up its military power and production to significant levels and has suffered economic repercussions from Europe’s suspension of trade, significantly reduced purchases of Russian energy, Western sanctions and the freezing of hundreds of billions of Russian financial assets. In addition, Russia has shown itself to be unprepared for modern warfare and lacks overwhelming conventional power, facing a determined Ukraine that is fighting back and the combined expertise of generals from fifty nations gathered at the German base of Ramstein to manage the war in Ukraine.
However, if US and NATO forces were to enter the battlefield alongside Russia, the latter would not need a massive army to take on the United States. In such a scenario, Russia’s inadequate military capabilities would lead it to use nuclear weapons as a deterrent and to maintain the balance of power. This explains why Western nations have refrained from sending legions of troops to the battlefield, contenting themselves with the support of proxies such as Ukraine, which has willingly joined the promised Western camp despite losses.
Under the administration of President Joe Biden, the US is committed to prolonging the war, as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has openly stated, “whether it’s for one year, six years or even sixteen years”. However, such a decision, which depends on successive US presidents, has significant consequences that are now beginning to manifest themselves publicly. More than 70-75 per cent of the world’s countries have defied America’s authority by refusing to impose sanctions on Russia. In addition, the oil-producing countries (OPEC+) have begun to cut production (two million barrels per day), thus opposing America’s economic interests and putting a floor under oil prices.
The conflict in Ukraine has fostered a military solidarity and strategic alliance between Russia and China, a union not seen for centuries, as confirmed by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to President Vladimir Putin. In addition, many countries, including America’s allies, have moved to conduct trade and oil transactions in local currencies, distancing themselves from the weakening grip of the dollar. On the other hand, the BRICS alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) has seen a surge in membership applications, signalling a substantial collapse of the US world order.
Therefore, the flexing of NATO’s air power through manoeuvres such as “Defender 23”, in which 24,000 European and US troops participated to send messages to Russia and China, does not change the equation. Several countries threatened by US hegemony have learned valuable lessons from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. They will refrain from repeating Moscow’s tactical military mistakes of using weak force first and giving Ukraine plenty of time to respond. Indeed, while Europe was signing the Minsk agreement between Russia and Ukraine, the US and its allies had been meticulously preparing the battle since 2004, right under Moscow’s nose, to catch the Kremlin leadership off guard in 2022.
America is trying to drown Russia with relentless warfare tactics without forcing Moscow to surrender or accept military defeat, regardless of the exorbitant cost. The Russian mentality has proved resilient in the face of prolonged losses, especially considering that President Putin now has more significant economic resources than Moscow did in 1979 during the decade-long Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Ultimately, what matters is the duration of the war and the ability of both sides to withstand future losses and investments.
The conflict in Ukraine serves as a potential catalyst, delivering a final jolt to Europe’s imperial past and offering an ominous glimpse of the competitive nature of a world without a dominant power, as expressed by Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles. As an ally of the United States, Marles stresses the importance of understanding that the losses from military aggression far outweigh any perceived benefits. He believes that the disintegration of the American world order is now palpable.
This US empire can no longer maintain its absolute unilateralism, even with its vast capabilities to defend its position. America and its allies have made irreparable strategic mistakes, waging wars with little regard for the environmental consequences, the death toll and the excessive costs of destruction, occupation and economic punishment. Their constant violation of international law has made a mockery of the UN Charter and its role, paving the way for other countries to follow suit.
The West’s relentless determination to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Russia (Victoria Nuland) and to intimidate China has only worsened world security. The world should therefore not be surprised by the destruction of dams, disruption of gas supplies and other major sabotage operations that lie ahead. The defence of a shaken US superpower requires far more than that. Fortunately, the two superpowers have demonstrated their ability to navigate the minefields and teeter on the brink, but for how long? There is no doubt that this is a dirty war, full of surprises and immense dangers for the world.