Cold War 2.0 Heats Up: Washington Dusts Off Russia "Containment" Plans

Tyler Durden's picture

The “ceasefire” — if you can call it that — that has been in place in Ukraine since February’s Minsk Accord has fallen apart this week with the fiercest fighting in months claiming dozens of lives and prompting President Petro Poroshenko to launch a media blitz in an attempt to rally the West against what he claims is a renewed offensive by Russian-backed separatists. 

Russian media contends the separatists were only defending themselves after they began to take artillery fire. Ukraine, by contrast, claims its soldiers came under attack by rebel tanks. “We had some storming action by between 500 and 1,000 servicemen of the militants, with a large number of tanks and armored machinery, apparently counting on being able to quickly capture Maryinka,” Poroshenko said.

Now, Ukraine is stepping up calls for Washington to send lethal aid to Kiev, casting the conflict as a war on Western, democratic values. Here’s The NY Times:

In what amounted to a multidimensional confidence-building campaign, President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine tried on Friday to rally international support for his country and to maintain pressure on President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, including economic sanctions.

 

Mr. Poroshenko held a major news conference, gave interviews to foreign journalists, spoke by phone with President Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and prepared to welcome two visiting prime ministers to Kiev, Shinzo Abe of Japan and Stephen Harper of Canada..

 

“We will defend our country, our territorial integrity and our independence by ourselves,” Mr. Poroshenko said in an interview with journalists from a small group of foreign news organizations, including The New York Times. “We have weapons for that. But unfortunately we are fighting with the weapons from the 20th century, from the time of the Soviet Union, against the Russian — most modern — weapons of the 21st century.”

 

He added, “Here we are defending freedom, we are defending democracy, we are defending European values, and the actual reason of this war is the right of the Ukrainian people to live under European standards, with European values, in the European Union.”

To be sure, this is an opportune time for Poroshenko to appeal to the US and its allies for assistance (which makes last week's Russian "offensive" seem rather convenient). President Obama will attend a G-7 summit in Germany this weekend and will now come equipped with 'evidence' to support calls for stepped up sanctions on Russia. Obama may be seeking to rally support ahead of what looks to be a major strategy shift in realtions between NATO and Moscow. WSJ has more:

Obama administration officials are considering new deterrence strategies to rein in Russian meddling in Europe, in what some say would amount to an updated version of Cold War-era containment.

 

The proposed approach involves beefing up the militaries of allies and would-be partners and rooting out government corruption, which they see Moscow exploiting to gain more influence.

 

Some administration officials also want to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to limit Moscow’s orbit. Membership for Ukraine or Georgia remains off the table, but some Pentagon and administration officials are advocating admitting the small Balkan country of Montenegro to solidify the country’s ties to the West and show that Mr. Putin doesn’t have a veto over alliance expansion.

 

The longer-term measures under discussion, officials say, stem from a recognition that Moscow has refused to moderate its posture after its territorial grab last year in Ukraine, and that U.S. and European attempts at diplomacy and sanctions alone won’t be enough to force a change. Those measures would include stepping up training for European allies to help partner militaries resist the kinds of so-called hybrid tactics—like training surrogate forces and conducting snap border exercises—that Russia has used effectively in Ukraine.

 

The impetus toward a policy shift also is driven by the conclusion that U.S. steps to reassure regional allies must be bolstered by other measures against possible Russian intrusions.

 

The Pentagon also is drafting plans for where to position new stocks of military equipment for use in a crisis or for stepped-up training exercises. That would entail additional U.S. troops assigned to rotating duty in the region. But Washington remains opposed, for now, to rebuilding permanent U.S. troop formations in Europe.

 

The administration is accelerating work on new military technologies to better counter Russian military advances and try to offset advances by Moscow, and deter Russia from using its increasing military prowess.

 

The policy deliberations are gaining momentum. On Friday, Mr. Carter gathered a group of military leaders in Stuttgart, Germany, to discuss the broader U.S. strategy to Russia..


Inside the White House, meanwhile, the National Security Council is at work on an overhaul of its Russia strategy that formally casts aside the policy of “reset” that dominated Mr. Obama’s first term.

The only thing being "reset" now, it appears, is the Cold War. 

For its part, Moscow says Kiev "constantly" threatens to violate the ceasefire and refuses to engage in constructive dialogue. 

From The Guardian:

“All agreements should be fully implemented so that no one is able to derail fragile progress by resuming military activity,” the Russian foreign ministry wrote on its Twitter feed, quoting minister Sergei Lavrov. “We must know who is shelling communities, thereby violating not only the Minsk agreements, but also international humanitarian law.”

 

Lavrov blamed Kiev for this week’s upsurge in fighting.

 

“The February Minsk agreements are constantly under threat because of the actions of the Kiev authorities, trying to walk away from their obligations to foster direct dialogue with Donbass,” he said.

While it's impossible to accurately assess the fluid situation on the ground, what does seem clear is that neither side has the will (or even the desire) to deescalate the conflict.

For Washington, now seems like a particularly inopportune time to begin dusting off Cold War containment policies and ratcheting up the war rheotric with Russia. The US is already engaged in a tense war of words with China over the latter's land reclamation projects in the South China Sea, and all signs point to boots on the ground in Iraq (and eventually Syria) by year end. Once again, US foreign policy now revolves squarely around the projection of military prowess. 

*  *  *

(a video from The Guardian shows gunbattles in Eastern Ukraine)

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Took Red Pill's picture

Russia is about to take another major step towards liberating the Ruble from the Dollar System. Its Finance Ministry just revealed it is considering issuing Russian state debt in Chinese Yuan. That would be an elegant way to decouple from the dependence and blackmail pressures from the US Treasury financial terrorism operations while at the same time strengthening the bonds between China and Russia–Washington’s worst geopolitical nightmare.

http://journal-neo.org/2015/06/06/russia-gets-very-serious-on-de-dollarizing/

 

 

doctor10's picture

This is a real shitshow.

USA has become what the Soviets could only have hoped for themselves 30 years ago.

what an absolute farce. Who writes the copy for this crap?

OldPhart's picture

US Polo Association?!

cossack55's picture

We chukka'ed some folks.

Quus Ant's picture

And where is John Kerry? 

Beau Biden dies of "brain cancer" on May 30th, Kerry falls off his bike the next day and gets repatriated in a c-17. 

 

Shit's getting personal.  When the elite start dropping find a safe place to honker down. 

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Some day Mr. John Kerry is put out to greener pasture... a better NEIGHborhood, where horse sh*t is more to liking, and maybe US policy no longer is saddle with dogma of left.

... Boris is apologize for lurching humor of English pun.

Lumberjack's picture

Glad to see you again, Boris!

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

After accidental to fill vodka flask with Ethylene Glycol, Boris is just glad to see, period!

Lumberjack's picture

I was worried about the tar pit! 

Anunnaki's picture

Lurch didn't fall off any bike

He is recovering from an assassination attempt

WillyGroper's picture

Think the mossadomites were not amused with the Iran talks?

Winston Churchill's picture

Don't tell me the humane killer misfired.

Or the bolt couldn't penetrate the plastic surgery.

Counterpunch's picture

meh, doubtful.

Why kill the Secretariat of State anyway, no great rush, Hillary or one of the GOP slaves ot Zion will come in and be so compliant.

 

No rush, it's not like Iran actually has or is working on nukes, you know.

 

HowdyDoody's picture

Maybe he took a bullet in the knee?

onthesquare's picture

Kerry lite will save the day in the form of Canada's be-hated PM heir harper.  He will bolster Perishenko's one sided ego and put down Putin as the bad boy on the block.  Of course his Ukraine/Kharzarian wife has cut him off until he brings home the bacon.  Alberta needs to get ride of their contaminated tar sands and Obama is playing hard to get on this pipeline nonsense...

harper is such an embarrasement.  Just another USSA stooge.

 

JustObserving's picture
US officials consider nuclear strikes against Russia

 

By Niles Williamson 
5 June 2015

 

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is meeting today at the headquarters of the US European Command in Stuttgart, Germany with two dozen US military commanders and European diplomats to discuss how to escalate their economic and military campaign against Russia. They will assess the impact of current economic sanctions, as well as NATO’s strategy of exploiting the crisis in eastern Ukraine to deploy ever-greater numbers of troops and military equipment to Eastern Europe, threatening Russia with war.

A US defense official told Reuters that the main purpose of the meeting was to “assess and strategize on how the United States and key allies should think about heightened tensions with Russia over the past year.” The official also said Carter was open to providing the Ukrainian regime with lethal weapons, a proposal which had been put forward earlier in the year.

Most provocatively, a report published by the Associated Press yesterday reports that the Pentagon has been actively considering the use of nuclear missiles against military targets inside Russia, in response to what it alleges are violations of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. Russia denies US claims that it has violated the INF by flight-testing ground-launched cruise missiles with a prohibited range.

Three options being considered by the Pentagon are the placement of anti-missile defenses in Europe aimed at shooting Russian missiles out of the sky; a “counterforce” option that would involve pre-emptive non-nuclear strikes on Russia military sites; and finally, “countervailing strike capabilities,” involving the pre-emptive deployment of nuclear missiles against targets inside Russia

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/06/05/ukra-j05.html

cossack55's picture

Nukes work every time they are tried.

HenryHall's picture

Yep, those crazies in the Pentagon are going to get us all killed. Literally.

WTFUD's picture

. . . becoming really tired of all this chutzpah and ready to embrace death. Not before i earmark a dozen folks who i want to depart this gig before me.

Quus Ant's picture

So Jade Helm could be seen as moving assets into areas less likely to be hit in a retaliatory strike.

Fortifying the homeland and rebuilding the empire could begin in Midland, TX.

stant's picture

Ain't shit going on in ky. Must be ground zero . Tho our local ng unit went out. But it's a support group . Took the tanks away 20 yrs + ago. No Blackhawks . No chinooks. H500 nuthin in the air like normal around herez

vic and blood's picture

Poroshenko sounds reasonable to me. After all, the bloody coup against the democratically elected president was a long time ago. I am certain that the European values he speaks of, do not include his troops crucifying and burning a rebel or lynching a nearly full term pregnant woman. If he was aware of it, I'll bet he would condemn his troops for shelling residential areas, too. Sometimes you just have to fight for your European values, no matter how fearsome the foe.

HowdyDoody's picture

And Russians came all the way from Russia to suppress an LGBT parade in Kiev. They dressed as neo-Nazis too, just to make Ukraine look bad.

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

And in their packs they all had DVDs of American History X

Urtica ferox's picture

"...Jade Helm could be seen as moving assets into areas less likely to be hit in a retaliatory strike."

If the retaliatory strike consists of multiple high altitude EMP bursts, then unless the assets and supporting infrastructure are EMP-hardened it won't matter where they are located, they'll still be toast.

Quus Ant's picture

I was thinking human assets.  Someone has to wield the sticks and stones after all.

Counterpunch's picture

maybe but I tend to not think so.  I think you're looking at a scenario where infantry, armor and artillery directly encounter an army that can and will fight back - the Syrian Arab Army supported by Iranians, Lebanese, and probably some under the counter Russian {and possibly Chinese} tech/log help.

 

US special forces, including combat controllers are tired, stretched thin, and largely not buying it.  The Marines would be swallowed up by that hornet's nest.  But there's no reason not to throw a bunch of reservists and national guard into the fray and see what happens. 

 

See, the idea most people have is "we"  [the .gov, i.e. the Deep State] want 'victory'.  The very stupid believe the shit about Assad being a tyrant who should be replaced by... people a million times worse.

 

But simply fucking up Iraq and Syria is perfectly fine, even better, for the Zionists.  Cook up an escuse for Lebanon next, the press will promote the Jewish/Zionist version, as fucking always, and your cousin with the beer gut who's still, somehow, in reserves, may be deployed to the ME to support a more direct intervention to take out Syria and Lebanon before the real war on Iran commences. 

Of course, the same people will turn up the heat in Ukraine hoping to draw in Ivan, but Ivan will not give them the fight they want to have.

 

Neocons aren't fucking "smart" you know... I mean, not in terms of real world strategy and tactics.  Just read their fucking theses and policy papers.  They're ethnocentric academics who've lived in a fucking bubble. They're beyond arrogant, beyond careless with human life.  They don't deserve "justice," anymore.  They deserve - punishment.

 

Abashed the Devil stood; and felt how awful Goodness is.

Winston of Oceania's picture

Well step up to the plate there Casey and take a swing, they don't actually run things but you Russians and their imps won't see that until you're all the way into the trap.

Max Steel's picture

stikes me as a foolish tat you bother to spout your unexamined nonsense .

king leon's picture

Russia will retaliate first.

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

This kind of propaganda, to frighten and terrify the population, is much more effective on the citizens of West than it is on the Russians. Very few Russians will even see it, as very few Americans ever see Russian propaganda.

If the Pentagon truly believes stories like this will start a conspiracy to remove Putin from office, one is left wondering how the US ever managed to defeat Granada.

prmths2's picture

A variation on three card monte. Two really stupid alternatives and a third alternative of "give us more money for more hardware."

JR's picture

This of interest from The Saker Interviews Paul Craig Roberts (March  24, 2015:

The Saker:  What are, in your opinion, the roots of the hatred of so many members of the US elites for Russia?  Is that just a leftover from the Cold War, or is there another reason for the almost universal russophobia amongst US elites?  Even during the Cold War, it was unclear whether the US was anti-Communist or anti-Russian?  Is there something in the Russian culture, nation or civilization which triggers that hostility and, if yes, what is it?

Paul Craig Roberts: The hostility toward Russia goes back to the Wolfowttz Doctrine:

Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.

While the US was focused on its MidEast wars, Putin restored Russia and blocked  Washington’s planned invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran.  The “first objective” of the neocon doctrine was breached.  Russia had to be brought into line.  That is the origin of Washington’s attack on Russia.  The dependent and captive US and European media simply repeats “the Russian Threat” to the public, which is insouciant and otherwise uninformed.

The offense of Russian culture is also there–Christian morals, respect for law and humanity, diplomacy in place of coercion, traditional social mores–but these are in the background.  Russia is hated because Russia (and China) is a check on Washington’s unilateral uni-power.  This check is what will lead to war.

If the Russians and Chinese do not expect a pre-emptive nuclear attack from Washington, they will be destroyed.

http://thesaker.is/the-saker-interviews-paul-craig-roberts/

Counterpunch's picture

The Jewish-Zionist element of the war on Russia may not be, in this case, predominant, but it is a major factor. 

Zbig and others are fucking dinosaurs, but the Ziopaths look at Russia and see supporting of Iran, ergo, Syria and Lebanon, which frustrates the Oded Yinon/Greater Israel plan and the planned mass expulsion, and second ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

 

Of course, Israel thinks its nukes are protection against receiving any justice at all.  But they need energy.  And clean water.

And they can't nuke close to their own borders. 

 

Netanyahu may well be the Antichrist.  I'm not an Abrahamic, of course, but you know what I mean.  The best thing that could happen for the regular people of both Israel and Palestine would be if he inexplicably fell into a coma or illness.

The problem is always the extreme 10% on either side.  But in Israel, even a lot of the moderates would be deemed riht wing and racist were they in Europe.   But because they're Israelis, and Jews, they are not given the label of "right wing" or racist  -out of the normal fears and privileges attendant to being able to dismiss and squelch even per se reasonable and fair criticism with "anti-Semite!"  That fucking words was shield, and became sword, and may ultimately become chains when they are thrown overboard by the super wealthy 'elite'.

jmo, of course.  I dream of simultaneous coups in which 'moderate' spooks and .mil ejects and arrests certain leaders and declares universal ceasefire and talks, etc.   Crazy, but, jesus, guys in cia and mossad have families, they aren't all crazy or bloodthirsty and some of them must be wondering what we're being led into by ultra nationalists, and the banking dynasties and such. 

 

I also hope against hope that space aliens being announced by the Vatican thing ends up being right.  Malachy, purportedly {seems to have been a fake from 250+ years later based on the Hiberno-Latin, I've read} said no more popes after Francis.

Survey says the Likudnik Zio-Jews {a minority, of the juice, but an irksome one} try to kill him with a Sirhan for the modern age - an Iranian, or maybe 'Hezbollah' because that' something stupid fucks would believe.  What if they try to do it, or do do it...  but are caught?

 

How is there any chance of peace in a world where the US wants to dominate, the Zios want Greater Israel [which will rule the US through proxies/sayanim] and a transnational elite NWO {with an embedded ZWO parasite they can't ablate} wants to destroy the cultural heritage and ethnic makeup of Europe and create world government and currency?

 

Why with all the crazy people I've come across in my life, many who "get it" is no one lone wolfing some shit/

 

Where are the guys who will get Project Mayhem going against the fucking lizard people?

 

[I've had a drink or two, pardon my meandering prose].

 

HowdyDoody's picture

Netanyahu is actually relatively moderate in the current Zionist regime in Israel.

GoldSilverBitcoinBug's picture

And the US don't think that would get heavy retaliation from this or do the US have some sort of magical barrier that stop any nuke missile effect be it mechanical pressure or radiation effect.

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

Well the full-blown recession is here, my friends.

 

There is not enough popcorn for the Ukraine, the South China Sea, and the Greek Default.

We'll have to start rationing it.

will ling's picture

they might as well unintern Patton.

Cautionary Tale's picture

OH FFS... In the 'Reagan Years' I might have been motivated by this (asshole as I was in those dayz)...

 

But now?

 

Might as well be trying to bring back the JANE FONDA WORKOUT & CLUBBER LANG...

Neochrome's picture

Remember that Russia as also an Asian country:

https://youtu.be/U_eZmEiyTo0?t=226

Wahooo's picture

So the U.S. Is going to put weapons stocks close to Ukraine. Guess we'll see those in the hands of the rebels pretty soon. In that way, we arm everyone. WTF?

THE 4th Quadrant's picture

With this great Internet thing and our great fucking transparent 'representative' government you'd think we'd have a web based voting app that allowed the actual taxpayers to vote for these great ideas that are hatched in DC.

FUCK YOU!

beaglebog's picture

 

 

 

Voting?

 

Ha, ha, fuck that, ha, ha.

 

Honestly, don't you think that voting has done enough harm, already?

Freddie's picture

My money is on the farmers and miners of DPR and LPR like Givi and Motorola.  The "rebels" aka NovoRussians have a lot of guts.  If Porkyshenko akak Shlomo Walzman and Soros lacky Yats start another big battle - the Ukraine will surrender the balance of their weapons to LPR/LPR in another Cauldron.

I respect the NovoRussians.  Kiev and Washington DC are filled with scum.