The Next Escalation: Pentagon Offers To Arm Ukraine, McCain Delighted

When we reported yesterday about Putin's surprisingly harsh response to last week's House legislation to launch new sanctions against Russia, which also binds Trump from unilaterally removing sanctions without getting Congressional approval, we concluded that "now we await the US re-retaliation in what is once again the same tit-for-tat escalation that marked the latter years of the Obama regime, as the US Military Industrial Complex breathes out a sigh of relief that for all the posturing by Trump, things between Russia and the US are back on autopilot."

We didn't have long to wait.

The WSJ reports that, in what appears to be the next gambit by the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex (or "deep state" for those so inclined) to force Trump to "prove" that he did not, in fact, collude or have any ties with Russia or Vladimir Putin, Pentagon and State Department officials have devised plans to hit Russia where it hurts the most, and supply Ukraine with antitank missiles and other weaponry, and are now seeking White House approval at a time when ties between Moscow and Washington are as bad as during any point under the Obama administration.

American military officials and diplomats say the arms, which they characterized as defensive, are meant to deter aggressive actions by Moscow, which the U.S. and others say has provided tanks and other sophisticated armaments as well as military advisers to rebels fighting the Kiev government.

Ukrainian national guardsmen are instructed on the proper technique for
using a grenade launcher by an American soldier, on April 21, 2015

The question of course is, "why now?" Since the start of the Crimean conflict, which in turn was the byproduct of a State Department-facilitiated presidential coup in Ukraine, the US has been supporting Russian-speaking insurgents in the country’s east however Washington, wary of escalating the conflict, has largely limited its support for Kiev’s military to so-called non-lethal aid and training.

So one attempt at "why now", is because with Trump reeling, and having already caved on the latest Congressional anti-Russia bill, why not push the president to escalate the Russia conflict to a point where not even his predecessor dared to take it. For now, Trump is unaware of the plan:

A senior administration official said there has been no decision on the armaments proposal and it wasn’t discussed at a high-level White House meeting on Russia last week. The official said President Donald Trump hasn’t been briefed on the plan and his position isn’t known.

Of course, that will change once the president, now with a veteran general by his side as new Chief of Staff reads the WSJ report, and starts debating whether it is worth to further deteriorate Russian relations if it means getting Mueller of his back, by showing just how committed Trump is to "containing Russian aggression."

Meanwhile, setting the stage for the escalation, a Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Michelle L. Baldanza, said the U.S. has not “ruled out the option” of providing “lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine.” U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has endorsed the plan, according to U.S. officials quoted by the WSJ.

Going back three years, when the Obama administration considered supplying arms to Ukraine - and ultimately refused to do so -  it faced considerable opposition from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other allied leaders and instead provided Kiev with short-range radar, night-vision goggles and other equipment.

So, ironically, just as Trump's imminent signing into law of the Congressional sanctions against Russia, which as we explained before, have already infuriated Europe, so any further escalation in Ukraine will likely add to Europe's animosity toward the US.

Germany and France remain deeply skeptical about providing arms to Ukraine, fearing that such moves would raise tensions and deepen the conflict there. But U.S. officials said they expect allies, possibly including the U.K., Canada, Poland and Lithuania to be open to increased military support.


“It is really important we don’t inflame the situation,” said British National Security Adviser Mark Sedwell. “There has been quite a lot of agitation from across the border in the east.”

Alas it may be too late for that. Enter, the US warhawks, who now feel that after being shut out for nearly a year, it's their turn to shine.

As the WSJ notes, U.S. officials say they "worry" that the conflict has intensified, with a rising number of cease-fire violations as progress on peace efforts has faltered. “The level of violence is up a bit of late,” said Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the top U.S. and NATO military commander. “The Russians provide equipment, some of their most modern equipment, and they provide proxy forces with advisers.”

Meanwhile, NATO continues to deploy even more troops to countries in the Baltics, Central and Eastern Europe, something which Russia has warned it takes as an act of aggression. Over weapons deliveries to Ukraine rebels may be just the spark that finally launches an armed conflict between Russia and NATO.

Under the Pentagon and State Department proposal, the U.S. would provide anti-tank weapons, most likely Javelin missiles, as well as possibly anti-aircraft weapons, in addition to other arms. Ukraine has long sought Javelins to counter Russian-made armored vehicles in rebel-held areas.


U.S. officials, however, said the plan would be to deploy the anti-tank missiles with Ukrainian troops stationed away from the front lines of the conflict —part of an effort by policy makers to limit the risks of escalation and defuse criticism that the moves could encourage offensive action by Kiev.


Javelin missiles and launchers are lightweight and usually carried by two-man teams, so they are highly mobile.

And the best bit: just like in Syria, the Pentago has said that "should Ukraine use the weapons improperly, Washington could decide to withdraw its support or technical assistance."

It was not immediately clear what 'improper use of weapons' would consist of, but probably taking down another Malaysian Airlines airplane over Ukraine would be not be among the actions permitted.

Needless to say, the Ukraine is delighted by this latest development:

A senior Ukrainian official said Monday that the fact of the Pentagon’s proposal could help persuade Russia to scale back actions in Ukraine’s east. The official also said it was widely accepted in Kiev that any advanced weapons from the U.S. would be used only in an “emergency” and not during regular combat with separatist forces.

And another amusing detour: the WSJ writes that "U.S. and European officials are divided on how Moscow would respond to new arms shipments. Some believe it would push Moscow back to the bargaining table and others think it would prompt the Russian military to escalate the situation further."

Spoiler alert: it would be the latter, and most likely with devastating consequences. John McCain, for one, is delighted.


fleur de lis secretargentman Mon, 07/31/2017 - 17:21 Permalink

By now Trump should understand the subversive deep state concubine Vicky Neudelmann/Nuland, her contribution to Ukrainian carnage, her ulterior motive of getting even with Russia for kicking out her subversive Bolshevik family at the turn of the 20th century, and the general history of Crimea as it relates to Catherine the Great's 1758 annexation and Nikita Khrushchev's aka Solomon Perlmutter's 1954 border change.If he is not familiar with these things he really should not go near anything Russian as it will come to a very bad end. 

In reply to by secretargentman

Dabooda secretargentman Mon, 07/31/2017 - 17:21 Permalink

I'm wondering if Trump is purely evil or purely stupid.  The whole Ukraine/Crimea/Russia issue is the latest Big Lie from Washington.  Simply put: Obama's CIA backed a neo-nazi coup in Ukraine, overturning a popularly elected government.  Washington hand-picked the new Ukranian leader, and subsequent Ukranian "elections" allowed only fascist candidates on the ballot.  Throw in a little genocide against ethnic Russians living in Ukraine. Wondering how Americans would be feeling if the Russians overthrew the government of Mexico, installed an anti-American puppet and proceeded to give him piles of weapons -- to "defend" himself from the evil Americans.  And the puppet starts slaughtering Americans living in or visiting Mexico.So you tell me:  why has Trump not denounced Obama's Ukranian coup:  evil or stupid?

In reply to by secretargentman

Chupacabra-322 Dabooda Mon, 07/31/2017 - 17:46 Permalink

@ Dabooda,

To state the obvious; the CIA has deeply humiliated the American people in their attempt to tie the American people to be responsible for the CIA's crimes against humanity across the world.

The CIA appears to be the world's greatest threat to peace and prosperity. It is the penultimate terrorist organization, being the direct or indirect creator of all other terrorist organizations. It also appears to be the world's penultimate illegal drug smuggler and pusher making all other illegal drug trading possible and instigating the horrors of addiction and suffering around the world.

If I believed that the CIA was working in any way on behalf of the US government and the American people then it would be sad and shameful indeed. However, it is my belief that the CIA instead was captured long ago, as was the secret military operations and now works for a hidden power that wants to dominate or failing that, destroy humanity.

The Agency is Cancer. There should be no question about the CIA's future in the US.

Dissolved & dishonored. Its members locked away or punished for Treason. Their reputation is so bad and has been for so long, that the fact that you joined them should be enough to justify arrest and Execution for Treason, Crimes Against Humanity & Crimes Against The American People.

And yet, there is something positive in this. By experiencing and knowing evil, we can choose the path of light or choose to ignore both dark amd light. It is a choice we all must make if we intend to evolve from being animals ruled by this world and its illusions.

In reply to by Dabooda

francis scott … Chupacabra-322 Tue, 08/01/2017 - 01:26 Permalink

But Chupacabra, don't leave us hanging on the line like a pair of dirty underpants. If the CIA is the penultimate terrorist organization and the penultimate illegaldrug smuggler, who, pray tell, is the ultimate terrorist organization and who isthe ultimate illegal drug smuggler? Don't tease us with the penultimate knowledge you obtained when you matriculatedat The Fortress of Penultimate Darkness.   

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

Jubal Early (not verified) thesonandheir Mon, 07/31/2017 - 14:52 Permalink

The US expelled 35 Russian diplomats and Russia expels 800.  I think Putin has signalled that the math has changed.  If the US sends weapons to Ukraine, what about Russia arming the Taliban with something better?  Or in Saudi Arabia.  Or Palestine.  Or even the Philipines or North Korea.  Or how about Venezuela or Cuba.  Or Mexico.  Or Padua.I think the time of tame responses from Russia has passed.

In reply to by thesonandheir

Blankone Winston Churchill Mon, 07/31/2017 - 16:02 Permalink

Stalling for 2 yrs, lol. Russia has been stalling since Serbia and Iraq1. Much less Iraq2, Libya, Syria, etc..

Putin is so gutless that he twice forced the EUke's to agree to a ceasefire when the EUk's had cornered a large portion of WUke's army and were set to destroy it. Putin told WUke's elected leader NOT to put down the riots and NOT to let his law enforcement engage in any way. All because of fear of NATO becoming active there. Or for profits for the fellow russian elites.

Tell us why you say the master plan of Putin (that you indicate to not know of) is NOW ready? Why not 2 yrs ago?

EUke will get the same as Iraq, Libya, Syria, Serbia from the russian elite.

In reply to by Winston Churchill

Gonzogal Blankone Mon, 07/31/2017 - 16:31 Permalink

You obviously know absoulutly NOTHING about war and probablly live in the US where until now has not been in a war on its own territory with a foreign government determined to destroy you utterly.  "it’s possible to click on those links or to catch so many other Internet or TV news reports about how such American or American-backed wars are damaging infrastructure, destroyingentire health care systems, uprooting millions, and putting at riskthe education of whole generations thousands of miles away. But none of it is real for most of us in this country.How could it be real? Most of us no longer have any idea what war is like for the people who live through it. No major war has been fought on U.S. territory since the Civil War ended in 1865, and the last people who remembered that terrible time died decades before the turn of this century. There is no one around to give us a taste of that reality — except of course for the refugees that the Trump administration is now doing its best to keep out.Now that our democratic connection to the wars fought in our name has receded yet one more step from our real lives and any civilian role in war (except praising and thanking “the warriors”) is fading into the history books, isn’t it about time to ask some questions about the very nature of reality and of those wars?We think of wars, reasonably enough, as primarily affecting the soldiers engaged in them. The young men and women who fight — some as volunteers and some who choose military service over unemployment and poverty — do sometimes die in “our” wars. And even if they survive, as we now know, their bodies and psyches often bear the lifelong scars of the experience.But we only get the most partial understanding of war from veterans and their families. In fact, most people affected by modern wars are not soldiers at all. Somewhere between 60 and 80 million people died during World War II, and more than 60% of them were civilians. They died as victims of the usual horrific acts of war, or outright war crimes, or crimes against humanity. A similar number succumbed to war-related disease and famine, including millions in places most Americans don’t even think of as major sites of that war’s horrors: China, India, French Indochina, and the Dutch East Indies. And, of course, close to six million Poles, most of them Jews, along with at least 16 million Soviet civilians died in the brutal Nazi invasion and attempted occupation of major parts of the Soviet Union.And that hardly ends the tally of civilians devastated by that war. Another 60 million people became displaced or refugees in its wake, many forever torn from their homes.So what is war like for the people who live where it happens? We can find out a reasonable amount about that if we want to. It’s not hard to dig up personal accounts of such experiences in past wars. But what can we know about the civilians living through our country’s current wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, or Yemen? There, too, personal accounts are available, but you have to go searching.Certainly, it’s possible, for instance, to learn something about the deaths of 200 people in a school hit by a single U.S. airstrike in the Syrian city of Raqqa. But that can’t make us feel the unendurable, inescapable pain of a human body being crushed in the collapse of that one school. It can’t make us hear the screams at that moment or later smell the stench of the decomposing dead. You have to be there to know that reality.Still, daily life in a country at war isn’t all screams and stench. A lot of the time it’s just ordinary existence, but experienced with a kind of double awareness. On the one hand, you send your children to school, walk to the market to do your shopping, go out to your fields to plow or plant. On the other, you know that at any moment your ordinary life can be interrupted — ended, in fact — by forces over which you have no control.That’s what it was like for me during the months I spent, as my partner likes to say, trying to get myself killed in somebody else’s country. In 1984, I worked for six months in the war zones of Nicaragua as a volunteer for Witness for Peace (WFP). In 1979, the Sandinista movement had led a national insurrection, overthrowing the U.S.-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza. In response, the U.S. had funded counterrevolutionaries, or “contras,” who, by the time I arrived, had launched a major military campaign against the Sandinistas. Under CIA direction, they had adopted a military strategy of sabotaging government services, including rural health clinics, schools, and phone lines, and terrorizing the civilian population with murders, kidnappings, torture, and mutilation.My job was simple: to visit the towns and villages that they had attacked and record the testimony of the survivors. In the process, for instance, I talked to a man whose son had been hacked into so many pieces he had to bury him in the field where he had been left. I met the children of a 70-year-old man a week after the contras flayed him alive, slicing the skin off his face. I talked to the mayor of a town in northern Nicaragua, whose parents were kidnapped and tortured to death by the contras.The original dream of WFP was somewhat more grandiose than collecting horror stories. American volunteers were to provide a “shield of love” for Nicaraguans threatened by the U.S.-supported contras. The theory was that they might be less inclined to attack a town if they knew that U.S. citizens were in the area, lest they bite the hand that was (however clandestinely) feeding them. In reality, the Sandinistas were unwilling to put guests like me at risk that way, and — far from being a shield — in times of danger we were sometimes an extra liability. In fact, the night the contras surrounded Jalapa, where I was staying for a few weeks, the town’s mayor sent a couple of soldiers with guns to guard the house of “the American pacifists.” So much for who was shielding whom. (On that particular night, the Nicaraguan army confronted the contras before they made it to Jalapa. We could hear a battle in the distance, but it never threatened the town itself.)All that day, we’d been digging to help build Jalapa’s refugio, an underground shelter to protect children and old people in case of an aerial attack. Other town residents had been planting trees on the denuded hillsides where Somoza had allowed U.S. and Canadian lumber companies to clear-cut old-growth forest. This was dangerous work; tree planters were favorite contra targets. But most people in town were simply going about their ordinary lives — working in the market, washing clothes, fixing cars — while the loudspeakers on the edge of town blared news about the latest contra kidnappings.This is what living in a war zone can be like: you plant trees that might take 20 years to mature, knowing at the same time that you might not survive the night.Keep in mind that my experience was limited. I wasn’t a Nicaraguan. I could leave whenever I chose. And after those six months, I did go home. The Nicaraguans were home. In addition, the scale of that war was modest compared to the present U.S. wars across the Greater Middle East. And Nicaraguans were fortunate to escape some of the worst effects of a conflict fought in an agricultural society. So often, war makes planting and harvesting too dangerous to undertake and when the agricultural cycle is interrupted people begin to starve. In addition, it was short enough that, although the contras intentionally targeted schools and teachers, an entire generation did not lose their educations, as is happening now in parts of the Greater Middle East.Many rural Nicaraguans lacked electricity and running water, so there was no great harm done when “se fue la luz” — the electricity was cut off, as often happened when the contras attacked a power generator. Worse was when “se fue el agua — the water in people’s homes or at communal pumps stopped running, often as a result of a contra attack on a pumping station or their destruction of water pipes. Still, for the most part, these were unpleasant inconveniences in a rural society where electricity and running water were not yet all that common, and where people knew how to make do without.Imagine instead that you live (or lived) in a major Middle Eastern city — say, Ramadi, Fallujah, Mosul, or Aleppo (all now partially or nearly totally reduced to rubble), or even a city like Baghdad that, despite constant suicide bombings, is still functioning. Your life, of course, is organized around the modern infrastructure that brings light, power, and water into your home. In the United States, unless you live in Flint, Michigan, it’s hard to grasp what it might be like not to have potable water dependably spilling out of the faucet.Suppose you got up one morning and your phone hadn’t charged overnight, the light switches had all stopped working, you couldn’t toast your Pop-Tarts, and there was no hope of a cup of coffee, because there was no water. No water all that day, or the next day, or the one after. What would you do after the bottled water was gone from the stores? What would you do as you watched your kids grow weak from thirst? Where would you go, when you knew you would die if you remained in the familiar place that had so long been your home? What, in fact, would you do if opposing armed forces (as in most of the cities mentioned above) fought it out in your very neighborhood? In this country, we don’t have to know that in American wars real people’s bodies are torn apart, real people die, and real cities are turned to rubble. We can watch interviews with survivors of the latest airstrikes on the nightly news and then catch the latest episode of ersatz suffering on Survivor.After a while, it becomes hard for many of us to tell (or even to care) which is real, and which is only reality TV." on the other hand have, and have paid dearly for it.  Maybe if you take a few minutes and listen to this it will help you understand WHY Russia prefers DIPLOMACY 1000% over war.  BUT if it must it WILL go to war to protect the homeland!  It takes more guts to face your oponent face to face at the negotiating table than to drop bombs or shoot missiles from 1000's of miles away and trying to win politiacal "approval" by doing so!

In reply to by Blankone

Veritas X- Gonzogal Mon, 07/31/2017 - 17:19 Permalink

"And, of course, close to six million Poles, most of them Jews, along with at least 16 million Soviet civilians died in the brutal Nazi invasion and attempted occupation of major parts of the Soviet Union."Wrong!It was 6 Trillion-6,000,000,000,000 that died in the holyhoax.40+ Million-40,000,000+ Christians were murdered by non-Christian (((Bolsheviks))).7-9 Million Ukrainians were starved/murdered by these same (((Bolsheviks))) in the Holodomor 1932-1933.Try reading Alexander Solzhenitsyn's *200 Years Together*.1 Million-1,000,000 German POWs were murdered in Eisenhower's Death Camps.9+ Million-9,000,000+ German Civilians were killed/starved to death after 1944 in Allied Occupied Europe.That is ca 25% of the German population intentionally murdered by 'the good guys' AFTER WWII.Read James Braque's *Crimes and Mercies* & *Other Losses*.X-

In reply to by Gonzogal

Volkodav Veritas X- Mon, 07/31/2017 - 21:41 Permalink

      Famines were also in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan      there were always natural famine and failures      but these were the unatural famines of the red terrorist depredations      never a Russian construct, but commissars in leather peacoats      Russia prior to revolution was most efficent food production of world history      One calorie input produced ten calories yield      Current 'advanced" Ag is reverse that equation and worsens  

In reply to by Veritas X-

opport.knocks Jubal Early (not verified) Mon, 07/31/2017 - 16:07 Permalink

Supposedly Russia did sell their S-400 missile system to Turkey, the NATO member with the second largest military, which is very odd.… is likely a bigger factor in this equation than people in the US government publicly want to admit, the "hacking" and "sanctions" are just background noise.The problem is Ukraine cannot afford to buy US tech, so this strategy is not a big winner for the USA.   

In reply to by Jubal Early (not verified)

HowdyDoody El Oregonian Mon, 07/31/2017 - 14:57 Permalink

This is who the US is training - for example Battalion Azov, once volunteers, now part of the Ukraine Military forces with the leader a member of Ukraine Parliament. Their logo is the Wollfsangel as used by the SS (actually a mirror image). They are not the worst.… is a major kick in the teeth to anyone who lost ancestors fighting the Nazis in WW II.    

In reply to by El Oregonian

HowdyDoody Jubal Early (not verified) Mon, 07/31/2017 - 16:50 Permalink

I know about the declaration of war in 1933. It goes back further than that. Try reading Sean McKeekin's 'History's Greatest Heist' to see how the Germans were shafted by the same crew in the early 1920s with a collaboration of western banksters and the Bolsheviks.Nazi is a political term, not a national term, just like Zionism. Just as not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jewish, the same applied to the Nazis - not all Germans were Nazis and not all Nazis were German (the British royalty for example). There is a complication that ordinary Germans had to join the party to get along, just as ordinary Russians had to join the Bolsheviks to get along. The hardcore Nazis were distinguished by their extreme hatred of Russia, much more so and more deeply ingrained  than hatred of Jews. This is reflected in their treatment of POWs.Prior to the coup in Ukraine, the current political party known as Svoboda (= Freedom) changed its name. The CIA regime change organisers thought its original name was not apprpariate. What was its name before the change? The Social Nationalist party. These Ukrainian Nazis now have Jews fighting alongside them and financing them. The adulation of the SS is still alive and well in western Ukraine. The Ukrainian and Baltic Nazis were far worse than the SS, if that is any consolation.Ordinary Germans are again being used by western banksters, aided and abetted by their leaders. WIll they do anything about it?    

In reply to by Jubal Early (not verified)

Volkodav Jubal Early (not verified) Mon, 07/31/2017 - 21:53 Permalink

      exactly       Germany was targeted for both World Wars      pre WWII there was constant din of demonzations,      while Germany tried reason many ways      much were efforts to protect ethnic Germans persecuted, depredations and murdered      especially from belicouse Polish government used by Brits to start war      I am half Swabian/boii, half Rus and know this truth      from witnesses both sides, including former SS Officers       still today is main to keep Germans and Russia down     

In reply to by Jubal Early (not verified)

HowdyDoody Gonzogal Mon, 07/31/2017 - 17:04 Permalink

The Ukrainians have had 6 or 7 draft calls, with the draft age reaching 50+. ABout 10% of those called up actually obey the draft. The rest go into hiding or move into Russia (and now the EU). The main point now is that the Ukro-Nazi battalions are part of the official Ukraine military structure, Before they were volunteer 'unoffical combatants'. They now get all the legal protections that apply to normal state military and can be trained to full NATO standards alongside the regular Ukraine military.It is not only the US that are there. Ukrainian hackers have released full details (name, rank, unit, passport #) of all the NATO trainers (at the time of the hack). There are British, Canadians, Poles ... alongside US operators. A group of Canadian 'advisors' were killed at the front line a while back. Presumably they were there to check on how their students were performing, maybe checking they were effectovely targetting civilian infrastructure and killing women and children (the Ukro-Nazi forte). 

In reply to by Gonzogal

Volkodav HowdyDoody Mon, 07/31/2017 - 21:00 Permalink

      one more time...Germons never called themselves nazis      master brainwashers coined that...      Germans fought enemy that controlled Russia and now Ukraine      and these pollack, balts, whatevers criminals are nothing similar to      disciplined orderly German of WWII who were real men,     the last that really stood for European culture...      Any German soldier committed such crimes faced firing squad.      better you study Patton's diary writings      even that wardog finally awoke some...though too late           ,   

In reply to by HowdyDoody

HowdyDoody Termin8or Mon, 07/31/2017 - 15:04 Permalink

They are already flying. The US has been training the Ukro-Nazis for years. The Ukro-Nazis prefer to kill unarmed women and children (otherwise there is a high probability of themselves suffering). North American Terrorist Organisation trainers excel in that area, having help create ISIS and just bombed a hospital near Dir ez Zor in Syria.

In reply to by Termin8or