Warnings From Both Sides of the Atlantic: Military Intervention In Ukraine Could Lead to World War III

Warnings against the British-Obama drive for World War III continue to emanate from the relevant qualified corners on both sides of the Atlantic, including from within the British national security establishment itself. In fact, the starkest warning is reported by Britain’s Daily Mirror according to which the head of MI6, known only as “C,” is understood to have told Prime Minister David Cameron that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not “stand idly by” if the West sends troops to support the Ukrainian government. One senior source told the Mirror that “The basic message is that it’s not worth starting World War Three over Ukraine.”

The author of the article, Sean Rayment, was the defense and security correspondent for The Sunday Telegraph for years before he moved over to the Mirror in April of 2013, so is likely to have access to the sources who would wish to publicize such a story. On the US side of the Atlantic, retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor, a combat veteran of the 1991 Gulf War and a qualified observer of military matters, warns in an article on Counterpunch.org that a US military intervention into Ukraine would be about the worst thing the US could do. Macgregor’s piece is in response to an April 15 op-ed in the Washington Post by former Ambassador and Bush Deputy National Security Advisor, James Jeffrey, now a fellow at the Washington Institute, who argued that American ground forces should be committed to Ukraine to “quell the crisis.”

By making such a suggestion, Macgregor writes, Jeffrey is proposing a measure that is “both dangerous and unnecessary,” and would be “courting disaster” with anything less than a heavily armed and armored force of 150,000 troops. The US, however, can no longer muster such a force, in large part because the Army and the Marines have been squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan by the “brilliant” political and military leadership of the past 12 years. On a slightly different track is Graham Allison, the director of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and the author of warnings against falling into the “Thucydides trap” with regard to China. In an opinion piece posted by CNN on April 18, Allison warns that despite the April 17 Geneva statement, the US and Russia could still be drawn into war over Ukraine. The steps called for in the Geneva agreement “are good and essential first steps,” he writes, “but unless they can now be implemented as a basis on which the parties can move to further, bolder steps to reverse underlying trends, Ukraine could still slide into civil war.”

Allison paints a scenario where pro-Russian demonstrators continue to seize and hold government buildings against a Ukrainian regime unable to stop them. The regime responds by violent crackdowns, which cause a Russian intervention and the whole situation spins into a civil war that draws in other European countries, including Poland and the Baltics. “Widespread violence or civil war would certainly be a calamity for Ukrainians,” Allison writes. “But would its consequences for American national interests require an American military response? Fortunately for Americans, the answer is no.” Therefore, “Preventing Ukraine’s collapse into civil war must therefore be a high priority for the leaders of both the United States and Russia.” The Geneva Agreement, Allison writes, represents “the first real step” on that road but “Leaders in both Washington and Moscow will have to follow up with further, bolder steps to prevent Ukraine’s spiraling into a civil war that could draw them into a direct confrontation. These additional steps will require all parties to accept arrangements that would be unacceptable except for the fact that all feasible alternatives are even worse.”

This entry was posted in Stopping WW III, Ukraine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.