01.09.2014 Author: Tony Cartalucci

NATO’s Options in Ukraine

45342After provoking what is increasingly a devastating and expanding conflict in Ukraine, NATO appears to be out of options as its proxy regime loses its grip on both its military campaign against its own population in eastern Ukraine, as well as political control in the capital of Kiev itself. However, despite the turn of events, with NATO apparently rudderless, those seeking to undo and reserve the damage the West has created in Eastern Europe must not become complacent.

NATO still possesses several options with which it can respond to its deteriorating proxy regime and the eroding of its interests both in the region, and around the world.

Propaganda Retrenchment Before Aggressive Military Aid 

As the West has done in Syria, it now seeks to do in Ukraine – a complete retrenchment of the official narrative regarding the nature of the ongoing conflict. Previously, the Western media has gone through great lengths to obscure overt Nazism running throughout both the political front it is propping up in Kiev, as well as across the irregular forces sent alongside what remains of Ukraine’s national army. Western media outlets have briefly touched on the issue in attempts to mitigate and manage growing public concern.

Regarding the formation by the Interior Ministry in Kiev of a battalion of Nazis – the Azov Battalion – the BBC would publish, “Ukraine conflict: ‘White power’ warrior from Sweden,” the Telegraph would publish, “Ukraine crisis: the neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists,” and Al Jazeera would publish, “Driven by far-right ideology, Azov Battalion mans Ukraine’s front line.” Each would in turn, admit that literal Nazis are fighting on behalf of the NATO-backed regime in Kiev – with the regime itself raising ultra-right, Neo-Nazi battle formations. But each would also attempt to downplay the implications and role of Nazism within the ongoing conflict.

That was until Foreign Policy magazine published its article, praising what it called, “fascist defenders of freedom.” It’s article titled, “Preparing For War with Ukraine’s Fascist Defenders of Freedom,” claims:

The Azov Battalion — so named for the Sea of Azov on which this industrial city is located — is one of dozens of volunteer battalions fighting alongside pro-government forces in eastern Ukraine. After separatist troops and armor attacked from the nearby Russian border and took the neighboring town of Novoazovsk, this openly neo-Nazi unit has suddenly found itself defending the city against what Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called a Russian invasion.

3453452Pro-Russian forces have said they are fighting against Ukrainian nationalists and “fascists” in the conflict, and in the case of Azov and other battalions, these claims are essentially true.

Effectively, Foreign Policy finally admits that indeed, warnings that NATO was backing literal Nazis in Ukraine were more than mere “Kremlin propaganda,” but rather the unequivocal truth. Foreign Policy would continue by reporting:

Besides a strong defense, Ukraine needs the support of the West to defeat the invaders, Odnorozhenko argued. He called for the Europe and the United States to take a more aggressive stance on Russia and begin shipping weapons to Ukrainian pro-government forces.

And that is precisely what the United States and Europe are attempting to do – begin shipping more weapons and other forms of lethal aid to continue propping up the regime in Kiev. By embracing the Nazi militants fighting on behalf of Kiev, and simply claiming Russia is “worse,” the West can repeat the strategy it used in Syria after it became apparent that militants fighting the government in Damascus were hardcore terrorists driven by sectarian extremism and aligned to Al Qaeda.

In fact, it was also Foreign Policy who, in mid-2012, published an article titled, “Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists: So the rebels aren’t secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn’t much matter.”

The FP article also attempted to create a narrative that portrayed the Syrian government as a more pressing issue than revelations that NATO-backed militants were sectarian extremists, not the “pro-democracy freedom fighters” they were portrayed as being during and directly after the so-called “Arab Spring.” Foreign Policy would also create an array of excuses explaining why militants were extremists – a strategy expected to play out again as Kiev’s Nazism continues to emerge into greater public view.

By embracing and excusing two abhorrent ideologies and the heavily armed militant groups espousing them, NATO is able to continue backing both terrorists in Syria and Nazis in Ukraine. With the burden of covering up Nazism in Ukraine “off NATO’s chest,” it can commit to a more aggressive strategy of arming and aiding them.

Direct NATO Intervention 

6546234The self-destructive fleeing forward of the West generally takes the form of political destabilizations, terrorism, false-flag attacks, incremental mission creep, and covert proxy wars. What it has learned from Russia in both 2008 in Georgia and again this year in Crimea, is that direct, unpredictable, bold moves can pay off.

NATO recently has been very public in stating it has no intention of intervening in Ukraine. Since NATO perpetually keeps the threat of military intervention “on the table” for all other conceivable conflicts across the planet, it is strange that both it, and its proxy regime in Kiev, have gone through extra efforts to insist such a scenario in Ukraine is neither desired, nor even “on the table.”

With NATO building up troops in Eastern Europe, and its attempts to lull Russia into a false sense of security, planners in Moscow, eastern Ukrainians confronting NATO-backed troops on the battlefield in Ukraine, and in theaters across the region, sudden NATO intervention must be accounted for, as well as a swift counterstroke to disrupt what will be a precarious proposition for Western interests unaccustomed to such a risky move, and merely depending on shock, awe, and surprise to follow it through.

Incremental Escalation 

Barring a negotiated settlement brokered by Kiev that sees its forces withdrawn from eastern Ukraine and contested provinces forfeited to rebels, it is likely NATO will continue incremental escalation combining both an increasingly aggressive strategy of arming and aiding Kiev’s forces regardless of their overt Nazism, as well as an incremental NATO build-up along Ukraine’s borders and covertly within them.

Whether NATO commits to a more desperate strategy entirely depends on whether or not this incremental escalation can continue at a quicker pace than the regime in Kiev can collapse.

With NATO and the special interests driving its agenda failing in Ukraine and floundering in Syria, the West has exhibited signs of dangerous desperation causing lapses in judgement and an overall lack of deep, coherent, strategic planning. It has gone from forcing its enemies to react to its provocations in 2011, to a series of backpedaling reactions in the face of formidable counterstrokes made in return ever since. An enemy that is desperate, is an enemy that is dangerous. Feeling it has nothing to lose, it may commit to an increasingly reckless strategy of provocations in hopes that its enemies’ caution and reason force them to back down.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

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