depleted uranium weapons ukraine

When judged from the perspective of world peace and safety (which surely is the best perspective), recent US foreign policy based on instigating an endless Russia-Ukraine proxy war and arranging massive supply of weapons and training for Ukraine appears to be entirely irrational. Several senior, highly respected diplomats and even security experts from within the USA have actually argued these lines.

However there are others who say that no, there is some method hidden behind this apparent madness. They argue that the perspective should not be seen as advancing world peace and safety, the perspective should be regarded as advancing the self-interests of the USA. Seen from this perspective they argue that the recent foreign policy of the USA has been very clearly justified in at least two contexts.

Firstly, they argue, the objective of increasing the problems of Russia generally and Putin in particular is being achieved. Even if Russia has the upper hand overall in military terms so far, Russia nevertheless has lost many soldiers and has been forced into spending very heavily on weapons. In other words, Russia is being bled continuously, while the USA strategists are able to watch safely from a long distance without any harm to their side. This suits the USA well, these experts argue to justify US foreign policy.

Secondly, they argue that recent foreign policy interventions have led to the strengthening of US-Europe relationships. While earlier countries like Germany were getting too close to Russia and its cheaper energy supplies, the Ukraine war and the accompanying sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines have ended this and instead made Europe more dependent on energy supplies from the USA which is considered to be politically as well as economically beneficial for the USA, whatever the environmental costs and the high economic costs for Europe. Also, with the big media blitz on Russia as an aggressor, the Ukraine conflict has been used, is being used, to more permanently disconnect Russia, with all its resources and many-sided potential, from the rest of Europe, in denial of geography and common sense.

Hence the foreign policy establishment of the USA can argue that the its policies have achieved the bleeding and isolation (at least in the context of Europe) of a main rival Russia while at the same time achieving a stronger consolidation of somewhat wavering European allies on its side, thereby strengthening NATO as well.

However, such a reasoning of the US foreign policy establishment is faulty, even within the narrow perspective of promoting the self-interests of the USA in aggressive ways. These policies have brought Russia closer to China more than ever before, and in the longer term China is seen by the USA as a bigger rival. What Russia has lost in terms of isolation on the western side it is trying with increasing success to make up on the eastern side and at other levels as well. It is likely that the conflict will end finally with territorial gains for the Russian side.

In Europe many people are protesting against the high economic and environmental costs of what the USA has tried to impose on Europe in recent times. There is increasing resistance to the idea of a vassal like status among proud Europeans, a feeling being voiced more openly even by ruling establishment leaders. Sooner or later the tide may turn against ignoring geography and common sense, and NATO may become more a coalition of unwilling partners, held together more by threats than by perceived common interests, a situation that cannot last for too long.

If Russia’s reputation has been tarnished as an aggressor in recent times, the reputation of the USA as a cynical manipulator of self-interests, ignoring very high costs for others, has also been enhanced in very unpleasant terms. The talk of the USA fighting Russia in a proxy war down to the last Ukrainian, which looked like a big exaggeration initially, is increasingly appearing to be a more realistic description of the ground situation as the loss of lives in Ukraine and the distress suffered by the people there continue to increase.

Thus even from a narrow perspective of pursuing the self-interests of the USA, recent US foreign policy has been faulty in important ways.

However what is more important is to emphasize that such a narrow perspective and such a narrow framework of aggressive self-interest must be given up by foreign policy makers of the biggest power in the world. After all, the world is passing through nothing less than a survival crisis and establishment of world peace and stability is an essential condition for resolving this survival crisis before it is too late. When seen from this wider perspective the US foreign policy of recent times has been a huge disaster. It has disrupted world peace badly, dividing the world more and more into two blocks, practicing the kind of brinkmanship which can escalate into a direct confrontation between the world’s biggest nuclear weapon powers. Hence whatever method has been supposed to be found behind the madness of US foreign policy is ultimately found to be madness after all. Hence there is very clear and strong case for changing the US foreign policy in very important and basic ways.

Bharat Dogra is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include Planet in Peril, Protecting Earth for Children, Earth without Borders and A Day in 2071.


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