By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, February 28, 2022
In 2019, the RAND Corporation tentacle of the U.S. Military Industrial Congressional “Intelligence” Media Academic “Think” Tank Complex published a report claiming to have “conducted a qualitative assessment of ‘cost-imposing options’ that could unbalance and overextend Russia.”
Here was one of the “cost-imposing options,” one that U.S. President Barack Obama had been refusing, but in 2019, RAND was preparing for a regime change at home: “Providing lethal aid to Ukraine.”
Doing that, RAND said, “would exploit Russia’s greatest point of external vulnerability. But any increase in U.S. military arms and advice to Ukraine would need to be carefully calibrated to increase the costs to Russia of sustaining its existing commitment without provoking a much wider conflict in which Russia, by reason of proximity, would have significant advantages.”
Thus far the calibration seems to be OK, as a “much wider conflict” has not yet happened. But Congress/Parliament Members, weapons dealers, and enthusiastic numbskull onlookers are pushing for it in the United States, other NATO nations, and Russia. The notion of being able to properly “calibrate” these things has been disproven thousands of times. The disgusting arrogance of the RAND report recommending increased military and nuclear threats to Russia illustrates how blind people can be to the risks they are creating.
So, yes, it’s wonderful to have the U.S. corporate media suddenly against a war and in support of protests, and in sympathy with victims. One might have thought the U.S. media incapable of such things after all of these years and all of these wars. But remember that a pleasant sounding report on “cost-imposing options” was a plan to risk the murder of little children in Ukraine.
And, yes, the criminal thugs running the Russian government and military are, amazingly enough, responsible for their criminal thuggery.
The Ukrainian government choosing to meet violence with violence, after having largely initiated the increase in violence in Donbass last week, is also responsible for that.
But the steps that the U.S. government, the Ukrainian government, and NATO allies took in recent months, years, and decades to get to this point, the refusal to meet perfectly reasonable Russian demands, the ever-escalating militarization — those governments remain responsible for those things too.
The RAND report hoped for nonviolent protests in Russia. That Russians now protesting their government over its latest atrocity are doing what RAND hoped for does not mean they are doing the wrong thing. It just means to watch out for the manipulation of the outcome.
If the U.S. government can orchestrate a coup in Kyiv in 2014, where ordinary people also had — as they always do — legitimate grievances, and then erase that history almost entirely within eight years, then it can also orchestrate the outcome of a Russian revolution, something it attempted unsuccessfully in 1919 and has been attempting ever since — something else that it has effectively erased from history books.
11 thoughts on “RAND Corporation Urged Creation of the Horrors You’re Seeing in Ukraine”
Another disturbing corporate response to the crisis is Big Oil’s, via their Republican minions pushing for more production, completing the Keystone XL pipeline and reducing environmental regulations that they characterize as ‘woke’ green policy. The rationale is that it will somehow deprive Russia of its main revenue stream, oil & gas.
This cynical exploitation of human suffering omits the fact that oil & gas are fungible commodities on a global market, and the much more logical remedy of weaning Europe and the world off of fossil fuels entirely.
Regarding the US orchestrated ‘coup’ in Maidan in 2014, I agree that it should be re-visited. The frequent characterizing of it as a Western coup deprives Ukrainians of agency and relegates the participants to the role of Western pawns and/or Nazis. In the light of current events, perhaps we should more appropriately regard it as do the Ukrainians, who call it, “the revolution of dignity”. That would better explain their grim resolve in the face of the overwhelming Russian aggression that we are seeing today.
For over 60 years, both Russian and US/NATO security has been based on nuclear deterrence. As such, whether the former Soviet republics in the Baltic, or former Warsaw Pact countries in Central Europe are neutral or NATO members is only marginally relevant to the nuclear deterrent calculus. Russia’s nuclear arsenal is quite capable of deterring any threat based on the principle of mutually assured destruction (MAD).
As nuclear powers, both the US/NATO and Russia are the greatest threats to non-nuclear protected states, not each other. Thus, the US/NATO felt empowered to violate international law in Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, while Russia knew there would be no direct military interference to their take-over of Crimea, Donbas or in invading all of Ukraine.
In that light. the ‘threat’ that was at the center of Cuban Missile crisis in 1963 was to our right to invade Cuba without interference from the Soviet Union. Any use of missiles by Cuba would have resulted not only in the nuclear annihilation of the island, but also trigger WWIII, since the missiles would have always been under the command and control of Moscow. Removing the missiles returned our free hand in imposing our will in the Caribbean, for example, Reagan’s farcical invasion of Grenada in 1983.
Also, I am sure that Putin is surprised that his rationale for invading Ukraine ( ie. protecting ‘Russian speakers’ in Donbas from ‘genocide’) is not more convincing. After all, it perfectly mirrors NATO’s excuse for their intervention in Yugoslavia under the principle of ‘right to protect (R2P), claiming that Serbia and their clients were committing genocide on Bosniaks and Kosovars.
Your ‘whataboutism’ is valid, but does nothing to justify Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, unless, of course, you feel that US interventions are also justified.
Joe, Saggy is an avowed Holocaust denier. Click his name and see his sick website.
Saggy is an avowed neo-Nazi. Why do you allow him to post his comments here, David?
I watched Putin’s diatribe against the US in the link you provided. He made some valid points. But, none for which Ukraine had any responsibility. Ukrainians are paying the price for his grievances against the West. Apparently he views Russia’s Slavic brother as Cain regarded Abel.
How the Russian Invasion Changed This Ukrainian Pacifist’s Mind
“We live in a moment when the army matters,” Nataliya Gumenyuk, a Ukrainian war correspondent reporting from Kyiv, tells Lulu Garcia-Navarro.
Nataliya Gumenyuk had a Sunday Show on Hromadske TV years ago that I watched faithfully. She is a great journalist.
Joe, don’t know if you saw this understated, chilling piece by Megan Stack in the NYT. She was based in Moscow for years as a correspondent for the LA Times:
In Russia, I Learned, Threats Were Always Real
March 2, 2022
Thank you Lisa. I do not have a NYT account, but my brother does, so I will definitely check out the article.