The Russian Red Line Washington Won’t Cross—Yet

Calmer heads better prevail. Though it’s clear Washington is lead by the criminally insane. The chance for negotiated settlement was real and possible back in March of last year and the US shot that down ( pun intended), so the US could fight Russia to the last Ukrainian. Now the author is suggesting the US will provide long range missiles, just not yet. May that yet never come!

To many analysts, Biden’s decision—and implicit reasoning—is perceptive. Sustained Ukrainian attacks inside Russia’s territory could violate Putin’s red lines in a way that previous strikes haven’t. So could repeatedly hitting Crimea, the peninsula that the Kremlin illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014. “It’s Crimea and Russian territory,” Austin Carson, a political-science professor at the University of Chicago who studies escalation, told me. “I would worry about crossing one of those bedrock limits.”

But to Ukrainians, these concerns are detached from reality

“People are quite confused,” the former Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zagorodnyuk told me when I asked what Ukrainians thought about Washington’s reticence. “They just don’t understand.”

Which people are confused? So vague and suggestive. Or suggestive yet vague?

They are also tremendously frustrated, because Kyiv may need long-range U.S. missiles to win the conflict. “It’s just impossible to be on the battlefield and continuing to fight with the weapons that Ukraine already has,” Polina Beliakova, a Ukrainian political scientist at Dartmouth College (A political scientist at an Ivy league school in New Hampshire, US is speaking about Ukrainian frustration? ) who studies civil-military relations, told me. Ukrainian soldiers, she said, are performing admirably. But without superior weapons, even the most motivated military will struggle to defeat a much larger enemy. To liberate more provinces, Ukrainians could have to strike hard, far, and again and again. Washington will have to decide just how much it is prepared to help them.

The United States Army Tactical Missile System is a formidable weapon. Developed in the late Cold War and first used in Operation Desert Storm, ATACMS are launched straight out of the back of vehicles that Washington has already given to Kyiv. (Washington, afraid of escalation, modified the vehicles it sent so that Ukraine couldn’t use them to fire long-range missiles.)LOL, if they were modified one way they can be modified another- clearly the author thinks the audience is stupid!-Once airborne, the missiles can reach more than three times the speed of sound, making them very difficult to intercept. They can travel up to 186 miles.

These specifications give ATACMS—pronounced “attack-ems”—certain advantages over Britain’s missiles. The latter weapons, although very powerful in their own right, do not move as fast or go quite the same distance as ATACMS. They must be fired out of fighter jets

“There is no analogue for ATACMS,” Zagorodnyuk told me. “There is no alternative.”

Zagorodnyuk said that, if received, ATACMS could give Ukraine major advantages. For starters, the missiles would make it much easier for Kyiv to hit most of Russia’s command posts and wartime weapons depots, which typically lie beyond the front lines but within 186 miles. ATACMS would also help the Ukrainian military sever the so-called land bridge to Crimea: the thin strip of occupied territory that connects Russia with the peninsula’s isthmus.Similarly, the missiles could hit the bridge that directly links Crimea with Russia. Together, these attacks would substantially weaken Moscow’s forces in southern Ukraine, helping with Kyiv’s counteroffensive. They could even pave the way for Ukraine to take back the peninsula, which is widely considered Kyiv’s hardest military target.

In theory, the United States could provide ATACMS on the condition that Ukraine not use them to hit the peninsula. But Kyiv is unlikely to accept such an arrangement. “That would set a massive precedent of treating Crimea as a special case, and that’s exactly what the Russians want,” Zagorodnyuk told me. Ukraine could even be tempted to use the missiles to strike Russia proper. According to The Washington Post, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky privately proposed attacking Russian villages in order to gain leverage over the Kremlin. And on Monday, pro-Ukrainian militias launched an assault across Russia’s border. They appear to have used U.S.-made vehicles in their incursion.

They did use US made vehicles, despite having claimed they would not and the US was silent.

Publicly, Kyiv has assured Washington that it will not hit Russia with U.S. rockets. ( this gives the US plausible deniability) But no matter the conditions, guaranteeing that the missiles would not cross one of Moscow’s trip wires is impossible.

“The risk is that you think you’re okay and then you hit that red line and then things escalate really fast out of control,” Jennifer Kavanagh, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told me. In the worst-case scenario, that spiral could lead to Russia using nuclear weapons. But Kavanagh pointed out that Moscow could escalate in many ways without going nuclear. It could, for instance, carpet-bomb Ukrainian cities. It could also launch cyberattacks on NATO states.

The odds of Russia attacking NATO, digitally or otherwise, might seem long. But they are not outlandish, especially considering Moscow’s perspective. “Russia doesn’t see itself fighting Ukraine,” Margarita Konaev, the deputy director of analysis at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, told me. “It sees itself fighting NATO.”

Russia is fighting NATO. That’s so freakin obvious! Only an absolute idiot would claim otherwise. Mark, what did I say about having to state the obvious over and over?

And if you notice below this reality is admitted:

The Kremlin’s reasoning, she explained, makes some sense. Moscow is battling against NATO weapons systems. Its troops are being hit with NATO members’ ammunition. Ukraine is operating based off U.S. intelligence. “The only thing they’re not fighting are NATO troops on the ground,” Konaev said. ( Oh, I think NATO troops are present) If Ukraine begins regularly shelling Crimea or Russian territory with U.S.-made weapons, Russia could respond as if NATO was attacking the homeland.

Please read entirely at the link- I’ve limited this to excerpts only for discussion/information purposes

Still, such hurdles can be overcome. Ukraine’s battlefield performance, and its success in Western training programs, helped convince NATO states that the country could handle more sophisticated weapons. If Ukrainians use Britain’s long-range missiles successfully, and in ways the U.S. approves of, Kyiv could convince Washington that it should get ATACMS as well.

But not if Washington is too afraid of how Russia will respond.

“With ATACMS, I don’t see these coming,” Zagorodnyuk said. Then he paused. “Yet.”

2 replies on “The Russian Red Line Washington Won’t Cross—Yet”

We balance precariously close to a very dark abyss in human history. The only actors who can end this war quickly without a catastrophic nuclear exchange of mutually assured destruction are the Ukrainian people…the ‘common’ people, the lower ranks of the military. But the Ukrainian people like those in NATO have been convinced by brainwashed emotionalism to support actions against their best interests. We must; “Just say no.”

Hi Mark
It’s definitely a concern and it looks to me the US has every intent to escalate at Ukraine’s expanse- So it will take the Ukrainians- masses and lower ranks to toss Zelensky out and start taking back their power- deals can be made. And Zelelensky is already an obvious and blatant liar

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