July 10, 2014

On the Influence of the Political Situation in the United States on the Potential of Ukraine

In the previous article we talked about Russia's trying to break the united European front against the “hybrid aggressor”. Previous unofficial information from foreign government, political and business circles leaves no hope for improving forecasts: a number of EU member states are convinced that diplomatic negotiations with the Russian Federation should continue, instead of imposing real economic sanctions. Should Ukraine in such a state of affairs rely on support of the American establishment?

A number of EU member states are convinced that diplomatic negotiations with the Russian Federation should continue, instead of imposing real economic sanctions

With the approach of parliamentary elections (November 4 will be updated one-third of the Senate and fully re-elected the House of Representatives of the US Congress), the Ukrainian theme becomes a key one for inter-party and intra-party debates in the Republican and Democratic parties.

Americans' choice depends not only on the resumption of economic growth and increase of the level of employment in the country. Rating of Democratic candidates is also closely linked with the level of electoral support to the current president, which is markedly reduced due to problems with the introduction of the compulsory insurance program “Obamacare”, as well as due to the negative perception of the White House's current foreign policy, in particular, in the context of the situation around Ukraine.

In this case, a strong criticism of “losing” directions of B. Obama's administration's foreign policy (primarily in the context of “undue concessions to the aggressor” in Ukraine, being unable to overcome B. Assad's dictatorship in Syria, as well as transition of the strategic initiative in Iraq to Islamic militants) is a convenient subject for debates, dramatic statements and political accusations of senators and congressmen belonging to both political camps and planning to take part in elections to the Congress, and thus trying to increase their electoral rating.

What NATO experts call the hybrid war, is in fact the old Russian tradition having been used by the Kremlin for at least 23 years already
”What NATO experts call the hybrid war, is in fact the old Russian tradition having been used by the Kremlin for at least 23 years already. If “hybrid” here refers to participation of different forces — nationalist and fascist groups, political parties and criminal world, journalists and television propaganda, then all this did happen before. Nothing new is happening in Ukraine; just the scale is much larger”.
Oleg Panfilov, Professor of the Iliya State University, Georgia
http://russiahousenews.info/

In particular, in the question of the Russian Federation's “hybrid war” against Ukraine, and options for the official Washington's responding to it, especially active are Senators from the Republican camp focusing on the so-called “L. Graham — J. McCain's conservative neo-line”. These senators are demonstrating their desire to “help arm the people of Ukraine for it to be able to defend itself,” urging the expediency of free transfer to the Ukrainian side of “lethal weapons of a defensive nature” (anti-tank mines, air defense, artillery, small arms, and the like). On the 30th of April Senators- Republicans put forward for consideration in the Congress the draft plan for a law “On prevention of further Russian aggression against Ukraine and other sovereign states of Europe and Eurasia”(the so-called “B. Corker's Law”) where there is a provision that the U.S. President has the right to allocate 100 million US dollars in the form of direct military assistance to Ukraine, including supplies of weapons needed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as well as sharing intelligence information with the Ukrainian side.

At the same time, considering the theme of providing military assistance to Ukraine, as a politically promising in terms of acquiring image dividends, de facto authors and “co-sponsors” of the bill, deliberately or unintentionally, had not previously discussed the provisions of this document with their colleagues from the Democratic party. It actually made impossible the bill's further progress in stages of the quite lengthy procedure of the legislative process.

Congressman Ronald Ernest “Ron” Paul
Congressman Ronald Ernest “Ron” Paul. Ron Paul votes against almost all proposals on increasing government spending. He is a supporter of the foreign policy of non-intervention, advocates the USA's withdrawal from the UN and NATO

http://ar25.org/

The situation is getting more complicated due to the lack of consensus in the Republican camp, which can be explained by hidden confrontation around the nomination of the candidature from the above-mentioned political force in the upcoming presidential elections. Thus, against providing direct military assistance to Ukraine has traditionally been an ambitious senator (likely presidential candidate from the Republican Party), one of the leaders of the conservative “Tea Party movement” R. Paul, increasingly acting in opposition to neo-conservatives from the position of isolationism — for the USA's disengagement from arbitration of global problems.

Besides, the longer radical Republican politicians use the above-mentioned theme, the more opposite effect they achieve — it leads to the phenomenon of “getting tired of the Ukrainian issue” (which is already beginning to envelop both, opposition and pro-government part of the American political elite).

The “Tea Party Movement” calls for tax cuts, reducing the role of the government and sticking to the Constitution
The “Tea Party Movement” calls for tax cuts, reducing the role of the government and sticking to the Constitution. It is a social movement that emerged in 2009 and came under the wing of the Republican Party as its conservative branch. Most of its members are white and stand for traditional American values. The principles of their movement are freedom of a human being, limited government, and economic freedom.
The name of the movement comes from the so-called “Boston Tea Party”. December 16, 1773, American colonists, disguised as Indians, threw into Boston harbor boxes with tea, owned by the British East India Company. The “Boston Tea Party” caused the crisis and, according to some historians, was the “trigger” of the explosive development of events. It can be said that the independence of the United States began with the “Boston Tea Party”.

This is evidenced, in particular, by the actual failure of the leader of the Republican majority of the House of Representatives E. Cantor at intraparty primaries in Virginia. Then he lost to little-known ultra-conservative isolationist D. Bret, who received strong support to the “Tea Party movement”, and resigned from the post of the leader of the Republican majority of the Lower House.

Senators Chris Murphy and John McCain in the Independence Square (Maydan) in Kyiv, 15.12.2013
Senators Chris Murphy and John McCain in the Independence Square (Maydan) in Kyiv, 15.12.2013

http://www.russian.rfi.fr/

Approaches of the Democratic Party were announced during a working session of the Upper House by the Chairman of the Senate subcommittee on Europe Democrat K. Murphy: demands of the Radical Republicans from neoconservatives on the provision of military assistance to Ukraine and imposing firm unilateral sanctions against the Russian Federation are a manifestation of the outdated strategy of the “Cold War” era; the USA's policy in the Ukrainian direction must be “proportionate to the national interests”, but not “excessive reacting” to Russia's actions; Russia today is not the main geopolitical rival for the United States, and eventually the demographic factor, coupled with the global energy revolution, will lead to catastrophic consequences for the Russian statehood (in this context, the occupation of the Crimea is regarded as a weakness of the Russian Federation, which only accelerates the destructive factors in the economy); the main direction in cooperation with the official Kyiv should be assistance to the new Ukrainian government in economic reforms.

Experts believe that the influential representative of the Democratic Party in Congress has actually relayed B. Obama's administration's signals about inadvisability of escalation of confrontation with the Russian Federation.

So, it can be concluded that among the factors that complicate the passage through the U.S. Congress of the relevant resolutions and bills regarding providing direct military assistance to Ukraine, a special place belongs to indirect influence of the White House, now relying on “avoiding mistakes” in relations with Russia. Otherwise, what motives can explain the activity of representatives and experts of the Pentagon, regularly conducting at the personal instructions of the Head of the Joint Committee of Chiefs of Staff M. Dempsey, an explanatory work among congressmen and senators about “potential risks and threats to the U.S. national security in case of military assistance to Ukraine”?..

If this is not an initiative of the Administration, then we may argue about the direct influence of the Kremlin (Yasenevo, Lubyanka) on the Pentagon and successful work of the Russian lobby in the USA on discrediting the new Ukrainian government and persuading that intervention of Washington's foreign policy and security structures into the development of the situation in Ukraine would be inexpedient.

The main developer and explorer of information campaigns in support of Russia in the USA is the image company Ketchum Inc., which even under the pressure of the Administration and the State Department did not terminate the contract with Moscow. It is actively working with powerful corporations, which have lucrative contracts with the Russian Federation (Boeing, Halliburton, Goldman Sachs) and, in their turn, owning tools for influence on the Congress and Administration, on individual representatives of the Jewish (the main argument being a splash of alleged anti-Semitism in Ukraine) and the Armenian lobby, as well as representatives of the expert community (S. Koen and others).

One of the practical results of the activity of the pro-Russian lobby was the common statement “America's Interests at stake in Russia and Ukraine” dated June 26, in which the National Association of Manufacturers of the USA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spoke against the expansion of U.S. sanctions against Russia. In this context, it would be difficult for the White House to ignore the position of the leading organizations defending interests of business circles.

Not quite clear are loud statements made by higher officials of the USA, particularly Vice President J. Biden, to provide large-scale (?) technical assistance to our state (up to 48 million U.S. dollars, with a daily 10-billion dollar issue, of which 10 million — to the needs of the Ukrainian mission of USAID, and 38 million — to the USA's Embassy in Ukraine, for visits of U.S. officials, congressmen, experts). De facto, we have to state the existence of the former, and not special partnership approaches to providing such assistance.

However, despite the Russian activity in Washington, it is hoped that the established May 10, at the Atlantic Council of the USA expert working group to prepare proposals for the White House on the interaction with Ukraine, will advise President Obama to provide our state with the status of “the main partner of the USA, not a member of NATO”. If desired, the procedural way to implement such a solution, as evidenced by the experience of some countries, can be substantially reduced to months, not years. This status although it does not provide guarantees of mutual defense, does give significant advantages in the military, military-technical and financial cooperation, including priorities in supplying military equipment, preferences in access to military stocks of the U.S. Department of Defense, stored outside the territory of the United States, possibility of the United States' financing a purchase or lease of military equipment, participation in the USA Department of Defense' tenders for repair works and maintenance of military equipment abroad.

Besides, despite the general support by the current Democrats in Congress to the quite reserved position of the White House and State Department in the matter of providing military assistance to Ukraine, we must not exclude possible support to such projects on the part of H. Clinton and those parliamentarians who are her followers. The former Secretary of State, against the background of the actual discredit of Obama's foreign policy and taking into account her personal presidential ambitions, is now trying to demonstrate an increasing rigidity in foreign policy views, particularly in the context of whether to provide military assistance to Ukraine and to the Syrian opposition.

This, among other things, is shown by the active position of the close to H. Clinton and closely associated with the Jewish lobby Democratic Senator B. Cardin (the initiator of forming of the sanation “Magnitskiy's list” against Russian high-ranking officials), who has prepared for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (Baku, June 28 — July 2) a draft resolution on Russia's violations of the principles of the Helsinki towards Ukraine, where, in particular, is being condemned the “flagrant violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state” by the Russian Federation and activities of the controlled by Russia illegal armed groups in Ukraine.

United States is trying to shift a significant portion of the load of the containment of Russia onto its European partners

Unbiased experts, American ones included, have also called attention to the fact that the United States is trying to shift a significant portion of the load of the containment of Russia onto its European partners and to take advantage of the Ukrainian crisis to promote NATO allies and EU institutions to demonstrate collective security obligations, both in terms of national contributions in order to increase the military presence, and in terms of increased spending on national defense (achieving the target index of 2% of GDP). The U.S. Department of State announces its full support to the EU mission within the framework of the Common Security and Defense Policy, which will help Ukraine in creating the necessary potential for stabilizing the internal situation, strengthening the rule of law and making related reforms.

In our opinion, demonstration of concern with separatists in eastern Ukraine being provided with heavy weapons and military equipment from the Russian Federation, recognition of the need to strengthen the sanctions are not sufficient in the current situation. Ukraine needs real allied actions, otherwise will come true experts' assumptions predicting a “geopolitical exchange with the Russian Federation” in the situation of actualization of problems of the Pacific Rim, Iraq and Syria in the foreign policy agenda of the White House.