‘For as long as it takes’: NATO’s War on Russia

‘The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact.’

— Emmanuel Goldstein, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, 1984


When the governing executives of the United Kingdom, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the United States of America unanimously state, as they did on the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine this February, that they stand with Ukraine ‘for as long as it takes’, they are making a commitment to continuing the proxy war the West has been waging against Russia since it overthrew the democratically-elected government of the Ukraine in February 2014. But a commitment of what?

In terms of its military, NATO is stronger than Russia alone, so ‘as long as it takes’ could, in a purely military sense, mean the defeat of Russia on the battlefield, or until Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, is overthrown by a political coup and a puppet government — presumably handpicked by the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland — is set up in the Kremlin to match the one she picked in Kiev. However, there are some major problems with this scenario.

First, the size of the military forces involved would mean a war in Europe that would devastate the economies of the European Union and Russia. This would benefit the USA, as it did in World War Two, but leave Europe even more subject to the US than it has been since the latter blew up the Nord Stream gas lines in September 2022 and increased Europe’s dependence on US natural gas, with imports having nearly tripled since 2021.

Second, NATO is used to waging wars against small countries with weak armies that are quickly defeated. Not since Vietnam for the USA — and not since the Second World War for European countries — have Western states been willing to engage in wars that would incur the kinds of casualties a war with Russia would inevitably bring. With Ukraine running out of conscripts to pull off the streets of Kiev, and the average age of a soldier now estimated at 43, who will fight and die against Russia — which, in contrast, is accustomed to far higher casualties, in Afghanistan, Chechnya and now the Ukraine.

Third, among countries that conduct such polls, Putin is the most popular leader in the world, with a current approval rating of 85 per cent among the Russian people. Hoping for a political coup to overthrow Putin is as chimerical and disingenuous as saying that Gazans should overthrow Hamas if they want the genocide being committed against them by the State of Israel to stop; and like that condition, it is a transparent excuse to wage a war of annihilation against the Russian people long prepared by their ongoing dehumanisation by Western propaganda.

Fourth, neither Putin nor, I suspect, the Russian people will tolerate conquest by NATO. Their grandparents’ generation lost around 27 million people from the Soviet Union defeating the Third Reich, and if necessary they’ll do the same defeating the return of fascism to the political economy of Europe hiding behind the neo-Nazi Ukraine. Neither the US nor the EU can draw on anything like that collective will.

Fifth, even if NATO were on the verge of defeating Russia, Putin and his ministers have made it clear that they will use Russia’s vast stockpile of nuclear weapons, the largest in the world, to defend itself. Indeed, Russia’s Security Council Deputy Chairman, Dmitry Medvedev, has said that an invasion of the Crimea would be met with such a response. And as Putin has also made clear to NATO, such a response would trigger a nuclear holocaust that would destroy much of the world. Indeed, it was the prohibition on such an eventuality that justified the arms race in nuclear weapons, which NATO appears to have forgotten.

Sixth, it is inconceivable that China, the third strongest military in the world and the largest economy by Purchasing Power Parity and percentage of global GDP, and which last year very publicly signed a number of bilateral economic, political and security agreements with Russia, would stand by and watch Russia be destroyed by a coalition led by the USA, whose equally public aggression towards China is second only to its aggression towards Russia. Should NATO be foolish enough to start a war with both, which would inevitably draw in the growing number and strength of BRICS nations, we really would be in a Third World War, and the future of humankind in serious doubt.

Seventh, even if it could somehow be brought about without mutual destruction or nuclear holocaust, what would a world with a ‘defeated’ Russia look like? Outside its subservient allies in the West, does the USA really expect the rest of the world to permit it to run a country the size of Russia, to turn it into another Iraq or Libya or Ukraine and plunder its resources?

Finally, if ‘for as long as it takes’ refers to the European Commission’s declared goal of assimilating the Ukraine into the European Union — the failure to comply with which was the trigger for overthrowing the government of President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014 — there are problems with that scenario too. Putin has repeatedly said that Russia has no objection to the Ukraine joining the European Union; but as he made clear in his recent interview with the US journalist, Tucker Carlson, that doesn’t extend to the Ukraine joining NATO.


Ukrainian choices

We might respond by asking what a sovereign state’s choice of either economic or military alliances have to do with Russia, the answer to which might include the following.

First of all, the government of the Ukraine that was elected in 2010 made that choice, which was to refuse to join the EU and maintain its trade links with Russia. To describe the subsequent governments of the Ukraine as ‘sovereign’ is not accurate by any definition of the word.

The so-called ‘Maidan revolution’ of February 2014 — which was most likely as engineered by the CIA as the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong in 2014, the Arab Spring of 2011–12, the 5 October Revolution in Yugoslavia in 2000, and the other ‘colour revolutions’ in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Moldova and the Ukraine itself that followed the dismantling of the Soviet Union in 1991 — has resulted not in greater national sovereignty but in the subjection of the Ukraine to the Washington Consensus, ten principles of neoliberalisation enforced by the US Treasury, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as a condition of receiving loans and investment. These conditions include removing import tariffs, cutting corporate taxes, revoking employment laws, deregulating industries, privatising state-owned companies, assets and banks, and, of course, cutting Ukraine’s economic ties with Russia, its largest trading partner.

On the basis of this neoliberalisation, under cover of the war with Russia, and without a democratic mandate from the Ukrainian electorate, Zelenskyy has handed over the grain, oil, gas, mineral and lithium resources of his country in shady deals with predatory US asset managers BlackRock, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. And in order to pre-empt any opposition to these policies, Zelenskyy has banned eleven opposition political parties and all independent media platforms in the Ukraine, cancelled parliamentary elections, made laws prohibiting around 73 per cent of workers from forming unions or collective bargaining, and issued hit lists against journalists and academics denounced as ‘enemies of Ukraine’ for criticising his Government.

Finally, Zelenskyy has repeatedly refused diplomatic moves by China to broker peace between Russia and the Ukraine, and instead drawn out a war it cannot win that has wounded and killed hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers. That’s on top of the civil war the pro-NATO governments of the Ukraine have waged since 2014 against the people of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and which killed over 14,000 Ukrainians. It is not Russia that threatens the sovereignty of the Ukraine, therefore, but the sovereignty of the Ukraine that has already been violated by the West.


NATO expansion

Second, with regard to the Ukraine joining NATO, how would the US respond if Russia staged a coup deposing the democratically-elected President of Mexico, set up a pro-Russian puppet government in his place, severed Mexico’s trade relations with the US, and sought to draw it into a military, political and economic alliance with itself?

And as the USA has with a Europe subservient to the goals of a NATO that has expanded from 12 to 32 member states since 1949 and, most recently, to the very borders of Russia in Estonia, Latvia and Finland — none of which, contrary to Western claims of Russian expansionism, has it threatened since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 — imagine if Russia did all the above with the whole of South America already in its pocket under a ‘South Atlantic Treaty Organisation’?

As it demonstrated in 1962 with the Cuban Missile Crisis, the impossibility of the US permitting even the first stage in such geopolitical aggression to take place suggests that, in advancing to the last of these stages in the Ukraine, Washington was deliberately trying to provoke Putin into a response, which it got in February 2014 when Russia invaded and annexed the Crimea.


Russian red lines

But whatever the justifications for joining NATO, assimilating the Ukraine through military means, with the consequent proximity of US military bases, nuclear missile launch pads, bioweapon labs and intelligence services to the Russian border returns us to the previous scenario of what the Putin government and Russian people will not tolerate.

However, with an 81-year-old President suffering from senile dementia and a diplomatic corps sounding increasingly like the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film, Doctor Strangelove, it’s hard to say with any certainty what the USA believes or imagines it can do. But if these military scenarios aren’t feasible outside the foreign policy fantasies of the Hawks in Washington, what is the geopolitical reality of waging war in the Ukraine ‘for as long as it takes’?

The first thing to consider in trying to answer this question is that a war such as the one NATO has been waging against Russia since 2014 isn’t fought in order to be ‘won’, in the conventional meaning of the term. As the journalist and political prisoner, Julian Assange, prophetically predicted in 2011, war is to be part of the New Normal the West has gone on to construct under the cover of lockdown, global warming, the rising cost of energy and every other crisis manufactured into existence by the propaganda agencies of the United Nations:

People will reach maturity and adulthood under the understanding that there is always a war. And at that point, war will not be something that is unusual or surprising or horrifying. War will become the New Normal.

The goal of war in the New Normal, therefore, isn’t victory over a designated enemy but the creation of a permanent state of war that justifies two things.

First, war places the warring states under a legal or de facto State of Emergency, justifying the removal of the rights and freedoms of their citizens on a temporary basis it is in the power (and intention) of their governments to extend for as long as the war lasts. We saw this trialled successfully under lockdown, when the West was placed on a war footing in what was universally described as the ‘War on Covid’; and we’re seeing something similar being implemented through Agenda 2030 and the equally fanciful war on what the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, last year didn’t hesitate to make himself ridiculous by describing as ‘global boiling’.

Second, war effectively turns the economies of the warring states into centralised command economies, in which all expenditure and consumption fall within the control of the state — which then outsources them to the government’s preferred transnational companies — and taxes can be increased and government spending cut on the justification of addressing whatever crisis the war serves to create. As we’ve seen in the two-year proxy war in the Ukraine, during which Western corporations have invested over $380 billions of the taxes of Western nations in destroying and rebuilding a country over whose economy, resources, government and people they now have complete control, war is the mechanism by which the tax bases of the member states of NATO can be washed through arms dealers, the biosecurity apparatus, the digital surveillance infrastructure — and anything else designated by the UN as ‘aid’ — into the hands of the globalist partners of national governments.


War to beggar populations

War, therefore, is first and foremost a means of impoverishment and theft, not only of the populations and resources of the countries in which the war is being waged (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine), but also of the populations of the combatting states (USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Canada). The longer the war is waged, the richer become those who invest in it and in return gain access to the taxes, resources and assets of both sides. Such wars are only ‘won’ when the profit margins do not justify the investment, the most expendable currency of which, of course, is human life.

The particular circumstances under which the proxy war in the Ukraine is being waged show why it is a key turning point in the Great Reset of Western capitalism that has been implemented since the financial crisis of September 2019, and why the governments of not only the USA but also the EU and the UK are all so unreservedly committed to this war. It was for this reason that, in the Spring of 2022, the former Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson — a man morally suited for such a role — was sent to order Zelenskyy to refuse the Istanbul peace treaty drafted by Russian and Ukrainian negotiators that April.

It is in this sense, I believe, that we should understand the statement made by every Western government and transnational technocracy from the United Nations down that they stand with Ukraine ‘for as long as it takes’. The victory they have their eyes on is not over Russia but over their own people, the immiseration and control of which is the ultimate goal of the Great Reset.

In considering the motives for NATO declaring war on Russia, we should never forget that the largest military and political power in the world is currently $34.44 trillion in debt, with interest payments alone set to reach $870 billion this year — nearly a third of the entire debt of Russia; and with a finance-based economy increasingly built on buying and selling currencies and derivatives rather than producing and providing goods and services, the USA has no way to repay it, with the debt ceiling suspended last July until 2025 to avert the Government defaulting on its payments.

But there is a caveat to this. We should also never forget that only one state has ever used nuclear weapons in an act of war, that it used them against a defeated enemy, that it used them against a civilian population, and that it did so twice. Given the calibre of the people in positions of executive power in Washington, Brussels, the Bundestag, Palais Bourbon and Westminster, and the tenuous grasp on reality of the ageing billionaires from whom they take their orders, it is not above the USA to start World War Three in the belief it can achieve ‘victory’, even if it’s on a mountain of dead bodies and destroyed countries. In his increasingly prescient novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four (from which my epigraph is taken), George Orwell wrote:

It is in the ranks of the Party, and above all the Inner Party, that the true war enthusiasm is found. World-conquest is believed in most firmly by those who know it to be impossible.

All of that said, if Western globalists can kill as many Russians as possible while increasing their personal wealth with the taxes of their own populations, as US Senator Lindsey Graham said in a meeting with President Zelenskyy last May:

Best money we’ve spent!


Simon Elmer is a British writer based in Hong Kong. His recent books include The Great Reset: Biopolitics for Stakeholder Capitalism (2023) and The Road to Fascism: For a Critique of the Global Biosecurity State (2022), which he has discussed on UK Column.

Image: The War Room from Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove (1964). Public domain