US and NATO allies arm neo-Nazi units in Ukraine as foreign policy elites yearn for Afghan-style insurgency
Corporate US media and foreign policy hardliners want to create a new Afghanistan in the middle of Europe by flooding Ukraine with weapons. The arms industry is very pleased.
This article was originally published on The Grayzone. Head there to read the full investigation.
Following urgent requests for arms from the Ukrainian government, at least 32 countries have announced their intention to ship billions of dollars in weapons into Ukraine for use against Russian forces. Photographic evidence shows that these weapons have already ended up in the hands of neo-Nazi paramilitaries – units which have already received training and arms from the US and its NATO allies.
Underscoring the careless nature of the unprecedented arms shipments, the formerly neutral country of Norway has warned that its government cannot “guarantee that the weapons [it is sending to Ukraine] will not fall into the wrong hands.”
As corporate media and Reddit forums spin out a rose-colored view of the Ukrainian military’s performance, some 20,000 foreign fighters from 52 countries have signed up to join the newly-formed “International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.” Many are now fleeing back across the Polish border, filled with fear in the face of heavy casualties.
All of this builds on $3.8 billion in military aid from the United States to Ukraine, the training of 55,000 Ukrainian soldiers by Canada and the United Kingdom, and a longstanding CIA program aimed at cultivating an anti-Russian insurgency.
As Western officials clamor for a long and bloody war against Russia while shirking efforts at negotiation, progressive anti-war voices in Congress like Rep. Ro Khanna, who once railed against the US sponsorship of neo-Nazism in Ukraine, are now cheerleading massive arms transfers to Kiev.
During his widely broadcast, carefully scripted speech to Congress on March 16, Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky’s thanked the United States for its “overwhelming support” in terms of “weapons and ammunition, for training, for finances.”
He went on to beseech Congress for a no-fly zone, which even top White House officials have acknowledged as a call for conventional war against Russia.
While a no-fly zone remains off the table for the time being, NATO leaders are hoping for an extended war of attrition, consequences be damned. And arms dealers are having a field day, with stocks in top defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman surged by 20% during the first week of the conflict.
As former special advisor to the Secretary of Defense Col. Douglas Macgregor told The Grayzone, “it looks more and more as though Ukrainians are almost incidental to the operation in the sense that they are there to impale themselves on the Russian army and die in great numbers, because the real goal of this entire thing is the destruction of the Russian state and Vladimir Putin.”
Priming the public for endless war, lobbying for an insurgency
David Ignatius, the Washington Post columnist and reliable voice of the US intelligence apparatus, noted that even prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, “the United States and NATO allies [were] ready to provide weapons and training for a long battle of resistance.”
This March, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haas commented, “I think what you’re hearing from all of us — and it’s a real mindset change — we’re talking about potentially a long war… Think about this less as a classic war. Afghanistan went on [for] two decades… this could be another frozen struggle, and it could wax and wane, but this could be part of the new normal.”
The Afghan option has been advocated for Ukraine by some of the most prominent figures among the US foreign policy establishment, and particularly those on the Democratic side of the aisle.
“It didn’t end well for the Russians…but the fact is, that a very motivated, and then funded, and armed insurgency basically drove the Russians out of Afghanistan. I think that is the model that people are now looking toward,” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared during a February 28 interview with MSNBC.
Clinton waxed nostalgic over the campaign to arm and train the Afghan mujahideen in a bid to suck the Soviet Union into a “Vietnamese quagmire.” If Western government can “keep the Ukrainian, both their military and their citizen volunteer soldiers supplied, that can continue to stymie Russia,” she added.
Next, Clinton pointed to the dirty war in Syria, where the CIA’s Timber Sycamore program funneled weapons to the so-called “moderate rebels” of the Free Syrian Army, creating what mainstream US analyst Sam Heller called “weapons farms for larger Islamist and jihadist factions, including Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate.”
“It took years to finally defeat Syria in terms of the insurgencies, the democratic forces as well as others who battled the Russians, the Syrians, and the Iranians,” Clinton said.
As a no-longer official voice of the Democratic foreign policy establishment, Hillary Clinton is able to speak with more candor than the current US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on the objectives of the liberal interventionist clique to which they both belong.
When Hillary Clinton resurfaced on MSNBC on March 8 for an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brezinski – daughter of Zbigniew, the architect of the program to arm the Afghan mujahedin – Clinton was more explicit than before about her desire for the Afghan option.
“Lethal defensive weapons are making their way into Ukraine. They need more. I want to see them get more. I’ve urged publicly and privately that they get more,” the former Secretary of State said. “There is a concerted effort by governments, particularly NATO governments, both to provide weapons and aid.”
“This is not going to end quickly,” Clinton concluded, “it’s going to drag on.”
In a joint press conference with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Blinken insisted that should Russian President Vladimir Putin try to “enforce such a puppet regime by keeping Russian forces in Ukraine, it will be a long, bloody, drawn-out mess through which Russia will continue to suffer grievously.”
In one media appearance after another, the Secretary of State has alluded to the possibility of a forever war in Ukraine. “I think we have to be prepared, unfortunately, tragically, for this to go on for some time,” he told Face The Nation.
Biden too has hinted at efforts to stoke a long-term insurgency in the country, vowing that Russia “will pay a continuing high price over the long run,” though “it’s going to take time.”
Unlike the proxy wars in Syria and Afghanistan, where Western-backed jihadist foreign fighters took up their crusade in hopes of establishing a medieval Islamic caliphate, the champions of the “holy war” in Ukraine look to the country’s more recent history of Nazism as their call to arms.
Months before Russia launched its operation inside Ukaine, the CIA launched a program to train Ukrainian fighters for an insurgency. Meanwhile, weapons furnished by NATO allies have been placed in the hands of the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi former paramilitary organization incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard.