Scott Ritter & Ray McGovern on Ukraine, Russia, China
By Ray McGovern
Scott and I focused initially on President Biden’s just-completed Excellent Adventure in the Far East and the U.S. effort to woo countries away from China or, at least, pre-empt closer bilateral ties.
I again posed the question (see my brief talk Thursday, embedded in https://raymcgovern.com/2022/05/27/why-is-win-win-a-no-no/ ), Why must China’s “win-win” approach be dismissed out of hand — especially when it was so mutually beneficial 50 years ago in reducing tension and keeping the peace?
Recent developments, including talks with Chinese officials, have fortified Scott’s view that China remains extremely reluctant to go to war over Taiwan. Nevertheless, China will do so “in a heartbeat” if Taiwan declares independence and develops a more substantial military relationship with the U.S.
Bottom line: Scott predicts that the U.S. will be at war with China within six months to a year — and will lose. This could be avoided if the U.S. takes the military aspect out of the equation in confronting China and does the sensible thing in limiting the competition to the economic sphere.
Ray discussed the lemming-like bloc heads now leading the NATO bloc and compared them to statesmen and stateswomen of the past — the German Social Democratic Party’s Willy Brandt and Egon Bahr, for example; and Angela Merkel (no Socialist she), who told President Obama to his face that Germany would not join any effort to send offensive arms to Ukraine. Sadly, serious leaders of the past, experienced in foreign affairs as well as politics, have been replaced by political hacks with little or no experience (or even interest) in Ostpolitik, which yielded a peaceful, mutually beneficial detente in the 1970-80s.
The economic sanctions are already making themselves felt, however, in Germany and elsewhere. And there are preliminary signs that even some bloc-head lemmings may be having serious second thoughts. Fissures are cracking open and expanding among the NATO countries — particularly among those most affected by the sanctions.
Scott reiterated his longstanding view that Russian forces will prevail on the ground in Ukraine, adding that recently they have been performing in a very impressive, professional way. This, despite what the NY Times and Washington Post has been saying, (and even their narrative of Russian “blundering” has begun to change under the force of circumstances). One major question: If Establishment media find themselves forced to acknowledge strong Russian advances in the coming weeks, will they turn on the Biden administration as the mid-term November elections draw near? Snippets of truth have begun to appear in the likes of the NY Times and Washington Post.
In this context, the trial-balloon-type media reports yesterday afternoon, after our interview, that the U.S. is preparing to send long-range rocket systems to Ukraine, takes on added importance. A final decision by the White House is expected as early as next week. (See: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/05/27/artillery-long-range-ukraine-rocket-system/ )
One key weapons system under discussion is the U.S.-made Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) capable of firing a torrent of rockets 180 miles or more. This is much farther than the systems currently in Ukraine’s inventory, and could put Russia itself within range. This system has been sitting atop the long list of requests from Ukrainian officials, who say it is needed to curb advancing Russian forces in the Donbas. U.S. officials reportedly “have concerns” that Ukrainian forces might end up firing into Russian territory, causing major escalation.
Meanwhile, CNN reports (See: https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/26/politics/us-long-range-rockets-ukraine-mlrs/index.html ) that Democratic Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, who was part of a congressional delegation trip to Kyiv earlier this month, told CNN he believes the systems could help Ukraine gain significant momentum against Russia.
“I think it could be a game-changer”, Crow said, not only for offensive attacks but also for defense. He explained that Russian conventional artillery, which has a range of about 50km, “would not get close” to Ukrainian urban centers if MLRS systems were positioned there. “So it would take away their siege tactics,” he said of the Russians. The Kremlin has warned that any country providing advanced weaponry to Ukraine will face harsh repercussions. Yesterday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the West has “declared total war” against Russia. The Russians would see any attempt to provide MLRS to Ukraine as additional proof of the West’s intent.
Note from Michael Novick: I have been saying since Clinton attacked the Chinese consulate in Serbia that the US is on a course pointing at war with China. Now a bitter controversy that has erupted between the Marine commandant and a large number of former Marine generals gives this further credence. See https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/Docs/Force_Design_2030_Annual_Update_May_2022.pdf The Marines’ new strategy is focused on being a sea-based attack force with the Navy directed at incapacitating the Chinese Navy in an “Indo-Pacific” war. Recent media reports also underscore the way the US is being outmaneuvered politically and economically through the island nations of the Pacific as a Chinese foreign minister visit the Solomons, Papua-New Guinea and other nations. Such coverage is typically planted to support new military expenditures and deployments by the US.