The US continues to use Ukrainian soil as a base of military operations, generating unnecessary tensions in the region.
Written by Lucas Leiroz, research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
Despite its recent defeats in Central Asia and the Middle East, the US makes it clear that it will continue to maintain a strategy of global presence and ongoing tensions against its main geopolitical enemies. This week, US and Ukrainian troops began the first maneuvers in the new edition of the Rapid Trident, an annual military drill operated by the two countries in the Russian border region. The act is provocative and, contrary to what the Ukrainian government thinks, does not represent any strategic advantage for Kiev.
On September 20 began the newest edition of Rapid Trident, the annual military exercise in which American and Ukrainian armed forces provoke Russia in the border zone and unnecessarily threaten international peace. In addition to Washington and Kiev, which coordinate the event, military personnel from fifteen countries are participating in the maneuvers, totaling more than 6,000 fighters. The tests will last until early October and are aimed to prepare the nations involved for joint operations in a possible scenario of combat against Russia.
Commenting on the case, Polish General Władysław Kłoczkow stated that the Rapid Trident 2021’s maneuvers are “not only the next stage in the improvement of military art”, but also “an important step on the road to Ukraine’s Euro-integration”. And he continued: “The operational capabilities of our troops will increase, the level of interoperability between divisions and staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the USA and NATO partners will improve.” Kłoczkow is leading his country’s troops that are participating in the exercise and on another occasion, he stated that during the event Ukraine will be sharing with international partners its experience of resistance against the “Russian aggression” in the Donbass.
Another point of interest to be highlighted is that one of the locations where the drills are being conducted is precisely at the Center for Peace and Security Operations in the Lviv region. This location is very close to the Belarusian borders. This means that in addition to an unnecessary provocation against Moscow, an absolutely arbitrary action against Minsk is being carried out, which makes peace in the region even more unstable.
This year, Rapid Trident is showing some peculiarities that make it even more dangerous. According to Vitaliy Nehodenko, Head of Multinational Exercises of the Ukrainian Land Forces Command, current commander of the Rapid Trident 2021 Planning Group, this year’s maneuvers will be carried out in combination with the “Joint Effort 2021” drills, another program of major military tests operated by Kiev in partnership with NATO. More than 12,000 soldiers are involved in the Joint Effort exercises, which will take place between September 22nd and 25th. For this reason, several extraordinary multinational military units will be formed across Ukrainian territory at the same time, including in extremely tense regions such as the Black and Azov Seas.
Considering all these facts, it seems clear that Kiev will insist on maintaining its partnership with Washington at precisely the most delicate point of global geopolitics, which is the conflict of interests between the US and Russia. For the Americans, this partnership is extremely profitable, as Ukraine serves as an operating base on the border with Russia. But for Ukraine itself, the advantages are extremely dubious. The country puts itself at risk with a much stronger world power, counting on a partnership of which it has no guarantee.
Recently, NATO withdrew its troops from Afghanistan immediately when it was in Washington’s interest and literally abandoned European countries’ officials to their own devices in the Central Asian country. Diplomats from NATO member countries could not count on NATO own support when their lives were in danger during the takeover of Kabul. Ukraine is not even part of NATO, yet the Ukrainian government believes that if there is a conflict with Russia, the organization will intervene to help it, which sounds absolutely naive. The Afghan case shows what NATO does with its own members when it interests the US – in cases of non-member countries, it would be even worse.
Luckily for Ukraine, war is not in Moscow’s plans. Such “aggression plans” only exist in the Western, as a way to justify the constant and growing escalations of violence. The Russian government prefers to invest in a non-intervention strategy waiting for the moment when Kiev will realize that it is more advantageous for its own condition to assume a posture of international neutrality and seek regional integration with Moscow. Until that day comes, the US will continue to use Ukrainian soil as a base of operations to pretend to protect the country from non-existent danger.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Russia Aware Of Kiev’s Military Preparations, Hopes It Won’t Turn To Hostilities
- Ukraine Hopes Acquiring Iron Dome Will Help Its Path Towards NATO Membership