Who Is Obama Going to Fight in Europe?

Strategic Culture
by Nikolai BOBKIN

The White house is working on the 2016 fiscal year budget to begin on October 1, 2015. The draft budget is equal to $1, 8 trillion. It’ll be effective only in case «Americans feel safe home and abroad». «The geopolitical events of the past year only reinforce the need to … level as opposed to current law,» the Pentagon said in a statement. Many billions are allocated to support the President’s national security strategy. 

The increased spending would add $38 billion for defense programs to hike the military budget up to the record high $561 billion. What poses a threat to the United States? Who is Obama going to fight during the last year of his presidency before he leaves in 2016? Normally the second term US presidents are called «lame ducks». Americans started to call him this name earlier than other presidents. America does not like him; the recent polls say the number of Americans who believe that Obama can serve the country well is diminishing. The presidential rating is record low. The polls say only 44% support Obama. They believe he shows signs of fatigue. They also think he lacks the ability to set long-term visions. The President is not confused. He promises to have his hands full in the next two years. Mr. Obama says it’s a great honor to be responsible for the greatest organization in the world – the American government, the military and all the good things the US does in the world. The list of good things looks very much like a list of threats posed to the rest of the world by the United States. 

Separately, Mr. Obama is asking for an additional $51 billion to pay for operations in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, as well as the continued American military presence in Afghanistan. For the first time the draft budget includes a special expenditure for exerting pressure on Russia. The Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says in a statement «It has been announced in Washington that the Obama Administration’s proposed budget for 2016 provides for allocating $640 million to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia for a highly specific objective: for «countering Russian pressure activities.» If the United States has added special allocations for confrontation with Russia to the budget, the situation has crossed the line. We never doubted the confrontation sentiments in the White House, which is playing a pointless sanctions game. But now they are all but considering financing subversive measures against Russia, which is pushing tensions to a new high. These plans clearly indicate that the United States is pursuing geopolitical aims designed to prevent the natural process of integration in the CIS and to break Ukraine and other neighbouring countries from Russia. For our part, we can say that Washington’s actions are driving US-Russian relations into a dead-end, and finding a way out of it will take much time. But this is the US Administration’s choice, for which it will have to accept full responsibility.» 

How does Washington plan to protect the security of allies and partners in Europe against the «aggressive Russia»? The USA will provide Georgia and Moldova with 51 million USD intended to assist in coping with pressure and aggression from Russia (no details on how the money will be divided between the two). Assistance to Ukraine, aimed at «countering Russian aggressive acts,» comes in at $117 million for the same purpose. Kiev still has to make it through to 2016. The country is on the verge of default, it has no money for anything. In an interview to Die Welt, President Poroshenko admitted that every day of war costs 5-7 million euros. If Kiev will continue to fight its own people to serve America interests the $117 million will last only 17-20 days. That’s why President Poroshenko panics and makes trips to Western countries stretching his hand to ask for arms supplies. 

President Petro Poroshenko said the events of recent days should encourage NATO to «provide more support to Ukraine, including the provision of modern weapons to protect itself and defend itself against the aggressor». Up to now the US administration had refused to provide Kiev with lethal arms. 

Ashton B. Carter, President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, told senators during the nomination hearings that he would consider increased American military assistance to Ukraine. «We need to support the Ukrainians in defending themselves,» Carter said in response to pointed questions from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the committee chairman who supports the idea of supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons. «I am inclined in the direction of providing them with arms, including lethal arms.» 

The views espoused by would-be Defense Secretary provoked sharp debates in European capitals. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the lethal arms supplies will only increase the death toll. «There is no military solution to this conflict – I’m talking about this and American friends who are considering the supply of arms. This will lead to a maximum of more deaths, «- said the German Foreign Minister. The supplies of America arms will lead to escalation of violence in Ukraine and further deteriorate Russia-US relations. 

Just one year ago it was impossible to imagine that Americans would turn Ukraine into a frontline state where they provoked a civil war like they did in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Unlike other crises incited by Washington during the recent quarter of century, the crisis in Ukraine is provoked by Washington near the Russia’s border. It is used for confrontation with Moscow and serves as a pretext for increasing defense expenditure. The United States plans to spend $789 million on strengthening the forces of NATO and partner countries in Europe. The money will be spent on NATO exercises, as well as arms and equipment supplies. Europe will have to spend much more for the same purposes. Ashton Carter said Europe was of critical importance to the United States. He called for NATO increased military spending. «They need to spend more on their own defense because their own defense is also our defense,» Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing on his nomination. A familiar formula. Americans have always preferred to make allies pay for their geopolitical claims while making others wage their wars. 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is proud of the fact that NATO’s military activities have become 5 times more intensive against the background of Ukrainian events, but it’s not the way to find a solution to the conflict. The peaceful settlement of the conflict could be achieved only through talks not by threats against Russia and moving NATO to the east. 

Strategic Culture