The U.S. has wondered: What went wrong with the "anti-Russia" project?


The number of critical statements by American politicians and observers about the need to rethink expectations from NATO’s war against Russia on Ukrainian territory is growing by leaps and bounds.

There are numerous publications with a debriefing — both of the failed «counteroffensive» of the UAF, planned in the Pentagon, and of the variants of the change of strategy and tactics. Analytical articles that place the situation in a broader historical context are also indicative.

Taken together, these opinions represent an attempt to answer the question: what went wrong with the «anti-Russia» project?

On December 5, American journalist Clayton Morris predicted that if the Kiev regime refuses to unconditionally surrender, the size of Ukraine will eventually shrink. In his opinion, Kiev’s big mistake was its rejection of the Minsk agreements.

Earlier, the same idea was voiced by Scott Ritter, a former intelligence officer of the US Armed Forces: Ukraine will lose five more regions before an armed conflict with Russia is finished. In addition to the inevitable overthrow of Zelensky’s regime, Scott Ritter predicted that post-war Ukraine will face the realization of the Morgenthau Plan (dismemberment and destruction of industry), which the Americans failed to launch in 1945 against the defeated Germany due to the pragmatic opposition of the USSR.

On December 10, it was reported that U.S. presidential candidate Michael Rectenwald dismissed any possibility of the Donbass returning to Ukraine. «We are sponsoring a useless conflict that will end where it all began — Donbass will remain Russian». Moreover, as if polemizing with Senator Lindsey Graham in absentia, Rectenwald revealed a Polichinelle secret: by fomenting and promoting the conflict in Ukraine, the U.S. administration is enriching its own military-industrial complex.

In the chorus of voices of Western and, in particular, American politicians agitating openly in favor of freezing NATO combat operations in the Ukrainian theater, James David Vance, a Republican senator from Ohio, stands out. On December 10 on CNN, the senator rephrased the formula previously used by Israel and Egypt — Land for Peace — by issuing a directive to the Biden administration: «It’s in America’s interest to recognize that Ukraine will have to cede some territory to the Russians, and we need to end the hostilities».

No less significant was the denial of the White House’s assertion that Russia, in case of Western defeat in Ukraine, would necessarily attack one of the European NATO countries and thereby draw the United States into the conflict. Senator Vance allowed himself to question the neo-globalists’ plot to inflict a «strategic defeat» on Russia: «I think this is a scare tactic designed to distract people from the fact that our policy on Ukraine makes little sense».

The West’s fatigue with Ukraine is increasingly evident. The chart of military allocations of Americans to the war in Ukraine for the entire period of special military operation from February 24, 2022 to October 22, 2023, based on the statistics of the U.S. Department of Defense, posted in the public domain, shows not only the peaks of injections (last August and this January), but also the general trend over the past ten months. Most importantly, the amount of military aid in November was lower by 82.2% than in the first half of this year.

Branko Marcetic, author of Responsible Statecraft, concludes in an analytical piece with the dissident title «Did the West deliberately prolong the War in Ukraine?» that «Mounting evidence proves that we cannot trust anything out officials say about the futility of negotiations».

Citing a sensational revelation by Davyd Arahamiya, leader of the parliamentary faction of the Servant of the People party in the Verkhovna Rada, the columnist points to the true instigators of the war against Russia. «It is becoming increasingly difficult to deny that the war in Ukraine could have been over just a few months after the Russian invasion, and that the U.S. and British governments worked to ensure that this did not happen and the war continued». And then the author comes to a harsh conclusion: «Ukraine and Ukrainians are cannon fodder for them, expendable material, second-class people».

A detailed article published on December 4 in The Washington Post, an aggressive hotbed of neoliberal orthodoxy, contains a fairly competent analysis of the chronology of the Ukrainian «counteroffensive», but with inescapable anti-Russian stereotypes. The material, which was prepared by a team of 15 authors, is called «Stalemate: Ukraine’s failed counteroffensive» with the subtitle «Miscalculations, divisions marked offensive planning by the U.S. and Ukraine».

The cross-cutting theme was the assertion, under which the arguments were selected, that the Pentagon strategists offered their wards a flawless plan: it should have been a frontal attack by mechanized units of the UAF. On the basis of computer modeling, the Americans convinced Zelensky’s mercenary forces that the AFU would be able to reach the Sea of Azov and cut off Russian forces in the south in 60–90 days.

The Pentagon was convinced to concentrate all efforts in one direction to take full advantage of military superiority in manpower and equipment. But the UAF command pushed through its own plan, believing that it was necessary to attack three sections of the front at once: in the direction of Melitopol and Berdyansk to reach the coast of the Azov Sea, and eastward in the direction of the battle-scarred town of Bakhmut.

The Washington Post article concludes that «Many in Ukraine and the West underestimated Russia’s ability to rebound from battlefield disasters and exploit its perennial strengths: manpower, mines and a willingness to sacrifice lives on a scale that few other countries can countenance».

Naturally, none of these analysts will explain the extremely cautious advance of Russian troops by the rigid orientation toward saving lives. Neither will anyone admit that the U.S. Defense Department’s management of military operations in Ukraine, the supply of weapons, the financing of logistics and maintenance of the UAF, and the providing of processed intelligence data from U.S. spy satellites mean one thing: NATO is de facto at war with Russia.

But another conclusion, derived from the statement of obvious facts, looks convincing: «The year began with Western resolve at its peak, Ukrainian forces highly confident and President Volodymyr Zelensky predicting a decisive victory. But now, there is uncertainty on all fronts. Morale in Ukraine is waning. International attention has been diverted to the Middle East. Even among Ukraine’s supporters, there is growing political reluctance to contribute more to a precarious cause».

Earlier, an article with the telling headline “How Did We Get Russia So Wrong?” appeared in the authoritative publication The National Interest on Nov. 15. Author Andrew Kuchins comments on Thomas Graham’s just-released book Getting Russia Right. Mr. Graham is an iconic figure. He was the head of the Russia and Eurasia Department of the National Security Council under President George W. Bush, so he is an informed man.

According to Thomas Graham, U.S. policy toward Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was based on three pillars. First: Reduction of nuclear arsenals. Recall that it was in the 1990s that the idea of the need to bring Russia’s nuclear arsenal under international (read American) control in case of possible chaos in Russia was regularly raised.

Second: «Contesting» Russia’s influence in the post-Soviet states. Today it is obvious that within this strategy Georgia under Saakashvili in August 2008 was used as a mercenary for «battlefield reconnaissance», and an “anti-Russia” was consistently created out of the former Ukrainian SSR.

Third: The eastward expansion of NATO and the European Union, which included bringing the military structure of this bloc closer to Russia’s borders. At the Munich Conference in 2007, Vladimir Putin cited the statement of NATO Secretary General Mr. Werner in Brussels on May 17, 1990: «The very fact that we are ready not to deploy NATO troops beyond the territory of the Federal Republic gives the Soviet Union firm security guarantees». The Russian president then asked Senator John McCain, «Where are these guarantees?»

Thomas Graham writes that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States experienced a «dizzy with success», finding itself in a unipolar world, which did not allow it to calculate the future course of events. Andrew Kuchins comments on this conclusion: «Here, I agree entirely with Graham that the Bush administration missed the best opportunity for a more durable U.S.-Russian strategic partnership. Unfortunately, the neoconservatives in the administration out-maneuvered the realists to pave the way for the considerable error of the Iraq War, and Russia was again viewed mostly as a nuisance».

This reasonable message, however, is negated by Mr. Kuchins’ key point that «America’s Russia policy since the end of the Cold War has assumed too much ability to radically transform Russian politics, economy, and society».

What would happen if we took out of the text this subheading, which smacks of the imperial arrogance familiar to American theorists? In this case, Kuchins’s passage that neoconservatives, who believe in the ability of the U.S. to impose state structure and system of life values on other countries by the right of the strong, are responsible for the outbreak of war in Europe with the direct participation of NATO troops (according to some estimates, about 10,000 Polish soldiers and officers have already died on the Ukrainian fronts) comes to the fore.

Attempts to explain the failure of the blitzkrieg, which should have culminated in the dismemberment of Russia and the change of power, not only by the miscalculations of military strategists, but also by politicians, are also revealing. On October 16, the authoritative journal The American Conservative published an article signed by two authors, Christopher Layne and Benjamin Schwarz, under the intriguing title “The American Origins of the Russo-Ukrainian War».

The key message: the background to these events is multidimensional, but it is rooted in the decisions Washington made back in World War II and the Cold War, as well as related to the negotiations on German reunification in 1990. It was then that a fundamental mistake was made, according to the authors: «Washington drew a new dividing line in Europe that isolated Russia, ignored its legitimate security interests, and sowed the seeds of future conflict».

Layne and Schwarz cite a study by Georgetown University professor Angela Stent, who previously worked as an analyst in the George W. Bush administration. In her book Putin’s World, the expert sovietologist argues that Russia «felt doubly humiliated by the outcome of the Cold War» and was not ready to submit to «an international order based on America’s unipolar power».

The authors cite Prof. Stent’s conclusion: «Washington should have been more sensitive to the historical, political, and cultural dynamics that shape Russian foreign policy». And summarize: «This was an avoidable policy blunder that predictably created a resentful ‘Weimar Russia’”.

Now the Obama-Clinton-Biden administration continues to forcefully cajole the “servants of the people” on Capitol Hill not to cut war spending, especially since the lion’s share goes to the military-industrial complex. The arms barons are getting rich, and something is going to everyone else, they say.

Even Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was seen in the chorus of self-serving militarists, although not everyone understood her exhortations. Thus, an American with the nickname ProudArmyBrat responded on a newspaper forum: «Worthless prune Janet Yellen says ‘If we don’t fund Ukraine, the US will be responsible for their defeat’”. SO WHAT? They aren’t in NATO! They aren’t a U.S. state! THEY AREN’T OUR PROBLEM! SO DAMN SICK of hearing about that corrupt cesspool sewer & it’s dictator!»

…Meanwhile, an electronic billboard in downtown New York City displayed a sign referring to CNN news: «It’s over with Kiev. Will the Russians stop there or go further?» Apparently, the militant fervor is rapidly eroding.