US Spreads Fake News of Russian Plans To Invade Ukraine as Kiev Shows Off Javelin Missile System

Kiev’s aggressive rhetoric about using the American-made Javelin anti-tank missile systems in Donbass, as well as accusations of Russia’s invasion plans, creates an explosive situation and encourages the escalation of conflict. Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the Ukrainian military intelligence service, also claimed that Kiev’s forces used the American Javelin system in Donbass for the first time. This is further evidence that the Minsk agreements, which are extremely important for regulating the crisis and ceasefire in Donbass, is being violated.

Budanov claimed that the Javelin systems were also used against Russian forces. This of course does not correspondent with reality, and rather the allegation was made because Kiev falsely claims that the defense forces of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics are part of the Russian army. According to the head of the Intelligence Service, the American antitank missile system, together with the Turkish-assembled Bayraktar drones, will become a significant factor in curbing the Donbass defense forces. At the same time, he believes that Ukraine will need American support and urged Washington to provide assistance as soon as possible.

This is an open provocation by Ukraine. The very fact that the Ukrainian military is armed with Javelin systems creates the conditions for provocations against the Donbass defense forces to be carried out. The use of antitank weapons enables the destruction of not only mobile armored targets, but also other military equipment. In fact, by having such a missile system, it might embolden Ukraine to use even more powerful weapons against the republics of Donbass.

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Congressional Hawks Seek To Give Prez Blank Check To Declare War on China

Two weeks from yesterday marks 80 years since the Congress last issued a declaration of war as required by Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution: The Congress shall have power to declare war. Invoked to launch or defend against wars 3 times in the 19th and twice in the 20th century, that Constitutional requirement has become as outdated as a dial telephone used to spread the news of the last one, December 8, 1941.

Once established as the world’s supreme superpower, American presidents, beginning with Harry Truman in 1950, decided to abandon the need to ask Congress to declare war. Incredibly, Congress went along with this enormous transfer of the war power to the president. When Truman decided to intervene in the Korean conflict, he simply called it a police action and began a military campaign that took several million Korean lives as well inflicting 128,000 U.S. casualties, of which 36,500 died. That’s some ‘police action’.

In the 71 years since, the US has engaged in dozens of wars, some so secret most Americans are oblivious to their occurrence. But in all that time Congress has never explicitly granted the 13 presidents succeeding Truman the power to unilaterally wage war. Congress pays lip service to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11, occasionally even making efforts to take it back.

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Walter Russell Mead’s Conspiracy Theorizing

Walter Russell Mead tries his hand at being a conspiracy theorist:

Our adversaries – and some of our allies as well as several American policy makers and commentators – believe that a polarized America is locked into decline and retreat. This is not, the revisionist powers feel, a good reason to offer Mr. Biden help in rebalancing his commitments. On the contrary, it is the time to double down on their assaults on the American world order. The logic is so obvious that they don’t need to coordinate their response. If America stands tall in the South China Sea, the revisionists will chip away in the Black Sea. If we toughen our stance in the Baltics, they will push harder in the Balkans. If we try to escape the Middle East, they will drag us back in.

Mead is suffering from the ideologue’s affliction of trying to force world events to fit his preconceived notions. Many things are happening at the same time, and so he decides to link them all together and to assert that the governments in different parts of the world must be working in concert with a common goal in mind. Nothing has happened in the last year that requires us to subscribe to this paranoid view of the world. Mead is attributing made-up motives to the leaders of these governments because it is convenient for his argument and easier than doing the work of trying to understand why these things are happening.

If tensions are rising between Russia and Ukraine, it is not because Putin is “doing what [he] can to keep the president from focusing on Asia.” It is happening because of Russian frustrations with ongoing U.S. and NATO involvement in Ukraine. Iran is taking a harder negotiating position over the nuclear deal because they have a new administration headed by a notorious hard-liner. It is not because Iran desires to “drag” the US back into the Middle East. Obviously, the Iranian government has had a decades-long goal of getting the US to reduce or end its presence in the region, so keeping the US focused on their part of the world is the last thing that they would want. Each government is acting according to its own perceived interests and is pursuing longstanding policy goals that have nothing to do with a US “pivot” or “rebalance” to Asia.

Read the rest of the article at Eunomia

Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

NATO Conducting Provocative Drills in Latvia

Once again, NATO is conducting a rather dangerous maneuvers in Eastern Europe with the aim of provoking Russia. Latvia is the new military drill arena for the Western Alliance, with the country receiving troops from across the Atlantic for a military event called the Winter Shield. This event is annual and provides the opportunity for forces from Latvia and the rest of NATO to act together, training war tactics for possible combat scenarios. However, as has become tradition in NATO, each year the exercises become more aggressive, bringing together a large number of agents, equipment and resources for the sole purpose of showing strength against Russia.

The Latvian armed forces issued a statement earlier this week in which it is possible to read: “From 21 November to 4 December, Latvia will host international military exercise ‘Winter Shield’ to test and upgrade the combat capabilities of Latvian and allied Armed forces units along with their integration and interoperability within Baltic region’s collective defense system”. Since Sunday, the forces of Latvia and other nations of the Alliance have been conducting maneuvers in the country, with a huge presence of agents and equipment from different countries.

Despite the presence of troops from the most diverse armies, the units that most allocated people to conduct drills were the Land Force Mechanized Infantry Brigade, National Guard, Special Operations Command, NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group, Baltic Battalion, and the US Special Operations Command Europe. As was to be expected, the Baltic countries sent in the greatest number of troops. It is also notorious the presence of foreign agents in the other Baltic nations during the exercises, with no restriction to the Latvian territory.

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The Bankruptcy of Coercive Policies

NBC News reports on the bankrupt “Plan B” options being considered by the Biden administration if nuclear talks in Vienna aren’t successful:

As Iran and world powers prepare to resume negotiations next week on reviving a nuclear deal, the U.S. and its allies are already debating a list of “Plan B” options if the negotiations collapse, Western diplomats, former US officials and experts say.

With chances for a breakthrough at the talks in Vienna looking remote and Iran at odds with U.N. nuclear inspectors, US and European officials face a grim set of choices – from ramped-up sanctions to potential military action – as Iran’s nuclear program advances into dangerous territory.

These options are grim because they are also futile and destructive. We need to understand that piling on more sanctions or attacking Iran’s facilities will accomplish nothing except to kill more Iranians and convince their government that it needs a deterrent. The “Plan B” options being discussed are not serious options, because they stand no chance of preventing proliferation in Iran. Even if military action weren’t illegal aggression, it would still be folly. At best, these options would accelerate current trends in the expansion of Iran’s nuclear program, and at worst they would lead to regional war and proliferation. The only things that have won concessions from Iran are sanctions relief and compromise. Trying to increase pressure beyond “maximum pressure” means going in the wrong direction from where we need to go. This is a phenomenally stupid backup “plan,” and anyone advocating for any of these “grim choices” should be ignored.

Read the rest of the article at Eunomia

Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

Canadian Forces Promote Militarism in the Classroom

A friend in Montreal, whose partner is a teacher, recently messaged me:

"My wife, who sat through the Grade 4 virtual Remembrance Day activity organized by the school board described what it was like: The students watched two soldiers walk around a military base giving a tour. This included tanks. … A student asked if they use the tanks. The soldiers stumbled a bit and the spiritual animator intervened and said ‘we don’t ask soldiers about whether they use weapons or shoot people’. The soldier intervened and got upset. He said something to the effect of ‘no soldier joins the army to shoot people. We join to help people. Some people shoot people, but they have mental health problems that they need help with’. Then a captain cut in, seeming upset. He said ‘soldiers are trained and given an education. And it’s an education, not brainwashing!’ …

The Canadian military has been offering events and speakers – usually Afghanistan war vets, big banners and displays, etc. But I’ve never heard of this before. Touring a military base for 10 and 11 year-olds."

While there are likely many, I’m aware of at least one other instance where the army brought a tank to a schoolyard. In 2007 CBC reported that a Grade 4 "class at Holy Cross Elementary school [in St. John’s, Newfoundland] were given a firsthand show-and-tell session with a tank and related gear."

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