Russia-Ukraine war and future of smaller States | By Dr Muhammad Khan


Russia-Ukraine war and future of smaller States

IN last four days, Russian military has made significant advances and captured many areas in its neighbouring country Ukraine.

There have been no worthwhile resistance put-up by Ukrainian troops, despite claims of stalling the Russian attacks.

In fact there is no parallel of Russian military power in the region, thus it is difficult for Ukraine to really defend itself against the Russian military might.

Prior to Russian invasion into Ukraine, there remained severe tension between Moscow and Kyiv (Kiev) for months.

The tension escalated since United States and Europe were fully supporting the Kiev through their statements and even provided Ukraine military and financial assistance.

Nevertheless, unlike their promises, there did not appear any military support either from NATO or United States.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy even whinge United States and Europe for not militarily supporting it against Russian invasion, ‘no one came to help Ukraine’.

It is in the backdrop that, Russo-Ukraine tension started over the Kiev decision to join the NATO in 2013.

However, there is news that, Washington has offered Zelenskiy for a political asylum, in case he decides to escape Kiev.

The provocation, US and Europe caused to escalate the situation between Russia and Ukraine has led Kiev to face the consequences of a full-fledge war.

This is a lesson for all those states that are being used by U.S and West for their strategic aims.It also leads to the conclusion that, US is a trustworthy friend for any states.

This writ-up is more about philosophy of invasion by major power which rings alarms bells for the smaller states.

If today, US and Europe are criticizing Russia for its invasion into Ukraine, they must know that they were one who invented this strategy of invading other countries under the sole objective of their dominance over these states and the region in general.

Had U.S and Europe avoided attacking Iraq in 1991 and 2003, there would have been no precedence for Russia to attack Ukraine today.

It is worth mentioning that, in 1991, US and Europe militarily attacked Iraq under code name; Operation Desert Storm to expel occupying Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

Earlier, CIA provoked then Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein to capture Kuwait in order to create a cause for the US to move its military in this region.

Despite ruining the Iraq in this military campaign, US kept sanctions on Iraq until it reinvaded Iraq in 2003.

There was no reason for attacking and capturing Iraq in 2003, since it was already under US and western sanctions for over a decade.

Moreover, U.S and UN knew that, Iraq had no nuclear weapons (WMD) nor it was militarily strong enough to pose a threat for US or regional states of Middle East.

Moreover, it was not bordering US and Europe thus had no border clashes with any of the invaders.

All was aimed to pave ground for the wider military domination of the Middle Eastern region which has now spread to entire region.

During this US invasion over 1.3 million Iraqis lost their lives besides economic losses of trillion of USD.

Who is responsible for this human catastrophe, which later spread over to entire Middle East in the form US and NATO attacks on Libya, Syria and their covert operations in the region?

Today, over 70,000 US troops are present in the Middle East and North Africa to safeguard its strategic interests and to deny the space for other major powers like Russia and China.

Apart from US invasion of Iraq, United States and its NATO partners invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 to punish the Afghanis for what it was Twin-Tower attack on September 11, 2001.

The fact remains that, no one from Afghanistan was part of so-called terrorist attack on World Trade Centre.

Then, why this attack was launched which killed over a million Afghans during military operations of US from 2001 to 2021.

U.S and NATO invasion of Afghanistan with their military presence there for two decades was all aimed to safeguard US strategic objectives.

NATO and other allies were used for US strategic objectives.Keeping a check on resurgence of Russia and to hurdle the rise of China were the two major strategic objectives which are being responded by Moscow and Beijing in their own ways.

US still maintains its interest in Afghanistan, since Taliban rule is result an agreement (29 February 2020) between United States and Taliban.

The Russo-Ukraine war has a larger context; indeed, it is return of cold war model with Russia back to its former status (Soviet Union).

Russia would not like any NATO presence along its borders.Russo-Georgian War-2008 where Moscow invaded and kept its military presence in Georgia for months was the first indication of Russian resurgence and its exasperation against NATO and US.

United States and NATO could do nothing to stop Russia which reversed the colour revolution in this former Soviet Republic.

In 2014, Moscow took another bold step, once it annexed Crimea with it without any military resistance from Kiev or US and NATO.

Russia has assumed that US and NATO would not resort to any military action, except imposition of sanctions.

Indeed, there is a return of international power struggle among the major powers.While the major powers are struggling to secure their strategic objective, there is a bigger risk to the sovereignty and integrity of smaller States.

— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.


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