Brussels – Written by Elijah J. Magnier:
As Pentagon leaders have said, America is preparing to raise the tension ceiling with China for a possible confrontation. Congress has approved the proposed defence budget of $842 billion to modernise weapons for the future conflict resulting from the US strategic competition with Beijing. This new budget includes an additional $9 billion to build up military capabilities in the Pacific and the China Sea and to prepare for war “if necessary” – as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said – and to “put America first”. But the US is far from ready to confront China for several reasons: First, there is no convincing case for confrontation that Washington can make to its partners and the American people. Second, China has not adopted a hostile military posture towards the US. As a result, the loud US hue and cry reflects its fear of the Chinese arms industry joining Russia at a time when Russian forces are advancing on the battlefield in Ukraine despite the cooperation and support of more than 40 US-led countries.
In particular, Russian progress on the Ukrainian battlefield has been slow but steady since the Kremlin decided to reduce the number of casualties among its regular forces to hand the battle – as a hasty spearhead – to Wagner’s contract forces. However, the regular army in the rear supports Wagner’s forces, whose mission is limited to stabilising and maintaining the fronts. These auxiliary forces, contracted by the Ministry of Defence, are used by major armies, such as the US, with the organisation “Black Water” (renamed Xe Service and later Academi) deployed in Iraq, Syria and other countries around the world.
This is why Moscow seeks the help of Wagner’s forces because the impulsive battlefield can be managed by a manageable force experienced in urban warfare, especially in Bakhmont and the cities that are expected to follow to achieve the announced objectives. The use of contractors reduces the casualties of the regular army and avoids the anger of the Russian people when their less experienced children are killed on the battlefield. Russia used the regular army for fortifications, remote fire support, and logistical and medical support for the Wagner group. Contractor forces also seek support from the Russian air force when necessary. However, NATO countries have provided a variety of anti-aircraft missiles to neutralise the Russian air force. Russia mainly uses reconnaissance and suicide drones, long-range precision missiles and artillery fire.
Russia is recruiting hundreds of thousands of new volunteers and professional contractors as the fighting remains intense and shows no signs of ending soon. President Vladimir Putin has avoided internal resentment by not calling for more conscripts, despite Russians’ insistence that the war should continue in defiance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). To raise the level of confrontation with the West, Putin announced his intention to send tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, “as the US does on the European continent,” according to the Russian president. Putin refers to America’s deployment of more than 100 nuclear warheads in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.
But European foreign policy coordinator Josep Borrell warned against the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, describing the move as ‘an irresponsible escalation and a threat to Europe, and the European Union is ready to respond with further sanctions’. There are no democratic and dictatorial nuclear warheads. It is, therefore, unlikely that Europe will impose effective sanctions on Russia and accept that European nations host US nuclear bombs. The biggest loser will be Europe, which is riddled with nuclear weapons and which the Americans want to strike first in the event of a major war between the superpowers. However, the European continent does not need the US nuclear bombs because France and Britain have hundreds of nuclear warheads to defend themselves. Therefore, America used the European arena to attack Russia from the nearby continent, hoping that Europe, not America, would be the arena for nuclear exchange in the event of a major war.Moscow’s deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus was a response to Britain’s decision to supply Ukraine with tanks equipped with armour-piercing ammunition containing depleted uranium. Thus the change in the Russian plan of attack since the first
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