Joseph E. FALLON
“Down the rabbit hole” is an expression describing a situation “that is particularly strange, problematic, difficult, complex, or chaotic, especially so as it develops or unfolds”1 An allusion to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.2 It perfectly describes the failed interventions by the U.S. and NATO, together or separately, in regional conflicts in the post-Cold War world. Initially problematic, these interventions only become more chaotic as they unfolded ending in political and/or military defeats – Afghanistan (2001-2021), Bosnia (1994-2022), Kosovo (1999-2022), and Libya (2011-2022).
Afghanistan — Acting with the U.S., NATO participated in the war against the Taliban for 20 years only to suffer military defeat.3 In “Why The Afghan Government Collapsed?”: The U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction reported November 15, 2022, “The United States sought to build stable, democratic, representative, gender-sensitive, and accountable Afghan governance institutions. It failed. The Taliban dealt a decisive political defeat to the Afghan government, despite approximately $145.0 billion in U.S. appropriations, including more than $36.2 billion to support governance and economic development. On August 15, 2021, former President Ghani boarded a helicopter and fled the country. With that, the two-decade long U.S. effort to transform Afghanistan came to a close.”4
Bosnia and Kosovo — Two decades after NATO intervened in Bosnia (1994) and Kosovo (1999) both lands remain ethnically divided and politically volatile.
Libya — In 2011, NATO military intervened ostensibly to prevent Qaddafi from slaughtering rebels in eastern Libya. At the time, then Secretary General of NATO Anders Rasmussen stated: “This time European allies and Canada took the lead. And that’s an answer to an American public that requests more European engagement,” He added, “You saw it in Libya, and I hope to see that model used
also in the future.”5 But as Eric Westervelt of U.S. National Public Radio (NPR) pointed out “…it’s hard to take the lead – and maintain that position – when you run critically low on precision-guided bombs after barely two months into a conflict, as NATO’s European allies did in Libya. The U.S. stepped in and sold the alliance ordnance, saving NATO from embarrassment.”6
According to the British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee the result of NATO’s 2011 military intervention has been “…political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of ISIL in North Africa.”7
With Qaddafi removed from power, the slave markets reopened. As reported by Reuters, July 24, 2020, “In 2017, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said it was ‘alarmed that so many years after the slave trade was declared illegal, black men from Sub-Saharan countries are being sold in slave markets in Libya…’ The same year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on a Libyan slave market where ‘Sub-Saharan migrants were being sold and bought by Libyans, with the support of Ghanaians and Nigerians who work for them.’ Reuters, quoting aid groups, referred to Libyan slave markets in a 2019 story.”8 In the eleven years since Qaddafi was killed, Libya has endured civil wars and de facto partition among the parties contending for power. Instead of one dictator, now there are many.
Despite these failures, the U.S. and NATO are likely to continue to intervene around the world for one reason. They remain convinced military force can be used to resolve a political crisis, if not directly, then indirectly.
Washington and Brussels chose to ignore the writings of the highly-respected 19th Century military theorist Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz “who stressed the “moral”, in modern terms meaning psychological, and political aspects of waging war”9. War is a means; not an end. In his opus On War (1832), Clausewitz10 wrote: “We see, therefore, that War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means…for the political view is the object, War is the means, and the means must always include the object in our conception.”11
Instead, U.S. and NATO military leaders repeat the mistakes made by France in Algeria (1954-1962) and the U.S. in South Vietnam (1965-1973). The belief exerting sufficient military force will, in itself, compel a political settlement. This only insures defeat. In Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Libya, the Western Allies won battles but lost the war. Losing the war is failing to achieve the political objective.
In U.S. negotiations with the North Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon, U.S. Army Colonel Harry G. Summers Jr. “told a North Vietnamese colonel, ‘You know you never defeated us on the battlefield.’ He replied, ‘That may be so. But it is also irrelevant’… The North Vietnamese colonel was echoing an admonition made by Clausewitz one hundred and fifty years earlier: ‘If we do not learn to regard a war, and the separate campaigns of which it is composed, as a chain of linked engagements each leading to the next… we are liable to regard them as windfall profits. In so doing, and in ignoring the fact that they are links in a continuous chain of events, we also ignore the possibility that [a successful battle] may later lead to definite disadvantages.’”12
From military defeat in Afghanistan, the U.S. and NATO apparently “had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”13 The war in Ukraine is a case in point.
Ignoring Clausewitz, decoupling the military from the political, promoting “the military view as the object,” the U.S. and NATO failed to actively support the February 12, 2015, political settlement between Ukraine and Russia, known as the Minsk II Accords.14 Instead, the U.S. and NATO are using the war in Ukraine as a proxy war, arming Ukrainians but avoiding direct military confrontation, to achieve the military objective of degrading Russia’s military, economic, and strategic assets. But it is a proxy war that is operating as a preventive war.
“Preventive wars are not in response to a specific crisis or direct threat to security, but rather to a perception of a potential change in the future balance of power between a state and its likely adversaries.”15
In its January 27, 2021, report, the Congressional Research Service stated “Although U.S. policymakers do not often state explicitly in public the goal of preventing the emergence of regional hegemons in Eurasia [Russia], U.S. military operations in recent decades-both wartime operations and day-to-day operations-appear to have been carried out in no small part in support of this goal.”16
On January 2, 2022, journalist Ben Norton wrote “Balkanizing Russia, as NATO did to former Yugoslavia, is a fantasy shared by many hawks in the US national security state….Former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote that, ‘When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, Dick [Cheney, then U.S. Defense Secretary] wanted to see the dismantlement not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat.’”17
Map 118 Europe in 1990
Europe in 2022
The ultimate goal is Western control of Russia’s natural resources. Justification being the welfare of the Russian people. In his 1997 article in Foreign Affairs, “A Geostrategy for Eurasia”, the influential former U.S. Presidential Advisor, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski19 explained: “Given (Russia’s) size and diversity, a decentralized political system and free-market economics would be most likely to unleash the creative potential of the Russian people and Russia’s vast natural resources. A loosely confederated Russia – composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic – would also find it easier to cultivate closer economic relations with its neighbors.”20 Those “neighbors” would be the European Union and the U.S.
This can be advocated by Western academicians and pursued by Western politicians because the collapse of the Soviet Union left a Russia that is not a military or strategic threat to the U.S. or NATO. (Map 1)
“As of 2022, NATO had approximately 3.37 million active military personnel compared with 1.35 million active military personnel in the Russian military. The collective military capabilities of the 30 countries that make up NATO outnumber Russia in terms of aircraft, at 20,723 to 4,173, and in naval power, with 2,049 military ships, to 605. Russia’s ground combat vehicle capacity is more competitive, however, with 12,420 units, to 14,682. The combined nuclear arsenal of the United States, United Kingdom, and France amounted to 6,065 nuclear warheads, compared with Russia’s 6,255.”21 In addition, NATO possesses “an effective combination of cutting-edge weapons systems and platforms”22, commanding one of the world’s largest, full spectrum, multi-domain, forces covering land, sea, air, space, and cyber-space “based on an appropriate mix of nuclear, conventional and ballistic missile defence capabilities.”23
Wars have unexpected consequences. The war in Ukraine has had nine adverse geopolitical consequences for the U.S. and NATO; consequences whose impacts will extend beyond 2023.
First, the involvement of Washington and Brussels in the war in Ukraine is occurring while the military forces of the U.S. (Map 2) and NATO (Map 3) are already overstretched, which is endangering their combat readiness.
Second, the war in Ukraine has raised an unexpected security risk for U.S. forces stationed in Europe.
As Alexander S. Gard-Murray of Climate Solutions Lab and Lt Col Theodore J. Shanks of Watson Institute of International Affairs, both affiliated with Brown University, U.S. military bases in Europe are dependent on Russian energy imports – oil, gas, and coal. “American taxpayers could inadvertently be helping to fund the Russian war effort to the tune of a million dollars a week…before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. bases in Europe relied on Russian fossil fuels to meet 30% of their annual energy needs. This means that American forces in Europe have been buying the energy equivalent of nearly half a million barrels of oil from Russia every year. In light of Russia’s pending cutoffs of gas to European countries, the Department of Defense’s dependence on fossil fuels represents a serious threat to American and Western European security.24 (Map 4)
Third, the war in Ukraine is a proxy war in which Washington and Brussels have been transferring weapons to Ukraine to fight Russia. However, this has resulted in the U.S. and NATO depleting their military stockpiles thereby putting their national securities at risk.
The Wall Street Journal reported on August 29, 2022, “The war in Ukraine has depleted American stocks of some types of ammunition and the Pentagon has been slow to replenish its arsenal, sparking concerns among U.S. officials that American military readiness could be jeopardized by the shortage.”28
This was corroborated by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, CSIS on September 26, 2022. “The United States has given Ukraine dozens of different munitions and weapon systems. In most instances, the amounts given to Ukraine are relatively small compared to U.S. inventories and production capabilities. However, some U.S. inventories are reaching the minimum levels needed for war plans and training…For munitions, the United States needs to maintain stockpiles to support war plans. For some munitions, the driving war plan would be a conflict with China over Taiwan or in the South China Sea; for others, particularly ground systems, the driving war plan would be North Korea or Europe…A CSIS study examined the ability of the defense industrial base to replace inventories in an emergency and found that the process would take many years for most items.”29
NATO, too, has dangerously depleted its military stockpiles by shipping weapons to Ukraine. On September 28, 2022, CNBC quoted Josep Borrell, EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy that “The military stocks of most [European NATO] member states have been, I wouldn’t say exhausted, but depleted in a high proportion, because we have been providing a lot of capacity to the Ukrainians”.30 The report continued quoting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg who told The New York Times on September 22, 2022, “’We are now working with industry to increase production of weapons and ammunition’…adding that countries needed to encourage arms makers to expand their capacity longer term by putting in more weapons orders. But ramping up defense production is no quick or easy feat.”31
Fourth, despite possessing advanced weaponry and military technology, the arms transfers to Ukraine along with a decade long reduction by many NATO members in defense spending and the size of their military forces compared to Cold War levels has left NATO ill-prepared to fight a conventional war in Europe.
As Statista reported, May 31, 2022, “NATO countries have significantly reduced their troops in recent decades, as shown in this infographic based on NATO data. Germany and Italy have reduced their troops the most, by 65 percent compared to 1990. But other countries with large troop contingents have also reduced them significantly, including France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey and the United States.”32 (Table 1)
“But even before war on the European continent became a reality again in 2022, tensions had been running high about the state of NATO’s military infrastructure as most European nations had adopted a lackluster approach to defense spending in peace times. U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018 brought the issue to the forefront once more as he criticized a number of NATO member states, especially Germany, for not meeting the 2-percent-of-GDP spending threshold agreed upon at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales. Since then, a number of NATO members have upped their defense spending. According to data recently released by the organization, the number of NATO members which have reached or exceeded this level of spending was still only nine out of the 29 NATO members with armed forces.”34
As Dakota L. Wood, Senior Research Fellow, Defense Programs, The Heritage Foundation, observed in 2021, “U.S. allies have allowed their militaries to wither to the point that they have little ability to help in a major crisis. For example, Britain recently announced that it will reorganize its military to favor cyber, space, and special operations, leaving it with the smallest army since 1714 and a navy that possesses a mere seventeen warships. Near the end of the Cold War, West Germany fielded five thousand main battle tanks to check the threat from the East. Today, it has fewer than three hundred. Neither Germany nor France has the ability to sustain air operations without the support of U.S. aerial refueling or munitions inventories.”35
Fifth, is a growing negative reaction in Europe to both the security risks being incurred by weapons transfers to Ukraine and the Biden Administration’s trade policies and oil prices that are harming European economies. A fissure is developing between the EU and the U.S. threatening continuation of the “Transatlantic Alliance” as it currently exists.
By November 24, 2022, it became apparent the Russian-Ukrainian War was fracturing NATO. “Top European officials are furious with Joe Biden’s administration and now accuse the Americans of making a fortune from the war, while EU countries suffer. “The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the U.S. because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons,” one senior official told Politico. The explosive comments – backed in public and private by officials, diplomats and ministers elsewhere – follow mounting anger in Europe over American subsidies that threaten to wreck European industry… ‘We are really at a historic juncture,’ the senior EU official said, arguing that the double hit of trade disruption from U.S. subsidies and high energy prices risks turning public opinion against both the war effort and the transatlantic alliance. ‘America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries.’”36
Sixth, as a result of depleting its military stockpiles the U.S. has jeopardized it ability to confront China.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal on October 16, 2022, Seth G. Jones, director of the International Security Program, and director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) stated, “The war in Ukraine has exposed deficiencies in America’s defense industrial base that could jeopardize the ability to fight a war with China. The capabilities for fighting are also essential for deterring China. Washington’s assistance to Ukraine has depleted U.S. stocks of some weapons systems and munitions, such as Stinger surface-to-air missile systems, M777 howitzers, 155mm ammunition, and Javelin antitank missile systems.”37
Seventh, the U.S. transfer of weapons to Ukraine has endangered the ability of Taiwan to defend itself against a potential invasion by China.
On November 27, 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported “The U.S. has pumped billions of dollars of weapons into Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February, taxing the capacity of the government and defense industry to keep up with a sudden demand to arm Kyiv in a conflict that isn’t expected to end soon. The flow of weapons to Ukraine is now running up against the longer-term demands of a U.S. strategy to arm Taiwan to help it defend itself against a possible invasion by China, according to congressional and government officials familiar with the matter…the conflict in Ukraine is exacerbating a nearly $19 billion backlog of weapons bound for Taiwan, further delaying efforts to arm the island as tensions with China escalate”.38
Eighth, due to its current size and overseas deployment, the U.S. military cannot simultaneously fight two wars — one in Europe, the other in the Pacific.
The U.S. military “is too small and too old to fight on numerous fronts. Force drawdowns since the end of the Cold War and 20 years of fighting in the Middle East have left the U.S. military a shell of its former self.”39 This was confirmed in the latest annual report on U.S. military preparedness, the “2023 Index of U.S. Military Strength” by The Heritage Foundation40. (Table 2)
Table 241“While the quality of the U.S. military force is currently unrivaled, its size is at a historic low, and this limits
“While the quality of the U.S. military force is currently unrivaled, its size is at a historic low, and this limits its ability to respond to the multiple
threats the country faces globally. It simply does not have enough forces. This is a concern, particularly when the U.S. needs to surge to a conflict without jeopardizing the posture of U.S. forces in another important region. For example, if the United States were to engage Russia in a direct confrontation, it will be forced to deploy military equipment and personnel from all over the world to the Eastern European front. By doing so, the U.S. would be forced to draw forces from other regions of the world, such as the West Pacific, where our presence is critical in deterring China.”
42 (Map 5)
But the position of the U.S. in the western Pacific (Map 6) is being undermined by the growth of China’s military strength.
The Western Pacific, part of the greater Indo-Pacific Theater, is of strategic importance because “the Indo-Pacific region is responsible for 44 percent of the world’s trade, making its economic significance unparalleled”45. But its vastness makes for a logistics nightmare. (Map 7).
This gives China a tremendous strategic advantage over the U.S. in disputes over Taiwan and the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, and the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.46
Comprising “roughly 52 percent of the Earth’s surface, or 100 million square miles, and it is mostly water. For reference, the continental United States is slightly more than 3 million square miles, and Europe covers approximately 21 million square miles…Depending on the mode of transportation, it can take the better part of a day to multiple weeks to reach many locations within the region, making pre-positioning, requirement anticipation, communication, and domain awareness critical to any civil or military operation.”47
Ninth, the winner is China. As the U.S. and NATO seek to bleed Russia of men, money and materials, and degrade Moscow’s military, economic, and strategic assets through a proxy war in Ukraine, China similarly seeks to have the proxy war in Ukraine bleed the U.S. and NATO of weapons and money, and degrade their military, economic, and strategic assets.
China’s strategic plan, which the proxy war in Ukraine is facilitating, is part of the “long game” to displace the U.S. first regionally, in two forward movements out into the Western Pacific, the first and second island chains, (Map 8) then globally to become the paramount power.49
China, Taiwan, and the South China Sea
Over the past two decades, China has been significantly improving its defensive and offensive capabilities in the Western Pacific relative to those of the U.S. As James Di Pane, Policy Analyst at the Center for National Defense, noted “China’s breakthroughs in its hard-power capabilities are likely to lead to a significant shift in the global balance of military power.”52 (Table 3)
This is what China seeks. BBC News reported, July 28, 2022, President Xi Jinping declared Beijing’s objective is for China to “become a ‘world-class’ military power, capable of ‘fighting and winning wars’ by 2049”.53 This goal may, however, be realized well before 2049. (Map 9)
Growth of China’s Military Capabilities Relative to the U.S. – 1999, 2021, and 2025
First Island Chain
Second Island Chain
On March 21, 2021, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration, and requirements, told Yahoo News “More than a decade ago, our war games indicated that the Chinese were doing a good job of investing in military capabilities that would make our preferred model of expeditionary warfare, where we push forces forward and operate out of relatively safe bases and sanctuaries, increasingly difficult.”54
Not surprisingly, the outcome of war games involving an American response to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is a U.S. defeat. “What many Americans don’t realize is that years of classified Pentagon war games strongly suggest that the U.S. military would lose that war…Whenever we war-gamed a Taiwan scenario over the years, our Blue Team routinely got its ass handed to it, because in that scenario time is a precious commodity and it plays to China’s strength in terms of proximity and capabilities,” said David Ochmanek, a senior RAND Corporation analyst and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for force development… At that point the trend in our war games was not just that we were losing, but we were losing faster [Air Force Lt. Gen] Hinote, said”. 55
This confirms what Dominic Tierney noted in his 2015 article in The Atlantic, “Why Has America Stopped Winning Wars”: “The United States has more power; its foes have more willpower…From 1846 to 1945, the United States had a minuscule peacetime army but won almost every major campaign. After World War II, Washington constructed the most expensive military machine that ever existed and endured seven decades of martial frustration… a new dark age of U.S. warfare emerged. Since 1945, Americans have experienced little except military frustration, stalemate, and loss.”56
China is the long-term threat to the strategic and economic interests of the U.S. and NATO. The proxy war in Ukraine only increases this risk. The war weakens the U.S. and NATO militarily by depleting weapons stockpiles, economically by diverting financial assets, and strategically by forcing military overreach. The war in Ukraine needs a negotiated settlement based on the 2015 Minsk II Accords. That agreement, the result of diplomatic negotiations among Russia, Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), France and Germany, “…consisted of a package of measures, including a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line, release of prisoners of war, constitutional reform in the Ukraine granting self-government to certain areas of Donbas and restoring control of the state border to the Ukrainian government.”57 Minsk II was never implemented because the U.S., the EU and NATO never fully supported it.
Responsible Statecraft reported on April 9, 2022, “in the words of Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent, ‘…neither the U.S. nor the EU put serious pressure on Kyiv to fulfil its part of the agreement… Instead, now the U.S. is clearly not interested in peace negotiations – it is waiting for a Russian defeat, however many Ukrainian lives are lost in the process.’ Though the U.S. officially endorsed Minsk, Anatol Lieven, senior research fellow on Russia and Europe at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, told this writer, ‘they did nothing to push Ukraine into actually implementing it.’”58
On the failure to implement Minsk II, Professor John Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago observed, “The Americans will side with the Ukrainian right …Because the Americans, and the Ukrainian right, both do not want Zelensky cutting a deal with the Russians that makes it look like the Russians won.”59
On April 18, 2022, Aaron Mate, Canadian writer and journalist, formerly producer of Democracy Now!, wrote, “The far-right threats to Zelensky undoubtedly thwarted a peace agreement [implementation of the 2015 Minsk II agreement] that could have prevented the Russian invasion. Just two weeks before Russian troops entered Ukraine, the New York Times noted that Zelensky ‘would be taking extreme political risks even to entertain a peace deal’ with Russia, as his government ‘could be rocked and possibly overthrown’ by far-right groups if he ‘agrees to a peace deal that in their minds gives too much to Moscow’’…Yuri Hudymenko, leader of the far-right Democratic Ax, even threatened Zelensky with an outright coup: ‘If anybody from the Ukrainian government tries to sign such a document, a million people will take to the streets and that government will cease being the government.’”60
With outbreak of war, Chas Freeman, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs noted “Everything we [U.S] are doing, rather than accelerate an end to the fighting and some compromise, seems to be aimed at prolonging the fighting.”61
As The Washington Post reported April 5, 2022, “For some in NATO, it’s better for the Ukrainians to keep fighting, and dying, than to achieve a peace that comes too early or at too high a cost to Kyiv and the rest of Europe …there are limits to how many compromises some in NATO will support to win the peace.”62
Any new accord (Minsk III?) would have, as the minimum, these five points:
the U.S., NATO, and Kyiv accept Ukraine will not become a member of NATO.
neither the U.S., nor NATO will have any military presence in Ukraine.
Ukraine is “neutral.” The precedent is post World War II Austria. “After Austrian promises of perpetual neutrality, Austria was accorded full independence on 15 May 1955 and the last [Allied] occupation troops left on 25 October that year.”63
Ukraine will become a federal republic composed of two parts, with the Russian regions of the country exercising regional autonomy.
recognition Crimea is part of Russia.
Without such a negotiated settlement, Ukrainians and Russians will continue to die, the U.S. and NATO will continue to be bled of arms and money, and China will be one step closer to winning the “long game” for world economic, political, and military primacy.
1 “definition of go down the rabbit hole,” Collins Dictionary, 04/08/2019, https://www.collinsdictionary. com/submission/21461/go+down+the+rabbit+hole
2 “definition of go down the rabbit hole,” The Free Dictionary by Farlex, 2022 https://idioms.thefreedictionary .com/go+down+the+rabbit+hole#:~:text=go%20down%20the%20rabbit%20hole%20To%20enter%20into,to%20Alice%27s%20Adventures%20in%20Wonderland%20by%20Lewis%20Carroll.%29
3 “War in Afghanistan,” Wikipedia, November 17, 2022, War in Afghanistan (2001-2021) – Wikipedia
4 “Why the Afghan Government Collapsed?,” Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), November 2022, SIGAR 23-05-IP Why the Afghan Government Collapsed
5 Eric Westervelt, “NATO’s Intervention In Libya: A New Model?,” Morning Edition, NPR, September 12, 2011, https://www.npr.org/2011/09/12/140292920/natos-intervention-in-libya-a-new-model
7 “Libya: Examination of intervention and collapse and the UK’s future policy options,” Third Report of Session 2016-17, Report, together with formal minutes relating to the report Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 6 September 2016, House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmfaff/119/119.pdf
8 “Fact check: Meme claiming to show open slave markets is misleading,” Reuters, July 24, 2020 Fact check: Meme claiming to show open slave markets is misleading | Reuters
9 “Carl von Clausewitz,” Wikipedia, November 15, 2022,
10 “Carl von Clausewitz,” Wikipedia, October 30, 2022, Carl von Clausewitz – Wikipedia
11 Carl von Clausewitz, On War (Volume 1), Carl von Clausewitz: On War. Book 1, Chapter 1
12 Harry G. Summers, Jr, “The Bitter Triumph Of Ia Drang,” American Heritage, February/March 1984 The Bitter Triumph Of Ia Drang | American Heritage
13 “House of Bourbon,” Wikipedia, November 22, 2022, House of Bourbon – Wikipedia
14 Minsk Agreement Two or Minsk II (Full Text Agreement) Minsk Agreement, Minsk Protocol, Minsk II | Ukraine News
15 “Preventive War” Encyclopedia.com, 2019, Preventive War | Encyclopedia.com
16 “Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense-Issues for Congress,” Congressional Research Service, January 27, 2021, Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense-Issues for Congress
17 Ben Norton, Ex VP Dick Cheney confirmed US goal is to break up Russia, not just USSR, Multipolarista, January 2, 2022 Ex VP Dick Cheney confirmed US goal is to break up Russia, not just USSR – Multipolarista
18 Ted Kemp, “Two maps show NATO’s growth – and Russia’s isolation – since 1990”, CNBC, May 19, 2022 Two maps show NATO’s growth and Russia’s isolation since 1990 (cnbc.com)
19 “Zbigniew Brzezinski,” Wikipedia, November 28, 2022, Zbigniew Brzezinski – Wikipedia
20 Zbigniew Brzezinski, “A Geostrategy for Eurasia,” Foreign Affairs, September/October 1997, A Geostrategy for Eurasia | Foreign Affairs
21 “Comparison of military capabilities of NATO and Russia,” Statista, March 3. 2022 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1293174/nato-russia-military-comparison/
22 “NATO’s capabilities,” NATO, February 21, 2002, https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_49137.htm
24 Alexander S. Gard-Murray and Lt Col Theodore J. Shanks, “Mapping U.S. Military Dependence on Russian Fossil Fuels,” Climate Solutions Lab, Watson Institute International & Public Affairs, Brown University, April 28, 2022, Mapping U.S. Military Dependence on Russian Fossil Fuels | Climate Solutions Lab (brown.edu)
25 David Vine, Patterson Deppen and Leah Bolge “Drawdown: Improving U.S. and Global Security Through Military Base Closures Abroad”, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, September 20, 2021, Drawdown: Improving U.S. and Global Security Through Military Base Closures Abroad – Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
26 “New NATO strategy must square the circle between old and new threats,” DW, 15/05/2015, NATO reloaded (dw.com)
28 Gordon Lubold, Nancy A. Youssef and Ben Kesling, “Ukraine War Is Depleting U.S. Ammunition Stockpiles, Sparking Pentagon Concern”, The Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2022, Ukraine War Is Depleting U.S. Ammunition Stockpiles, Sparking Pentagon Concern – WSJ
29 Mark F. Cancian, “Is the United States Running out of Weapons to Send to Ukraine?,” Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), September 26, 2022 Is the United States Running out of Weapons to Send to Ukraine? | Center for Strategic and International Studies (csis.org)
30 Natasha Turak, “The U.S. and Europe are running out of weapons to send to Ukraine,” CNBC, September 28, 2022, The U.S. and Europe are running out of weapons to send to Ukraine (cnbc.com)
32 Martin Armstrong, “NATO Countries Have Heavily Cut Troop Levels,” Statista, May 31, 2022, Chart: NATO Countries Have Heavily Cut Troop Levels | Statista
34 Katharina Buchholz, “Where NATO Defense Expenditure Stands in 2022”, Statista, July 21, 2022, https://www.statista.com/chart/14636/defense-expenditures-of-nato-countries/\
35 Dakota L. Wood, “America and Her Allies are Unprepared for the Next Great War,” The Heritage Foundation, May 10, 2021, America and Its Allies Are Unprepared for the Next Great War | The Heritage Foundation
36 Barbara Moens, Jakob Hanke Vela, and Jacopo Barigazzi, “Europe accuses US of profiting from war,” Politico, November 24, 2022, Europe accuses US of profiting from war – Politico
37 Seth G. Jones, “The U.S. Isn’t Ready to Face China on the Battlefield,” The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2022, The U.S. Isn’t Ready to Face China on the Battlefield – WSJ
38 Gordon Lubold, Doug Cameron, and Nancy A. Youssef, “U.S. Effort to Arm Taiwan Faces New Challenge With Ukraine Conflict,” The Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2022, U.S. Effort to Arm Taiwan Faces New Challenge With Ukraine Conflict – WSJ
39 James Di Pane, “U.S. Military Forces Cannot Fight on 2 Fronts”, The Heritage Foundation, May 29, 2022, U.S. Military Forces Cannot Fight on 2 Fronts | The Heritage Foundation
40 “2023 Index of U.S. Military Strength,” The Heritage Foundation, 2022 2023 Index of U.S. Military Strength | The Heritage Foundation
42 James Di Pane, “U.S. Military Forces Cannot Fight on 2 Fronts”, The Heritage Foundation, May 29, 2022, U.S. Military Forces Cannot Fight on 2 Fronts | The Heritage Foundation
43 Benjamin Denison, “Bases, Logistics, and the Problem of Temptation in the Middle East,” Defense Priorities, May 12, 2022, Bases, logistics, and the problem of temptation in the Middle East – Defense Priorities
44 Saddam Hussain Samo, “Indo-Pacific Domination Of The US And China’s Response,” The Authentic Post, June 6, 2020. Indo-Pacific Domination Of The US And China’s Response | The Authentic Post
45 General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., “Demystifying the Indo-Pacific Theater,” Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs, Air University Press, March 13, 2020 https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/JIPA/Display/Article/2392217 /demystifying-the-indo-pacific-theater/
46 “Chinese irredentism,” Wikipedia, August 21, 2022, Chinese irredentism – Wikipedia
48 Graham Allison, “The U.S.-China Strategic Competition: Clues from History,” Aspen Institute, The Belfer Center for Science and International affairs, Harvard University, February 2020, The U.S.-China Strategic Competition: Clues from History | Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
49 Rush Doshi, “The long game: China’s grand strategy to displace American Order”, Brookings, August 2, 2021, The long game: China’s grand strategy to displace American order (brookings.edu)
50 Graham Allison, “The U.S.-China Strategic Competition: Clues from History,” Aspen Institute, The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, February 2020, The U.S.-China Strategic Competition: Clues from History | Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
51 Eric Heginbotham, Michael Nixon, Forrest E. Morgan, Jacob L. Heim, Jeff Hagen, Sheng Tao Li, Jeffrey Engstrom, Martin C. Libicki, Paul DeLuca, David A. Shlapak, et al. “The U.S.-China Military Scorecard: Forces, Geography, and the Evolving Balance of Power, 1996-2017,” RAND Corporation, 2015, The U.S.-China Military Scorecard: Forces, Geography, and the Evolving Balance of Power, 1996-2017 | RAND
52 James Di Pane, “U.S. Military cannot fight on 2 Fronts,” The Heritage Foundation, May 29, 2022, U.S. Military Forces Cannot Fight on 2 Fronts | The Heritage Foundation
53 David Brown, “Why China could win the new global arms race,” BBC News, July 28, 2022 Why China could win the new global arms race – BBC News
54 Jack Kitfield, “We’re going to lose fast: U.S. Air Force held a war game that started with a Chinese biological attack,” Yahoo News, March 11, 2021, ‘We’re going to lose fast’: U.S. Air Force held a war game that started with a Chinese biological attack (yahoo.com)
55 Jack Kitfield, “We’re going to lose fast: U.S. Air Force held a war game that started with a Chinese biological attack,” Yahoo News, March 11, 2021, ‘We’re going to lose fast’: U.S. Air Force held a war game that started with a Chinese biological attack (yahoo.com)
56 Dominic Tierney, “Why Has America Stopped Winning Wars?,” The Atlantic, June 15, 2015, Did America Win or Lose the Iraq War? – The Atlantic
57 “Minsk agreements,” Wikipedia, updated July 4, 2022, Minsk agreements – Wikipedia
58 Ted Snider, “Is the US hindering much-needed diplomatic efforts?,” Responsible Statecraft, April 9, 2022 Is the US hindering much-needed diplomatic efforts? – Responsible Statecraft
59 Aaron Mate, “Siding with Ukraine’s far-right, US sabotaged Zelensky’s historic mandate for peace” The Burning Platform, April 22, 2022 Siding with Ukraine’s far-right, US sabotaged Zelensky’s historic mandate for peace – The Burning Platform
62 Michael Birnbaum and Missy Ryan, “NATO says Ukraine to decide on peace deal with Russia – within limits,” The Washington Post, April 5, 2022, As NATO meets, U.S., Europe, say Ukraine must decide its own future with Russia – The Washington Post
63 “Allied-occupied Austria”, Wikipedia, February 7, 2022, Allied-occupied Austria – Wikipedia
64 This modus operandi is not new in Moscow. Already in 1939, on Stalin’s orders, the Russian army invaded Finland without a declaration of war.
65 “Extension du problème de la lutte”, Michel Goya, La voie de l’Epée, 11 October 2022.
66 For example, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, made it clear to the German government that there was no obstacle to sending the Patriot anti-missile system to Ukraine. “[…] Germany should solve this issue on its own and does not need consultations with NATO member countries.” https://mil.in.ua/ en/news/germany-must-decide-whether-to-transfer-the-patriot-air-defense-system-to-ukraine-on-its-own-stoltenberg/ and the United States have stated that they support Germany’s delivery of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
67 The US recently decommissioned hundreds of M198 howitzers and replaced them with M777s, while France decommissioned 250 AMX-30 AuF1s and replaced them with Caesars.
68 Approximately 1,500 soldiers
69 Approximately 1,700 soldiers
70 A Wagner Group base in the Central African Republic located in Bonsagoa was bombed on 28 November 2022 by an unidentified aircraft.
71 Emmanuel Macron, interview, TF1, 3 December 2022
72 “War in Ukraine: have the Westerners become co-belligerent?” Debate with Bruno Tertrais and Jean-Pierre Maulny, La Croix, 30 August 2022 https://www.la-croix.com/Debats/Guerre-Ukraine-
73 Smaller countries such as Belgium in particular have been and remain very timid and parsimonious.
74 Laure Mandeville, “Emmanuel Macron boasting of having had 100 phone calls with Putin”, Live Figaro, 5 December 2022
75 The combined grain exports of Ukraine and Russia account for almost 30% of the total.
76 Imports of Russian gas and oil would still be possible, provided that they do not lead to dependency.
77 More than 80% of exports came from France and Germany.
78 Emmanuel Macron: “This means that one of the essential points we must address – as President Putin has always said – is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia”, Reuters, 4 December 2022
Master of Journalism and Social Communication, University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszow, Poland, independent journalist, Poland, email@example.com
79 Wysocki, A. (2022). Widmo wojny tuż obok turystycznego raju Polaków. Czy to bezpiecznie jechać do Chorwacji? Na temat. Online: https://natemat.pl/428680,mozliwa-wojna-serbia-kosowo-a-bezpieczenstwo-w-chorwacji 1-08-22
80 MBA. (2022). Rośnie napięcie w Kosowie. W akcji polscy żołnierze i policjanci. Onet. Online: https:// wiadomosci.onet.pl/swiat/rosnie-napiecie-w-kosowie-w-akcji-polscy-zolnierze-i-policjanci/tcnh58p
81 MBA. (2022). Strzały i eksplozje na granicy Serbii i Kosowa. Wniosek Belgradu o wprowadzenie wojsk. Onet. Online: https://wiadomosci.onet.pl/swiat/serbia-chce-wkroczyc-do-kosowa-zwrocila-sie-do-nato/tf5jjgx
82 Serbia utrzymuje wojsko w gotowości. Vucić: przede mną najtrudniejsza noc w moim życiu. (2022). Onet. Online: https://wiadomosci.onet.pl/swiat/serbia-utrzymuje-wojsko-w-gotowosci-prezydent-vucic-to-najtrudniejsza-noc/pq36j2k Serbia utrzymuje wojsko w gotowości. Vucić: przede mną najtrudniejsza noc w moim życiu
83 Popović, V.(2022). Nakon objave Vagnera da je registrovao udruženje u Srbiji, ruski antiratni aktivisti negiraju, eksperti upozoravaju. VOA. Online: https://www.glasamerike.net/a/balkan-srbija-rat-u-ukrajini-ukrajina-rusija-grupa-vagner-delovanje-analiticari-nikitin-varga-radic/6868391.html?fbclid=IwAR3Z8 5RHNDxVQv6vCE7knZhraDvY3LLv-R0ZpEhNByXtiG-ioU-32VP4iGo
84 Boris Varga – political scientist and journalist. Doctor, i.e. candidate of political sciences, PhD dissertation defended in Belgrade, Serbia
85 Arian Besnik Kadriu – National Security PhD Professor at University for Business and Technology Pristina, Kosovo