The United States of America is at war with Russia. There is not much point in using terms such as “proxy war” to describe the situation. If a belligerent in a war is acting as a proxy for another power and that power is not engaged directly in the war, the term can be useful. But when the power, for which the “proxy” engages in the war, is directly involved in the war itself, then it is a co-belligerent, a party to the war directly, not simply by proxy.
The issue is whether each state is pursuing its own interests and has its own independent means of doing so, or whether the interests and forces of the allied powers are subordinate to the interests and forces of a leader. In such a case, the enemy being attacked can regard all its opponents as a single entity.
In this regard, Clausewitz said that, “if you can vanquish all your enemies by defeating one of them, that defeat must be the main objective of the war. In this one enemy, we strike at the centre of gravity of the entire conflict.”
If we analyse the war in the Ukraine theatre of operations in these terms, it becomes clear that the Ukrainian military forces are in fact forces of the United States of America. They have been created, armed, trained, supplied, financed, and are directed and commanded by the Americans, for American interests. The government for whom they nominally fight is a puppet state, installed in power by the United States and its NATO allies in a coup d’etat in 2014. It has no independent interests outside of American ones, and no control over the war or the forces nominally under its command.
The United States of America is the leader of a hostile military alliance, the purpose of which, since its inception, has been to isolate, threaten, attack and destroy Russia, has conspired with its alliance for years to achieve this end, has spent vast resources to prepare the attack, and has, with malice and determination, sabotaged any proposals for peace. It insists on war. It is the centre of gravity of the entire conflict.
The American government claims that it is not engaged even in a proxy war with Russia, that they are merely assisting an independent nation suffering aggression from another, that this does not put them at war with Russia, a war which, they claim, they are trying to avoid despite their actions and daily propaganda.
But, like the British, and the rest, the truth is the United States of America is a party to the war directly, according to all accepted criteria under international law. It supplies money to conduct the war, tanks, armoured vehicles, aircraft, arms, ammunition, military provisions and other war materials, engages its own military forces-military advisors and combatants, provides military intelligence, obtained on a real-time basis from its spy networks, satellite observations and electronic data collection, engages in an intense propaganda war against Russia, has attempted, through “sanctions,” to impose a blockade on Russia and its economy and people, blew up the Nord Stream gas pipeline, sends, on a regular basis, senior government and military officials, including the American President, Congressional bigwigs and the leaders of other members of the military alliance, to meet with and direct the actions of their lieutenant Zelensky, and conducts constant military exercises further threatening attacks against Russia. The NATO Air Defender military exercises begin in Europe on June 12, the day I write this, involving hundreds of NATO aircraft.
Make no mistake. The United States of America is at war with Russia. No amount of rhetoric can hide that fact and what the consequences for the United States will be. To quote Clausewitz again,
“Danger is part of the friction of war. Without an accurate conception of danger, we cannot understand war.”
The problem is that the neither the Americans nor the other members of its unholy alliance, seem to realise the danger they are in, neither their leaders nor their citizens. Like the British, they suffer from the delusion that they are insulated from the consequences of their war, that they are invulnerable, that Russia will not dare to respond to the attacks upon its territory and people by attacking their territories. This shared delusion makes them ever more dangerous, since they think, they can keep escalating their actions in the war without any limits. They cannot-not without consequences.
On June 8th Tass reported, following the statement by the former head of NATO, Fogh Rasmussen, that NATO countries may send their forces into the conflict directly, that Dmitry Medvedev stated,
“Fogh Rasmussen wasn’t a very smart man before. And now he has sunk into a doctrinaire’s dementia. In an interview with The Guardian, he stated that even if Banderavite Ukraine doesn’t receive an invitation to join NATO in Vilnius, the countries of the alliance will be able to send their troops there. Sort of on their own.”
“Well, have the people of these countries been asked? Who among them wants war with Russia? Do they really want hypersonic strikes on Europe? And what does Uncle Sam think about this? It would affect him too, wouldn’t it?”
Again, on June 1, TASS reported that Dmitry Medvedev stated, in connection with the attack on Russians in the Belgorod region by NATO-Ukrainian forces,
“The aim was simple – to cause damage, to harm to the civilian population somehow, And the fact that our enemy is already behaving as a terrorist characterizes in a very specific way both the Ukrainian regime and those who are behind it – first of all the Americans and the Europeans, who, in fact, have got on the warpath with us. Terrorist acts must entail the harshest retaliation possible.”
Medvedev’s views have been stated by other members of the government, by members of the Duma and by President Putin when he referred to Russian strikes on command and decision centres wherever they may be.
The Americans can whistle in the dark, lie to their people, try to fool the world, but what matters is what the Russian government thinks and knows, and it thinks, because it knows, that the United States of America is at war with Russia and seeks Russia’s complete defeat and subjugation. The campaign in Ukraine is just a phase of this war, is the current geographical space for this war, so for the United States and its allies to assume that they can carry out attacks on Russia and not suffer being dealt with in kind or worse, that war cannot be waged on their territories, is a serious mistake.
Indeed, on May 31, Dmitry Medvedev stated with respect to Britain,
“London is, in fact, waging an undeclared war on Moscow, which means that any British official can be viewed as a legitimate military target.
“Today, Great Britain is acting as an ally of Ukraine, by providing it with equipment and personnel as military assistance, that is de facto waging an undeclared war against Russia. Therefore, any of its officials, both military and civilian ones, who are making a contribution to the war effort, can be viewed as a legitimate military target,”
Medvedev was commenting on a remark by British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly who had justified the drone attacks on Moscow, saying that Ukraine had the right to attack targets on Russian territory for self-defense.
“Foolish officials in the UK, our eternal enemy, should remember that under universally recognized international law governing the conduct of war in modern conditions, including the Hague and Geneva Conventions with their additional protocols, their situation can also be qualified as being at war.”
The same analysis applies in spades to the United States of America.
An interesting comment in this regard was made by the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on June 3rd when, according to Tass, he stated in an interview on the Rossiya-1 TV channel, that,
“Ukraine has simply become a tool of the West’s ‘hybrid war’ against Russia, and therefore it is futile to deal with it in resolving the conflict. Now, Ukraine is actually a tool of conflict. The conflict has indeed become broader, as the collective West is waging a hybrid war against our country. It is futile to deal with this tool in order to resolve the conflict, and this must be understood too.”
All the rhetoric from NATO about whether or not Ukraine can become a member of NATO is just a smokescreen to hide from their people the fact that Ukraine is already de facto part of NATO. Whether or not the formalities of signing pieces of paper, of getting the approval of NATO states is followed through, is irrelevant.
Remember that on March 26, 2022, in Warsaw, President Biden stated,
“We have a sacred obligation under Article 5 to defend each and every inch of NATO territory with the full force of our collective power.”
He was referring not only to Poland but to Ukraine as well. What Russia feared is now the reality. Ukraine is de facto a NATO state. And all the rhetoric from the West and commentators about whether or not NATO will invoke Article 5 is another smokescreen designed to mask what is really happening, for NATO has already activated Article 5 of the NATO Treaty.
The talk about invoking it in the future is an attempt to hide NATO’s weakness, its defeats on the military, economic and political fronts, even as they throw one weapon system after another at Russia, and inject NATO forces into the fighting only to have their equipment and forces destroyed.
They have nothing left to throw at Russia that can defeat it. So, they pretend NATO is not yet really engaged. But these facts make the USA even more dangerous as it becomes clear that the combined West cannot defeat Russia, a nuclear power, using conventional means.
Remember also that the United States has a first strike nuclear arms policy, and they have already placed, in Romania and Poland, land-based versions of the Aegis Air Defence System, which can be used to launch nuclear-armed missiles at Russia. These systems have been tested. The one in Poland is reported to be fully operational as of June 30. The danger to Russia is immediate and existential. Those systems are one of the reasons Russia activated its military operations. Russia has further responded to this, and to the attacks on Russia, clearly planned and ordered by the US and UK, by placing tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus which are to be made operational after July 7, when the facilities to store and use them will be completed.
Those tactical nuclear weapons are designed for battlefield use. We hope it never comes to that, but Russia faces a direct threat from people bent on its destruction that think they are untouchable. So, Russia faces very difficult choices on what to do and how to prevent an escalation to all our nuclear war while ensuring its own security.
On May 23, during his visit to Laos, Deputy Head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev issued a warning on the day Russian security forces destroyed the Ukrainian raiding force that attacked civilians in the Belgorod region.
“The North Atlantic alliance does not take the threat of nuclear war seriously enough, thus making a big mistake. NATO is not serious about this scenario. Otherwise, NATO would not have supplied such dangerous weapons to the Ukrainian regime. Apparently, they think that a nuclear conflict, or a nuclear apocalypse, is never ever possible. NATO is wrong, and at some point, events may take a completely unpredictable turn. The responsibility will be placed squarely on the North Atlantic Alliance,”
Medvedev pointed out that no one knows whether the point of no return has been passed,
“No one knows this. This is the main danger. Because as soon as they provide something, they say: let’s supply this, too. Long-range missiles or planes. Everything will be all right. But nothing will be fine. We will be able to cope with it. But only more and more serious types of weapons will be used. That’s what the current trend is.”
So, we come back to Clausewitz. The American government and people cannot understand the war they are engaged in unless they understand the danger, they are in. They have to understand their country is the centre of gravity in this war, whose defeat will mean the defeat of all its minions in NATO. The Russian people know the danger they are in. The Americans, through NATO, through their NATO puppets in Ukraine, have attacked Russians in Russia. It is logical to expect that Russia will decide to bring home to the Americans what war means, what danger they are in, and they do not need to use nuclear weapons to achieve this.
Russia can strike using its conventional hypersonic weapons as well, against which the USA has no defence whatsoever, as has been established with the destruction of the Patriot Air defence complexes in Ukraine which could not stop Russian missiles. They have no other air defence systems operational in the United States territory or on its naval forces that can stop them either. Russia has not decided to take this step yet. But it can and the Americans can do nothing about it except bluster about using nuclear weapons against Russia, But Russia took that possibility into account when the special military operation began.
The American people have not directly experienced war in their own territory for a long time. They have no idea what it is. They have no idea of the danger they are in so long as their government continues its aggressive policies, not only against Russia, but China as well. The American people, misled and misinformed, have no conception of the dangers of this war anymore than the British people and the peoples of the other NATO countries do. The American people must be warned. The United States of America is at war, and no amount of bluffing and lying can protect them from the consequences their government is provoking. To repeat what I said in my warning to the people of Britain, the consequences are predictable and they will be catastrophic.
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.