The US withdrawal from Afghanistan dealt a serious blow to the credibility of America. The allies doubted that Washington was capable of fulfilling its obligations, while the adversaries, as some American experts believe, were “tempted to test the resolve of the United States or further undermine the reputation of the United States.” Biden is invited to respond decisively to any such test “with a combination of diplomatic, economic and even military action against the attackers.”
V American Conservative in editorial October 23 asks the question: Is the Biden administration leading the Americans to a new war? Fears on this score stem from the White House’s intentions to support every country in conflict with Russia and China. This includes the Black Sea region, in which, as the article notes, the United States “hints at confrontation and a possible war with Russia.”
By Patrick Buchanan, Founding Editor American conservative, wonders: “Why do we hold on to Kiev and Tbilisi”? In the American desire to draw these countries into NATO, he sees a desire to provide them with military guarantees under Article 5 of the alliance charter, so that Europe will fight along with America if another crisis with Russia occurs, such as in South Ossetia and Georgia in 2008.
It is surprising that the United States is declaring the Black Sea vital to its security. The Pentagon believes that whoever controls or dominates the Black Sea can extend power to the Balkans, Central Europe and the South Caucasus, as well as the Eastern Mediterranean and the northern Middle East. Three of the six Black Sea countries (Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey) are NATO members and are subject to Alliance security guarantees. Two more countries (Georgia and Ukraine) want to join NATO, but so far remain in the status of “partners”. Russia remains the main target of the Americans.
Washington is committed to maintaining a US and NATO military presence in Ukraine and Georgia. Heritage Foundation (Heritage fund) developed appropriate recommendations for the Biden administration. in the report “Time to act: the US and NATO cannot afford to ignore the Black Sea region,” published on the eve of Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin’s visits to Georgia, Ukraine and Romania, explicitly states what the defense secretary “should” do.
In Georgia, the Pentagon chief confirmedthat the US is committed to maintaining “close bilateral security cooperation and helping Georgia further develop its defenses and advance its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.” Not without mentioning “the threat that Russia poses to Georgia and the Black Sea region.”
But Austin did not dare to comply with Heritage’s recommendation to invite Georgia to provide troops to the US-led multinational battalion in Poland. As a reminder, multinational combat groups were deployed in 2017 at the initiative of the United States in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland as part of the Expanded Forward Presence program (Enhanced Direct Presence, EFP) to “contain” Russia. The participation of Georgian troops in these combat units would mean Georgia’s informal acquisition of full NATO membership. According to Heritage employees, in this way it is possible to test the reaction of Russia and, possibly, provoke Moscow to exacerbate tensions.
In Kiev Austin promisedthat the United States will provide Ukraine with additional military assistance in the amount of $ 60 million, as a result of which the total assistance this year could exceed $ 400 million. This is more than under President Trump. In addition, if under Trump, the agreements on the supply of weapons provided for restrictions on their use in war zones in eastern Ukraine, now we are talking about the supply of more weapons with fewer restrictions.
In Kiev, the two defense ministers discussed where to start the implementation of the agreements recorded in the document The Strategic Defense Framework for the United States and Ukraine, signed on August 31, 2021. When you read the document, you see that it is a copy of a model memorandum on US defense engagement with a foreign state. There is a lot of pathos, no specifics. Some promises of “closer partnership”. The Americans need Ukraine not as an allied military power, but as an official platform for further NATO advancement eastward to the borders of the Russian Federation.
As for Romania, which Lloyd Austin also visited, the US uses bases and training grounds in that country at several locations. Moreover, Romania has undertaken the costs of their maintenance. Bucharest is investing almost $ 3 billion in the modernization of the Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase in accordance with NATO standards. In addition, there is an object in Romania (Deveselu) Aegis Ashorewhich became operational in May 2016 and is an important component of NATO missile defense.
As the current Turkish leadership is distancing itself from the United States and Europe, Romania is increasingly becoming the main anti-Russian bridgehead on the Black Sea.
NATO is currently developing its next Strategic Concept. The Biden administration is working to include the Black Sea region in a number of regional security strategies with the aim of developing effective ways to work with the coastal Black Sea states against Russia. If Ukraine and Georgia are admitted to NATO, this will become a direct threat to Russia.
The Americans are pushing Europe too. In particular, the United States proposes to involve ships of NATO member countries in combat patrols in the Black Sea. In accordance with the Montreux Convention of 1936, the simultaneous stay in the Black Sea for ships of all non-Black Sea powers, taken together, cannot exceed 30 thousand tons. This will require the leadership of the North Atlantic bloc to establish a rotational order of presence in the Black Sea. The proposal is being worked out, the UK was the first to respond to it.
On June 23, 2021, the Black Sea Fleet, together with the Border Service of the FSB of the Russian Federation, stopped the violation of the state border by a British destroyer Defender in the area of Cape Fiolent, whose actions were regarded as a gross violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Kremlin did not doubt that the provocation was planned in the United States.
The United States, while probing Moscow’s reaction to its actions in the Black Sea, hopes for the indecision of the Russians. However, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation expressed himself after the provocation with Defender quite definitely: “The reaction to what happened by Russian President Putin” was very harsh, from which it becomes clear: there is no need to repeat provocations, the answer will be according to the charter, and in the charter – to drown “.
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