US security strategy and Ukraine
While the Normandy Four leaders were looking for possible ways to stop Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and in fact the whole Europe, the key global player - the United States - presented its new security strategy.
The United States has upgraded one of its most important strategic documents, which was last revised in May 2010. The new document provides an answer to the question, how will the “World’s Police” react to serious shifts in a global security landscape. The main threats global peace are Putin’s Russia, as it has decided to play a game of “redistribution of global influence,” and the new terrorist organization ISIL, which is quite capable of creating “regional chaos” and could even upgrade it to a worldwide level. The United States has no option but to respond to Putin’s nuclear blackmail and also to the reincarnation of Al Qaeda in a new form.
According to the new U.S. security strategy, among the key threats to U.S. national security are Russian aggression against Ukraine, violent extremism and terrorist threats, cyber security challenges, the consequences of climate change, as well as the spread of infectious diseases (e.g., the recent Ebola outbreak).
U.S. President Barack Obama presented his recipe to respond to basic security challenges. Its essence is responding to the conflict with all elements of U.S. power rather than primarily with military measures. Such a strategy is being used by the U.S. administration regarding both Ukraine and ISIL (though in the latter case there is already a transition to a military solution). That does not mean unwillingness to use military means, it’s more about linking them with the economic, energy and other tools. Gradual economic strangulation of Putin's Russia via sanctions, energy blockade, as Europe is making a significant step away from dependency on Russia’s energy resources, work quite effectively and efficiently. However, Ukraine is not always satisfied with the speed of this process, as the lives of the country’s citizens are at stake on a daily basis because of Russian aggression.
There are certain parts of the U.S. National Security Strategy that are directly related to helping protect Ukraine from the Kremlin’s aggression. For example, the United States plans to supply equipment to its partner states to combat terrorism. There is no doubt that such plans will apply to Ukrainian security forces in their fight against pro-Kremlin terrorists in Ukrainian east. In addition, the U.S. military also plans training of the partner states’ military personnel.
The seriousness of countering anti-Russian threats is not only indicated by frequent references to it in the strategy, but also by the fact that a paragraph “On countering Russia” is on the priority list in Obama’s Budget Message. Apparently, having fully secured the U.S. energy sector, and having capitalized the country’s economy by two times, the time has come for a radical renewal of military technologies, according to President Obama. Russian aggression against Ukraine gives a unique opportunity that will not be missed. As a result, the Ukrainian army will get a swift transition to NATO standards and rapid technological upgrade, and the Russian army will face total collapse in the medium term.
Washington’s concerns over Russia using energy as a weapon have also found their reflection in the strategy, meaning that Europe will see expedited U.S. exports of hydrocarbons, which are in the medium term to replace Russian energy sources. This will not only totally break down Russia’s economy and deprive it of the ability to finance war and the arms race, it also means full energy support from the U.S. for Ukraine, which will mean, in the first place, increased volumes of reverse flow natural gas to the level required to meet the needs of citizens and industry. It is possible that after stopping the Russian aggression and the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, U.S. energy companies will return to projects for the production of hydrocarbons in Ukraine’s deep shelf and the exploration of shale gas and oil.
In general, it is highly important that the new U.S. National Security Strategy clearly states Washington’s right to unilaterally use military force in case of a threat to its citizens or citizens of its partner states. This is a real signal to all NATO partners (especially the Baltic countries) in the pretext of protection against potential Russian aggression. It is also indirectly relevant to Ukraine, which in fact has been a U.S. partner state outside NATO framework since December 2014.
This means only one thing. Putin's Russia can still bring a lot of grief and misery to Ukraine and its citizens, but Russia as the aggressor state is doomed to failure and will have to pay for all of its crimes in full. Whatever the Kremlin propagandists may shout, not only the current Russian leaders, but also all Russian citizens will have to “pay the bills” for complicity in a crime against Ukraine, the Ukrainian people and humanity.
As for the United States: today’s global security crisis provoked by Russia proved very useful for reformatting global leadership of the United States according to the 21st century challenges and peculiarities. NATO has also achieved a new sense for its development.
There is no doubt that in the nearest future the world will witness the cessation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, while all of our country’s damages will be recovered, and it will transform into an Eastern outpost of Western civilization. Russia will be transformed internally and deprived of the opportunity to blackmail the world with using any weapons of mass destruction in the future.
It will be safer this way both for Russia and for all humankind.