A US-Led ‘Coalition of the Willing’ Foreshadows the Splintering of NATO

Mike Whitney, Global Research, February 19, 2023 — The destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline was a gangster act that reveals the cancer at the heart of the “rules-based order”. How can there be peace and security when the world’s most powerful nation can destroy the critical infrastructure of other countries without deliberation or judicial proceedings?

If Hersh’s report can be trusted—and I think it can—then we must assume that senior-level advisors in the Biden administration as well as the president himself deliberately perpetrated an act of industrial terrorism against a long-term friend and ally, Germany.

What Biden’s involvement in the act implies, is that the United States now claims the right to arbitrarily decide which countries may engage in commerce with which others. And, if for some reason, the buying and selling of energy supplies conflicts with Washington’s broader geopolitical objectives, then the US believes it has the right to obliterate the infrastructure that makes such trade possible. Isn’t this the rationale that was used to justify the blowing up of Nord Stream?

Sy Hersh has done the world a service by exposing the perpetrators of the Nord Stream sabotage.

His expose not only identifies the people involved but also infers that they should be held accountable for their actions. But while we don’t expect any thorough investigation in the near future, we do think the magnitude of the attack has been a “wake up” call for people who cling to the belief that the Unipolar model can produce morally-acceptable outcomes. What the incident shows is that unilateral action inevitably leads to criminal violence against the weak and defenseless. Biden’s covert operation hurt every man, woman and child in Europe. It’s a real tragedy. Here’s a quote from a recent interview with Hersh:

“I think this story has the same potential for destroying the ability of our president to rally the American people behind the war because it shows something that is so dark and so Unamerican. You know, this isn’t us. We’re not talking about us. This is a bunch of intelligence officers and CIA people….” Seymour Hersh 2:29 min

He’s right, isn’t he? The Biden administration has vastly miscalculated the impact these revelations will have on the public. The reputational damage alone is going to be immense, but they will also be used as the prism through which many critics see the war. In fact, there are signs that that may already be happening. On Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed that the real objective of Washington’s war was not simply to “weaken” Russia and eventually splinter it into smaller pieces, but to force a split between Germany and Russia. Here’s what he said on Saturday:

According to Lavrov, the US decided that Russia and Germany cooperated “too well” over the past 20-30 years, establishing a powerful alliance based on Russian resources and German technology.

“That began to threaten the monopoly position of many American corporations. Therefore, it was necessary to somehow ruin it, and do it literally,” the minister said.

“There is an aspect here that’s related to the fact that friendship between countries, national reconciliation between them, as it happened between Russians and Germans, has become an eye sore for those who don’t want anyone to appear somewhere on this planet, who will compete with the main hegemon, which the US has declared itself to be,” Lavrov added.” (Lavrov says US officials essentially acknowledge Nord Stream blasts were US handiwork”, Tass)

Lavrov’s comments reinforce our own view that the conflict was concocted by Washington’s foreign policy experts who realized that German-Russo economic integration posed a serious threat to America’s dominant role in the global order. That is why Nord Stream became the primary target of US aggression, because the pipeline was the vital artery that connected the two continents and drew them closer together into an economic commons that would eventually become the world’s biggest free trade zone. This is what Washington feared most, and that is why Biden and Co. took such desperate steps to prevent the strengthening of economic relations between Germany and Russia. In short, Nord Stream had to be destroyed because Nord Stream marked the end of the unipolar world order.

Instead, of expanding on this belabored theory, let’s take a minute and see if we can figure out something about Hersh’s shadowy “source” of information. Allow me to frame it in the form of a question:

Why did Sy Hersh’s source provide him with detailed, top-secret information about the Biden administration’s sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline?

a. The source is a Kremlin stooge who wanted to subvert the war-effort and inflict serious damage on the United States

b. The source is an America-hating “Commie” who loathes democracy and freedom

c. The source is an adrenaline junkie who enjoys putting himself, his family, his career and his freedom at risk.

d. The source is a concerned American who thought that revealing information about the destruction of Nord Stream would prevent the neocons from leading the country into a catastrophic war with Russia

If you chose “d” then pat yourself on the back, because that is the right answer. No one in their-right-mind would take the risks that Hersh’s source took unless he felt the country was in grave danger. And, keep in mind, we might not even know what that what that danger is yet, since we don’t know what future escalations the neocons are planning. For example, it could be that US plans are already underway to deliver F-16s and long-range missile systems that will be used to strike deeper into Russian territory. It could be that the neocons want to detonate a nuclear device in Ukraine as part of a “false flag” operation. Or it could be that Biden plans to organize a ‘coalition of the willing’ (Uk, Poland, Romania) that will fight alongside US Special Forces in combat operations in east Ukraine. Any of these developments represent a serious escalation in the hostilities which would increase the probability of a direct clash with nuclear-armed Russia. In Joe Biden’s own words, “That’s what you call World War 3.”

He’s right, it would be WW3, which might explain why Hersh’s source summoned the courage to provide the author with the damning information about Nord Stream. He might have believed that the world was on the fasttrack to nuclear annihilation, so he risked his own life for ours. “No greater love hath any man…”.

And the source is not the only person who put himself at risk. Hersh could face charges as well. In fact, I would argue, that if Hersh was not as widely-respected as he is, he would probably be sharing a cell with Julian Assange right now. After all, what is the difference between what Assange did and what Hersh did?

Not much, except for the fact that Hersh’s stellar reputation makes him “untouchable. (We hope.)

In any event, if the motive behind the article was to prevent nuclear Armageddon, then we are very grateful for their bravery and selflessness.

Even so, there might have been other motives driving the article which are worth our consideration. Let’s imagine, for a minute, that Hersh’s source has information concerning the neocons plans for the near future. In other words, it is quite possible that the sabotage of Nord Stream alone was not the main impetus for Hersh’s report, but some other sinister plan on the horizon, that is, a military escalation that could trigger a catastrophe of unprecedented severity.

As we said earlier, such a plan might involve F-16s and long-range missile systems, or a nuclear “false flag” operation, or it could be that Biden will organize a ‘coalition of the willing’ that will fight alongside US Special Forces in combat operations in east Ukraine. US combat troops in Ukraine would make a direct clash with Russia effectively unavoidable. It would put the US on-track for another World War, which is what the neocons want. Unfortunately, I suspect that this is the most probable near-term scenario; the forming of a US-backed coalition organized to directly engage Russia in Ukraine. Here’s a “Statement from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on President Biden’s Travel to Poland:

From February 20th – 22nd, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will travel to Poland. He will meet with President Andrzej Duda of Poland to discuss our bilateral cooperation as well as our collective efforts to support Ukraine and bolster NATO’s deterrence. He will also meet with the leaders of the Bucharest Nine (B9), a group of our eastern flank NATO Allies, to reaffirm the United States’ unwavering support for the security of the Alliance. In addition, President Biden will deliver remarks ahead of the one year anniversary of Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, addressing how the United States has rallied the world to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and democracy, and how we will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes.” (The White House, Washington DC)

As it says in the official statement, Biden will not merely talk to the Polish president about “collective efforts to support Ukraine”, but will also discuss US-Polish “bilateral cooperation as well”. But what type of bilateral cooperation does Biden want besides more weapons? Combat troops? Is that what Biden is looking for; coalition boots-on-the-ground to make up for Ukraine’s heavy casualties?Here’s an article from a website called Notes From Poland that announces a sharp uptick in Polish recruitment goals. Not surprisingly, the article does not explain the reason why Poland intends to more-than-double the size of its army within a year’s time.

Up to 200,000 people can be called up for military exercises in Poland next year, including some who have never put their name forward for service but are deemed to have “useful skills”…. The exercises can last up to 90 days, and failure to attend is punishable by jail or a fine….

The pool of people who can be called up are those aged 55 and under who have been through so-called military qualification, which is compulsory for all men turning 19 and during which the candidate’s health category and fitness for military service are determined….

Poland will increase defence spending to 3% of GDP next year, one of the highest levels in NATO, to protect itself from “voracious imperial Russia”.

Its new Homeland Defence Act will also more than double the number of troops serving in the armed forces https://t.co/KlEA1cHOo — Notes from Poland (@notesfrompoland) March 19, 2022

Until 2009, Poland had compulsory military service for men, but that was scrapped in favour of a fully professional army. However, in recent years the growing threat of Russia has pushed the government to seek to increase the size and strength of the armed forces.

In 2017, a new Territorial Defence Force was established. This year’s Homeland Defence Act foresees a doubling in the size of the armed forces, from the current 143,500 troops…” (“Up to 200,000 Poles to be called up for military training next year“, Notes From Poland)

Are we expected to dismiss this sudden expansion of the Polish military as a mere coincidence or is it more likely that a deal has already been made with Washington regarding future troop deployments to Ukraine?

According to the White House statement, Biden will “also meet with the leaders of the Bucharest Nine (B9)” which is a group of nine NATO countries in Eastern Europe that became part of the US-led military alliance after the end of the Cold War…and includes Romania, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the three Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. All nine countries were once closely associated with the now dissolved Soviet Union, but later chose the path of democracy. Romania, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria are former signatories of the now dissolved Warsaw Pact military alliance led by the Soviet Union…Check it out:

All members of the B9 are part of the … NATO (and all) have been critical of President Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine since 2014… Last year NATO adopted its new Strategic Concept, in which all Allies agreed that ,,the Russian Federation is the most significant and direct threat to Allies security and to peace and stability in the Euro–Atlantic area”. Now, on the road to the Vilnius Summit we should make sure that the Alliance is fully prepared to face this threat.” (“Who are the Bucharest Nine, countries on NATO’s eastern flank?”, Indian Express)

An army of Russophobes; is that what they want to create?

It sure looks like it.

Maybe, we’re making a ‘mountain out of a molehill’; that’s certainly a possibility. But now that the Russian army is advancing on all fronts along the Line of Contact, we think that the desperate neocons are bound to do something colossal. In fact, we are sure of it. Check out this clip from an article at Larry Johnson’s web site, “The Son of a New American Revolution”:

Now for the bad news. The Biden Administration and our European allies either are preparing for a major military action in the Ukraine war or they know something bad is going to happen soon, probably in Belarus, because warnings were just issued for foreign citizens to bug out of Belarus and Russia:

The French Foreign Ministry urged its citizens to leave Belarus without delay.

Canada urges its citizens to leave Belarus immediately because of the risk of arbitrary application of local laws and hostilities in Ukraine — Canadian Foreign Ministry.

The U.S. on Monday issued a top-level advisory telling American citizens to leave Russia immediately and cease travel to the country as Russia’s war against neighboring Ukraine continues, citing risks of harassment and wrongful detention for Americans specifically.

“Do not travel to Russia due to the unpredictable consequences of the unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment and the singling out of U.S. citizens for detention by Russian government security officials, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, and the possibility of terrorism,” reads the alert.

I do not believe in coincidence. This is a coordinated action and signals the situation in Russia and Belarus is going to turn dangerous in the near future. Maybe it has something to do with the United States training Islamic radicals to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia and Belarus.” (“Sy Hersh Speaks and NATO Warns of Escalation in the War in Ukraine?“, Son of a New American Revolution)

Something is afoot although we cannot be certain whether it will materialize or not. But—keep in mind—there would be no need for terrorist attacks, false flags or additional combat troops if the official narrative was actually true and the Ukrainian army was winning the war. But that is not what’s happening. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are losing and losing badly. In fact, they don’t even have sufficient ammunition stockpiles to sustain long-term fighting. Here’s the story from Reuters:

“NATO is expected to ask its members to raise its ammunition stockpiles which have been badly depleted by the war in Ukraine… the pace of deliveries to Ukraine, where Kyiv’s troops are firing up to 10,000 artillery shells daily, has drained Western inventories and exposed holes in the efficiency, speed and manpower of supply chains.

“If Europe were to fight Russia, some countries would run out of ammunition in days,” a European diplomat told Reuters… the stockpiles are running even lower due to the conflict in Ukraine…. The war also cast a spotlight on the lack of industrial capacity necessary to ramp up production quickly, after decades of dwindling government orders saw many production lines vanish….

“I don’t necessarily think that within the next year our stockpile levels will increase massively,” the NATO official said. “Any additional stockpiles we will have will be heading to Ukraine.” (“NATO expected to raise munitions stockpile targets as war depletes reserves”, Reuters)

How do you take a country to war with Russia without enough ammo to fight the enemy?

The incompetence is mind-boggling, and it’s not a short-term problem either. Western nations no longer have the industrial base to provide the necessary supplies and equipment for “large-scale, high-intensity warfare.” Building up capacity will take years. In the meantime, the war will be settled by well-equiped Russian combat troops who will continue to grind away at the demoralized Ukrainians who increasingly find themselves outmanned and outgunned at every turn. This is from an article at the UK Telegraph:

“With Russia back on the offensive after significant Ukrainian combat successes around Kharkiv and Kherson in the second half of 2022, the past few weeks have been the bloodiest so far of an already bloody war, with both sides taking extraordinarily heavy casualties. Expect it to get worse.

Ukrainian defence minister Oleksii Reznikov says Russia has mobilised “much more” than 300,000 troops, perhaps up to half a million, and these are pouring into Ukraine in preparation for what is expected to be a major offensive in the coming days and weeks. Although Kyiv has also been building up its forces and supplying them with modern equipment donated by the West, Putin has a much greater advantage in troop numbers than he did when he invaded a year ago. Despite repeated optimistic reports of Russia running low on artillery shells – a battle winner in this conflict – Putin’s war stocks are vast, and his factories have been working around the clock to churn out even more.

Under pressure towards the end of last year, Russia withdrew its forces to positions of strength, trading ground for time as it massed resources for a planned hammer blow while grinding down the Ukrainians in the east, softening them up for the assault to come..

Until now, the narrative in the West has been that Ukraine is comfortably winning this war…The reality is more complex….: the truth is that recent promises of new combat equipment for Ukraine – especially longer range missiles, tanks and other armoured vehicles – are unlikely to be fulfilled in time to have an impact in this battle if Putin launches his offensive on the timetable Kyiv predicts….

We must therefore be prepared for significant Russian gains in the coming weeks. We need to be realistic about how bad things could be – otherwise the shock risks dislodging Western resolve. The opposite occurred last summer and autumn, as flagging support in parts of Europe and the US was galvanised by Ukrainian success.” (“Vladimir Putin is about to make shock gains“, UK Telegraph)

And this is from the New York Times:

Exhausted Ukrainian troops complain they are already outnumbered and outgunned, even before Russia has committed the bulk of its roughly 200,000 newly mobilized soldiers. And doctors at hospitals speak of mounting losses as they struggle to care for fighters with gruesome injuries.

The first stages of the Russian offensive have already begun. Ukrainian troops say that Bakhmut, an eastern Ukrainian city that Russian forces have been trying to seize since the summer, is likely to fall soon. Elsewhere, Russian forces are advancing in small groups and probing the front lines looking for Ukrainian weaknesses.

The efforts are already straining Ukraine’s military, which is worn out by nearly 12 months of heavy fighting.

Losses among Ukrainian forces have been severe. Troops in a volunteer contingent called the Carpathian Sich, positioned near Nevske, said that some 30 fighters from their group had died in recent weeks, and soldiers said, only partly in jest, that just about everyone has a concussion.

At one frontline hospital in the Donbas, the morgue was packed with the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers in white plastic bags. In another hospital, stretchers with wounded troops covered in gold foil thermal blankets crowded the corridors, and a steady stream of ambulances arrived from the front nearly all day long.” (“Outnumbered and Worn Out, Ukrainians in East Brace for Russian Assault”, New York Times) Note: Lifted from Moon of Alabama

And one more excerpt from the Paper of Record:

The problem is that Ukraine is losing the war. Not, as far as we can tell, because its soldiers are fighting poorly or its people have lost heart, but because the war has settled into a World War I-style battle of attrition, complete with carefully dug trenches and relatively stable fronts.

Such wars tend to be won — as indeed World War I was — by the side with the demographic and industrial resources to hold out longest. Russia has more than three times Ukraine’s population, an intact economy and superior military technology. At the same time, Russia has its own problems; until recently, a shortage of soldiers and the vulnerability of its arms depots to missile strikes have slowed its westward progress. Both sides have incentives to come to the negotiating table.” (“Russia and Ukraine Have Incentives to Negotiate. The U.S. Has Other Plans”, New York Times)

Get the picture? The war will undoubtedly drag on for some time, but the outcome is now certain. And as the noose tightens in the east and the prospects for success grow more remote, we think the neocons are bound to do something even more desperate, foolhardy and violent. We expect the next move will be an attempt to build a coalition of the willing (UK, Romania, Poland and US) that will push the reluctant NATO allies to the breaking point by pitting a makeshift US-led Army against Russia Forces on Ukraine’s killing fields. With every reckless action, Uncle Sam increases the probability of a critical split within NATO that will end Washington’s stranglehold on Europe and lay the groundwork for a new order.


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This article was originally published on The Unz Review.

Michael Whitney is a renowned geopolitical and social analyst based in Washington State. He initiated his career as an independent citizen-journalist in 2002 with a commitment to honest journalism, social justice and World peace.

He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). 

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