The US finally withdrew from Afghanistan last August following its nearly two-decade-long occupation of that country and is nowadays actively applying the regional proxy war strategy that it perfected there towards its Ukrainian proxy war on Russia. Across the past 20 years, the US urged Afghanistan’s neighboring “Major Non-NATO Ally” (MNNA) Pakistan to “do more” to help the war effort. Islamabad found out the hard way that complying with Washington’s demands ended up being extremely counterproductive to its national interests.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post in late September that this disastrous policy directly led to 50 militant groups declaring jihad on Pakistan, over 16,000 terrorist attacks, more than 80,000 casualties, over $150 billion in economic losses, and the internal displacement of 3,5 million of his own citizens. Quite clearly, despite being a loyal American ally, Pakistan ended up suffering more than any country other than Afghanistan itself for playing a leading role in the US’ “Global War On Terror” (GWOT).
So too does the EU stand to suffer the same fate if it doesn’t learn from Pakistan’s lesson and ultimately complies with the US’ demands for its members to “do more” in Ukraine. The military-strategic dynamics of those two conflicts are very different but there are still some similarities that strongly suggest that the bloc’s interests would better be served by distancing itself from that proxy war. For starters, the US military aid to Kiev that entered this former Soviet Republic from neighboring EU member states contributed to its intensification, prolongation, and thus its current refugee crisis.
Over 4,5 million people have fled, mostly to EU countries, thus placing the recipient states under enormous socio-economic pressure that they otherwise wouldn’t have suffered had Kiev capitulated in the face of Russia’s advance if it wasn’t armed to the teeth with American weaponry meant to avert that scenario. It can be argued that these same states agreed with Kiev and their shared Washington patron’s goals in that conflict, however, and might have thus regarded this large-scale refugee influx as an acceptable cost even if some of their people disagree with this consequence.
This brings the analysis around to the second counterproductive point of them “doing more” in that conflict, and it’s that their compliance with America’s demands directly caused the impending global food crisis brought about by disruptions in agricultural exports from the Russian-Ukrainian breadbasket as well the US-led West’s sanctioning of Russian and Belarusian phosphate. It doesn’t seem as though Kiev’s allies paid any thought to these secondary humanitarian consequences that might ultimately harm a countless number of people, mostly those across the Global South.
Building upon those concerns, the third counterproductive outcome is that the aforementioned consequence could prompt another EU Migration Crisis from Global South countries far exceeding the scale, scope, and intensify of the infamous one from 2015. That would massively exacerbate the socio-economic impact of their existing refugee crisis and possibly prompt the bloc to use force to prevent these forthcoming migrants from entering Europe. This could in turn further widen the divide between the EU’s self-proclaimed values and the reality of them only being selective applied in practice.
Back to the European home front, the decision of the bloc’s members to sanction Russia led to an immediate rupturing of their relations with that energy-rich Eurasian Great Power. President Putin soon thereafter decreed that those newly designated unfriendly states could only receive its gas if they pay for it with rubles. This prompted speculation that some of them might not do so due to the US’ hegemonic influence over their governments, which had the effect of spiking prices. Average citizens are now feeling the impact of their representatives’ counterproductive US-backed policies towards Russia.
There isn’t much more self-inflicted economic damage that the average European can take since many are literally on the verge of rioting if energy prices continue to rise. The German Economic Minister just warned of unrest in the bloc’s largest country and its most powerful economy if his government complies with the US’ demand to “do more” by immediately cutting off Russian energy imports. In the interests of political self-preservation, Berlin might ultimately rebuff Washington, but it’s still too early to tell whether it’ll do so or if it’ll take the plunge by sanctioning Russian gas and risking a revolution.
There are other counterproductive security consequences that have been unleashed as a direct result of the EU “doing more” to help Ukraine at the US’ behest despite this going against their own objective national interests. Battle-hardened Neo-Nazis from that former Soviet Republic might infiltrate the bloc as refugees, bringing with them not only their hateful fascist ideology, but also possibly some of their Western-supplied arms too. This is practically guaranteed to lead to terrorist attacks in the future against ethno-religious minorities (especially Global South migrants), liberals, and homosexuals.
A related latent threat is the number of Western mercenaries that flooded into Ukraine to support Kiev and its allied Neo-Nazi battalions. Those fighters who survive will inevitably return home, where they’re expected to build their new far-right network all throughout the continent, combining it with those Ukrainian Neo-Nazi “comrades” who they fought side-by-side with during the conflict. The end result could very well be the creation of a critical mass of far-right militants that coordinate terrorist attacks across Europe. This threat might ultimately become worse than the one posed by religious extremists.
In terms of conventional security, Bloomberg recently reported that the US already burned through one-third of its Javelin reserves, with it being presumed that its comparatively much less powerful NATO allies who’ve also dispatched military equipment to Kiev have probably used up the same ratio or more. This presents a serious challenge for the EU since it might not have enough reserves left by the time the conflict ends to respond to other conflicts that could pop up elsewhere along their periphery in the coming years before they replenish their stocks. That could place the EU at a strategic disadvantage.
The present trajectory that everything’s proceeding along suggests that the EU in the 2020s might closely resemble the Pakistan of the 2000s, but without that South Asian state’s world-class military-intelligence institutions to defend it, the bloc might even end up suffering much more than that. All of this was completely foreseeable and therefore avoidable if only the EU had learned from Pakistan’s example and refused to “do more” to help the US in Ukraine. It’s now facing the greatest multitude of crises since World War II, which are entirely of its American-dominated member states’ own making.
By Andrew Korybko Via https://oneworld.press/?module=articles&action=view&id=2757