Faced with Russia, the preventive alerts from the United States

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (right) and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at a press conference on November 10, 2021 in Washington

The United States has no certainty about Russian intentions in Ukraine. However, in recent weeks, Washington has increased the number of preventive warnings about the risk of a military operation. The only figure that circulates is that of around 90,000 to 100,000 troops, deployed to bases in western Russia, many for many months. Already in May, with the approach of the first meeting between Joe Biden and Vladimir Poutine, in Geneva, a similar concern had mobilized Americans and Europeans, before Russia announces a redeployment.

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At the beginning of November, the director of the CIA, William Burns, went to Moscow with the intention of warning his interlocutor, Nikolai Patrouchev, secretary of the Security Council. The two men were to prepare a new meeting between the two heads of state, envisaged in the coming months, by video or in person. But on the Russian side, the American interventions on Ukraine are hardly impressive. Moscow decides according to its own priorities. Concentrating troops may amount to strategic intimidation, to prevent the installation in Ukraine of unprecedented military capabilities, stamped “NATO”.

A further step was taken, on the American side, at the reception in Washington of the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kuleba, by Antony Blinken, on November 10. That day, the Secretary of State expressed alarm in front of the press about the movements of Russian troops, not far from the border area. “We have no clarity on Moscow’s intentions, but we know its manual, he said. And our concern is that Russia is making the grave mistake of attempting to replicate what it undertook in 2014 when it had amassed forces on the border, had entered the sovereign territory of Ukraine, while claiming, to wrong, that she had been provoked. “

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“Strategic defeat”

The repeated alerts, launched by the United States, reveal in hollow the erosion of its deterrence. Since the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in August, the White House’s desire to put an end to costly military adventures without possible victory has been well recorded by states like Russia. Ukraine is a geostrategic and identity obsession for the Kremlin. Not for the White House, which is focused on China. No one is seriously considering an American military engagement in defense of Ukrainian sovereignty against Russia. It had not taken place in 2014, despite the annexation of Crimea, nor in Georgia in 2008.

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