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Above, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (right) with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Will Porter – The Libertarian Institute June 15, 2022

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has called to equip Ukrainian forces with enough weapons and gear to defeat the Russian military, arguing that Kiev must deal the blows as “direct confrontation” between NATO and Moscow is still off the table.

Speaking to reporters after hosting a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and several European leaders on Tuesday, Rutte said a Ukrainian victory may still be attainable, if only the US-led military bloc provides sufficient ‘lethal aid.’

“In terms of weaponry, we stand united here that it is crucial for Russia to lose the war,” he said, suggesting that Ukraine should serve as a conduit for Western arms in order to maximize pain inflicted on Moscow.

And as we cannot have a direct confrontation between NATO troops and Russia, what we need to do is make sure that Ukraine can fight that war, that it has access to all the necessary weaponry.

The comments followed similar remarks from Stoltenberg, who said the alliance is “stepping up” to supply more arms to Kiev and that “Ukraine should have more heavy weapons.” At an upcoming NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June, he said member states “will agree [to] a major strengthening of our posture,” though did not elaborate on what that might entail.

Earlier on Tuesday, a senior Pentagon official told CNN that Washington could announce new weapons shipments as early as this week, saying that could happen when 50 nations with the ‘Ukraine Contact Group’ meet in Brussels on Wednesday. While they did not give specifics on what arms would be provided, recent US transfers have included heavy artillery, multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS), thousands of anti-tank missiles and several helicopters.

Since Russia’s invasion commenced in late February, the United States has provided tens of billions of dollars in the form of 11 separate aid packages to the Ukrainian government, flooding a chaotic battlefield with American weapons despite “almost zero” ability to track where they end up.

During an event on Monday, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks declared that Washington is ready to back Kiev for years to come, even suggesting that support could continue for up to two decades if needed.

“We’re trying to think through the kinds of both equipment but also the kind of longer term training and defense establishment efforts that they will need,” she said.

Though the US and its partners in the NATO bloc have stressed that backing Ukraine is a matter of upholding ‘democratic values’ under assault by a despotic Russian invader, officials from some member states have hinted at other motives. Western diplomats cited by the Washington Post in April noted that the alliance would rather see Ukrainians keep “fighting and dying” over “a peace that comes too early.” More recently, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that some NATO countries “see the continuation of the war as weakening Russia” and do not want the fighting to end, a view which appears to be in line with Rutte’s statement on Tuesday.

 

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Comment — June 16, 2022

Talk about tempting fate. The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s comments epitomises the sort of blindness and complacency of so many western politicians. Whether knowingly or not, he’s paving the way for war with Russia; because at some point Moscow will realise that its problems in Ukraine don’t actuallly originate there.

Russia’s problems have their origins further West and here we have the Dutch prime minister openly admitting as much.

Nor is he alone.

Neo-Conservative mouthpiece the New York Times has declared that the West wants to use Ukraine “to bleed Russia” and it echoed another Neo-Conservative outlet, Foreign Policy, that announced this even before Russia had embarked on military operations against Ukraine.

Other MSM mouthpieces may deny it, but prominent and powerful insiders are openly saying as much.

“We are engaged in a conflict here. It’s a proxy war with Russia, whether we say so or not,” said Leon Panetta, the former CIA director and defense secretary under Barack Obama. (The Intercept)

Trouble is it’s not Russia that’s taking heavy casualties but ordinary Ukrainian soldiers. While warmongers like Mark Rutte want to fuel the fires of war, up to two hundred Ukrainian servicemen are being killed everyday, according to recent reports.

It’s difficult to say how long Kiev can sustain such casualties but at some point this war has the potential to escalate beyond Ukraine’s borders.

Do our ‘leaders’ grasp that the Ukrainian conflict has the potential to escalate uncontrollably? Or worse still, do they know this but are cynically playing along with a much more sinister game plan? Ed