At first blush I’m inclined to suggest that the US has already “won” in the Ukraine in 2022. That’s if my assessment of its goals in the conflict are correct. And of course I may be wrong. The dominant media narrative may be right: that the whole thing is just a case of yet another mad tyrant trying to crush democracy because he hates freedom.
My problem with accepting that at face value as the whole story is that I’ve lived for more than 50 years and watched various conflicts unfold and observed the media commentary on them in real time. Then I’ve observed how things appear in retrospect and made some comparisons. Also, I’ve learned that a lot of what we are fed from our governments is designed to put a misleading veneer on motivations that are deliberately kept cloudy.
So, to me, trying to put the Ukraine crisis in a bigger context, it looks like this: The US has never stopped wanting to suppress, contain and encircle Russia. The US has military bases all around Russia’s borders and is constantly chipping away at countries that remain in Russia’s orbit, using fair means and foul to split them away. It is no secret that there was a deal between Russia and the USA that included the principle that the US would stop trying to get the countries that border Russia into NATO. Because it goes without saying that once a country joins NATO it is armed by the US. Naturally Russia sees that as dangerous and wants it to stop. So, suggesting that the Ukraine might soon join NATO is a very serious threat to Russian eyes. There is a school of thought that believes the hand of the US was behind the 2014 coup in the Ukraine that established an anti-Russian government there. I don’t know either way, but it’s far from implausible given the US’s undeniable history of coups and regime-changes all over the planet.
Having Russia invade Ukraine is a win for the US, in my opinion, since Russia’s aggression brings condemnation upon it and justifies many possible retaliations. One extremely important retaliation, already enacted, is the cancellation of the Nordstream 2 pipeline that was to have shipped Russian gas to Western Europe. This would have given Russia precious extra income, created closer ties between Russia and Western Europe and edged out competition from other potential suppliers that enjoy favoured status in the eyes of the US. The US made no secret of its visceral opposition to this pipeline. It leaned hard on Germany to agree it would cancel the project if Russia invaded Ukraine. This goal is achieved, and it is an important one for the US.
Russia will face many more sanctions which may include confiscations of overseas-held funds and assets, expulsion from the SWIFT international payments system and other measures that may serve to make its population unhappy and more open to external agitation. And finally, Russia will now have a festering state of war on its border which has the potential to generate immense pain for all concerned, while supplying a keen market for US military hardware and expertise.
For these reasons I suggest America has already “won”. It will be able to deprive Russia of wealth and income, embroil it in a world of military pain and domestic hardship – all bringing the day closer when Russia may collapse and be absorbed into the Western bloc as a pliant market and empire participant. All of this, narrated as the result of Russia’s unprovoked aggression. Perfect.