1 February 2022
We reproduce below the opening of a talk by an IBT supporter at an online meeting on 30 January 2022. Full audio of the talk is available here:
Once again, the United States and its NATO allies are escalating the conflict over imperialist control of Ukraine and threatening war against nuclear-armed Russia. The heightened hostilities have led to a massive military build-up, the likes of which Europe has not seen for decades. Despite the most recent round of diplomatic talks between Moscow, Washington and the EU, the threat of a regional and possibly broader European conflagration remains very real.
The Pentagon has placed 8,500 troops on “heightened alert” for deployment to NATO allies in Eastern Europe. The US already has roughly 6,000 troops in the region including 4,000 military personnel in Poland to go along with the 1,000 other NATO forces stationed in the country. The Biden administration is also reportedly developing plans to send warships, aircraft and up to 50,000 troops to the area. NATO alliance members, including Denmark, Spain, Bulgaria and the Netherlands, are sending fighter jets and warships to bolster defenses in Eastern Europe. The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have some 4,000 troops in NATO “battlegroups” and are now providing Ukraine with US-made Javelin anti-armor and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.
Britain, which has had troops in Ukraine since 2015 to train that country’s armed forces, is also supplying Kiev with short-range anti-tank missiles and alleging a Russian invasion could come “at any time.” In a crude attempt to whip up pro-war hysteria, Britain’s Foreign Office accused Putin of plotting to topple the Ukrainian government and install a pro-Moscow puppet figure in Kiev as prime minister. Just yesterday, the British government ordered its armed forces to prepare for a “major military deployment” across Europe in what it called its “biggest possible offer” of support to NATO, possibly doubling troop levels and sending military specialists, weapons, warships and jets. Even Canada, which is the biggest Western contributor to military training in Ukraine and already has soldiers in the country as part of Operation Unifier, is actively considering sending more military assistance, including troops.
Russia is amassing 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine, and has an estimated 1,000–2,000 more to the west in Transnistria, a breakaway republic in the east of Moldova. The Kremlin is holding large-scale joint military exercises, dubbed “Allied Resolve,” next month in Belarus, which lies to the north of Ukraine and borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania. This show of force is intended to send a clear message to US-led NATO that Russia, a minor imperialist power in economic terms but with considerable military strength, will not be bullied in its near-abroad.
Marxists condemn imperialist brinkmanship and oppose the reckless drive toward a military conflict that could potentially cost the lives of hundreds of millions of people. In any armed conflict between the US/NATO and Russia, we take a position of dual defeatism, actively favoring the defeat of both camps. While we take no side in inter-imperialist conflicts, for Leninists in any particular imperialist country, “the main enemy is at home.” Revolutionary socialists living in the US, Britain and other imperialist NATO member states denounce the NATO war machine and call for the defeat of “our” imperialist ruling class in any military conflict, regardless of who or what triggers it.
Ukraine in Imperialist Vise (1917 No.44)
Imperialists Tear Ukraine Apart (1917 No.41)
Imperialist Rivalries Escalate (1917 No.41)