US withdrawal from Ukraine – US out & France in

A vigilant observer has noticed interesting and striking features on the present theater of international politics. As to the European theater, there is an odd feeling that somehow “US is going out” and France together with some partners are “getting in”. Moreover, some kind of panic and desperation mood is taking over European political leaders, one by one, as the military situation in Ukraine is getting worse and worse to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

US withdrawal from Ukraine

US Senator Lindsey Graham says that Ukraine should give the US the money it received:

“Our allies must pay us back because we owe more than $34 trillion. This is not isolation; this is caring for the needs of Americans. I’m going to go to Ukraine soon, and I’ll tell them that there will be help, but in the form of borrowed funds that you will have to pay back. Nobody wants to help Ukraine more than me, but we must think about America first. But the idea that we will only give without getting anything back must disappear.”

The Germans have collected all the scares from the series “Trump will come and hand over the entire democratic world to Putin.” Donald Trump has already decided on an action plan for the conflict in Ukraine. He wants to make an agreement with Putin. Trump’s secret plan for Ukraine, preserving Crimea and other territories for Russia, as well as closing the road to NATO for Kiev. There are also fears that Trump may withdraw the United States from NATO and abandon the protection of Europe — with serious consequences, including for Germany. Trump’s statements about Ukraine make Vladimir Zelensky nervous. Trump has long been a real factor: by his order, Republicans in the House of Representatives are blocking a $60 billion aid package to Kiev”.

Either we or Ukraine — the US senator has issued an ultimatum to NATO: Ukraine may be in NATO, the United States may be but not both countries at once, writes American Senator Mike Lee in a column for the American Conservative. Expanding the alliance in the backyard of a nuclear power is a dangerous game. The West should have taken Putin’s warnings seriously back in 2008. But the world’s elites have chosen to exalt the foolish desires of a “rules-based order” over realism. And now the head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, allows himself to make statements in the spirit of “not if, but when Ukraine joins the alliance.”

“The road to Ukraine’s NATO membership runs through the US Senate. If we are serious about preserving US hegemony, at no point can our nation be forced by a dependent Europe to accept the risk of nuclear escalation. We must draw a redline with NATO: You can have Ukraine or the United States. If allied boots hit the ground in Ukraine, we should walk away from NATO entirely. In the meantime, perhaps someone should remind Jens Stoltenberg that his job is to be a steward of the strategic interests of NATO’s dues-paying members, not a shill for Ukraine. As the largest financial backer of the alliance, it is time the US prioritizes participation in NATO according to our core strategic interests. WWIII is not on the agenda, and it is far past time for the United States to close NATO’s open door. “

According to Mike Lee, such statements are inappropriate, because accepting Ukraine threatens to drag the United States into World War III. And therefore, the issue of its membership should be decided by the US Senate, and not by the transatlantic organization. If allied troops appear in Ukraine, we must completely withdraw from NATO,” Lee writes.

Victoria Nuland’s (Toria) retirement is an admission that Washington’s premier foreign policy project in Ukraine has failed. No government official is more identified with the Ukraine fiasco than Nuland. She was on the ground micro-managing activities during the 2014 coup and has overseen the State Department’s sordid involvement since the war began. Her career-path is inextricably linked to the ill-fated NATO-backed disaster, which has resulted in the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian regulars and the obliteration of much of the country.

There have been rumors, both in Ukraine and in America, that the United States was dumping Ukraine and leaving the Ukrainian case, dumping it on Europe. The main conductor may be now London, which must squeeze maximum profit from the Ukrainian crisis for its corporations. That’s why Victoria Nuland left (she was responsible for Ukraine in Washington). That’s why Macron is “getting cocky”, threatening to send the army to Ukraine. That is why London provides targeted weapons that can strike inside the Russian Federation (investors can earn money on the London stock exchanges, it’s all about money. Only Ukrainians fight on credit and at the expense of their life and future. The Europeans are simply ruining their union, since those who rule there are those who are making money behind the scenes.

The US intelligence community has released a report on the main threats to American security: Despite the damage from sanctions and war, Russia remains a staunch and combat-ready opponent in a wide range of areas and seeks to project and defend its interests around the world and undermine the positions of the United States and the West. The strengthening of Russia’s ties with China, Iran and North Korea in the field of defense is noted, which is an important challenge to the West and partners.

The report tells that Russia almost certainly does not want a direct military conflict with US and NATO forces and will continue its asymmetric activities. The general strategy of the Russian Federation is shifting towards nuclear forces: Moscow will rely more on nuclear and anti-space weapons. Russia will continue to modernize its nuclear weapons potential and maintain the largest and most diverse nuclear weapons reserves.

The United States believes that the Russian army has nullified the efforts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to regain significant territories, and that the Russian strategy in the war is paying off. The Kremlin believes that support for Ukraine from the West and the United States is limited. The current situation at the front is playing in favor of Russia’s strategic military advantages, increasingly shifting the situation in favor of Moscow. The Russian military-industrial complex is significantly gaining momentum in the production of missiles and projectiles. US intelligence believes that the Kremlin will most likely not carry out a new mobilization. In general, it is adequate, and it is sad for Ukraine. The United States does not introduce the Ukrainian crisis into its sphere of interests.

US President Joe Biden gave his State of the Union speech on March 7, 2024. There are some interesting comments available regarding his speech, here below an article and a video.

Patrick Lawrence: Old Man Shouting

Consortiumnews, March 11, 2024

President Biden’s State of the Union Address

The White House, March 7, 2024

An Alternative View on the State of the Union – Colonel Douglas Macgregor & Glenn Diesen

March 12, 2024

Former adviser to the head of the Pentagon, Col. Douglas McGregor: Nuland’s resignation may indicate an imminent US withdrawal from Ukraine. The Army of Ukraine (AFU) lost over 23,000 soldiers and officers in January. Washington can repeat the Vietnam scenario in Ukraine… Now Russia is the strongest military power in Europe, so the White House has no chance of defeating it. So, we all understand that we will leave because we have no choice. The main thing is that we do not have the military power to resist the Russians in Ukraine. We could never do that” Scott Ritter: The Russian army will liberate Kharkov and knock on the door of Odessa this summer. The collapse of the Ukrainian army will happen so quickly that it will simply not be able to resist anymore.

An “October Surprise” in the United States is usually called an event that occurs a month before the presidential election in November and can affect the outcome of the vote. The Ukrainian conflict will end this year with an “October surprise” before the US elections, which will be expressed in the division of Ukraine, says Samir Tata, a columnist for The American Spectator magazine.

“How will the Russian-Ukrainian conflict end? October surprise. Ukraine, which became independent on August 24, 1991, will be dissolved and a New Ukraine will emerge based on the unilateral declaration of the current government of Ukraine with the support of the high military command,” the author states. In his opinion, the territory of the new state will coincide with that which is actually controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. Tata believes that Russia has already achieved most of its strategic goals, annexing Crimea in 2014 and providing a “land corridor” to it in 2022.

What appears to be even shocking, is the short-sightedness with which President Biden and his current administration consider the debt burden and federal budget deficit of the US. The US national debt has exceeded $34 trillion and the federal budget for 2025 of $7.3 trillion with $1.8 trillion deficit growing in next ten years up to $ 16.3 trillion. The debt is spiraling upwards $1trillion by every 100 days. This is absolutely an unsustainable development path. Sooner rather than later this debt & deficit devil will explode the entire US federal structure. Needless to say, that all the wars and military build-ups in which the US is involved, will increase this burden.

France in

I commented, in my previous article of March 10, the French escalation endeavour:

“In last two weeks, Macron has confirmed the plan for the deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine “These are quite serious topics. Every word I say on this topic is weighed, thought out and verified,” Emmanuel Macron told reporters. Thus, the French president confirmed what we had said earlier, which indicates the seriousness of the intentions of certain circles in the West regarding the deployment of troops from European countries to the territory of Ukraine. So, the plans of the West to further escalate the war with Russia, involving the military contingents of NATO countries in the conflict, is not a bluff, but a really worked—out scenario.”

March 14, Macron stated in his address to the nation: “French intervention in Ukraine cannot be ruled out, and France will do everything to make sure Russia doesn’t win. There is not a risk of war’, there is war. A Russian victory in the Ukraine war is an existential threat to Europe and France. People who are against French troops being sent to Ukraine are against our sovereignty and are in favor of defeat”.

Dominique de Villepin, former French Prime Minister, made a masterful takedown of Macron’s utterly irresponsible rhetoric on sending NATO ground troops to Ukraine (Villepin himself calls it irresponsible).

video of Dominique de Villepin

French lawmakers have approved a security agreement with Ukraine in a symbolic vote, which forced opposition parties to publicly reveal their doubts about sending military aid to Kyiv.

Although Macron said five days ago that he “does not rule out” sending troops to Ukraine, now the French President stated that “in any case, in about a year I am going to send people to Odessa”. While Macron may be preparing something disastrous, the French armed forces are trying to sound the alarm through the French media.

Some times ago, Macron said in a closed circle he will send military to Odessa. “In any case, I will have to send some people to Odessa next year,” Le Figaro quoted the French president as saying. Five days later, Macron spoke publicly about the possibility of sending troops. According to the newspaper, the French authorities have been considering sending troops to Ukraine since at least June 2023, when the issue was raised at a meeting of the French National Defence and Security Council.

For the last 2 weeks, Macron has repeatedly and aggressively announced that he wants to send the French army to Ukraine. If France takes the step, then Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic countries will follow suit. French public opinion does not appear to support Macron. In an Odoxa poll, 68 percent of French respondents said Macron’s comments on Western troops in Ukraine were “wrong.”

Marianne article

While Macron rattles his little sabre, French Armed Forces leaders are trying to sound the alarm. In the French publication Marianne, which is very close to the French political class, French officers – discussed the war in Ukraine. In summary, the officers rate the Russian Army very highly. By contrast, the Ukrainians blew their best and last chance for victory in the Summer 2023 offensive. The French Armed Forces estimate Ukraine needs 30,000 – 35,000 new conscripts or recruits every month to keep their force levels steady but are only inducting half that number. The article says there is no conceivable path to a Ukrainian military victory. In summary, the French military thinks intervening in Ukraine is a very, very bad idea.

A French General said recently – the current French Forces can operate 80km front sector – but at the current intensity only for a few days. French forces are reported nearby – because of the “current NATO exercise”.

According to the newspaper Marianne, the French military reportedly estimates that the Ukraine war is irretrievably lost already. Marianne’s editor Natacha Polony wrote: “It is no longer about Emmanuel Macron or his postures as a virile little leader. It is no longer even about France or its weakening by blind and irresponsible elites. It is a question of whether we will collectively agree to sleepwalk into war. It’s a question of whether we agree to send our children to die because the United States insisted on setting up bases on Russia’s borders.” 

Macron TV interview

French President Macron speaking on French TV said “The war in Ukraine is existential. If Russia was to win, life for the French would change. We would no longer have security in Europe. Who can seriously believe that Putin, who has respected no red lines, would stop there?” France will ensure Ukraine wins this war. No more redlines, and no more deferring to Russian threats. The goal is complete Ukrainian victory. The goal is complete Ukrainian victory. Macron says also that EU’s credibility will be “zero” if Russia wins war.

“If Russia were to win, the lives of French people would change,” Macron said. “We would no longer have security in Europe.” The interview aimed at shifting French public opinion in favor of his strategy of strategic ambiguity. The comments caused an uproar both at home and abroad and prompted France’s top NATO partners, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, to clarify that they would not be sending troops. The French president spent much of the interview arguing in favor of remaining ambiguous, saying only that France would not “lead the offensive or take initiative.”

Weimar Triangle

The French president’s increasingly hawkish tone has also heightened tensions between Paris and Germany, where Chancellor Olaf Scholz has taken a much more subdued tone in discussing the war. The two leaders will meet on Friday in Berlin alongside Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk for a “Weimar Triangle” format meeting in an attempt to display unity.

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk staged a show of unity in Berlin on Friday in an effort to rein in the heating bickering between France and Germany. Scholz insisted “unity is strength” while Macron said that the three leaders were “united and determined” in their support for Ukraine during statements to the press after talks at the chancellery.

Tensions between France and Germany over support for Ukraine have spilled into the open in recent days, and Friday’s talks were seen as an opportunity to patch things up. It was hoped that Tusk, who was joining a three-way summit for the first time since becoming premier, would help mediate between Scholz and Macron.

Diplomatic Indian View by Bhadrakumar

An Indian ex-diplomat, Ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar, posted an article: “France all dressed up and nowhere to go”, on his website March 14, 2024. Some key excerpts from his top article here below:

He firstly sketches European history since Napoleon and looks over political process “The angst in the French mind is understandable as the five centuries of western dominance of the world order is drawing to a close.”

He then refers to the article of French paper Marianne, where some French officers were interviewed (see above). The big question is, why Macron is doing this nonetheless — going to the extent of cobbling together a “coalition of the willing” in Europe, although top military is against his megalomanic and dangerous ideas.

This appalling inconsistency can only be seen as stemming out of the unfavourable development of events in the scenario of the Ukrainian crisis with the prospect of a Russian defeat in the war no longer in the cards even remotely and replaced by the growing possibility that peace will ultimately be attainable only on Russia’s terms. Put differently, the power dynamic in Europe is shifting dramatically, which, of course, impacts Macron’s own ambitions to “lead Europe.” 

Meanwhile, Russian-French relations have also been undergoing a stage of fierce competition and rivalry — even confrontation — in a number of areas.

French agriculture is an important part of the French society. French Revolution of 1789 was also an Agricultural Revolution, which allowed a broad land redistribution. Suffice to say, the bond of French people to their agriculture is very strong. African states (particularly ex-French colonies) are changing the structure of grain imports due to the technical regulations introduced by the European Union as part of its green agenda and French farmers consequently face rising costs, and over and above that, there is now also the looming loss of regional market share to Russia. 

In economy-politico-military terms too, France has lost ground to Russia in the Sahel region and its ex-colonies and “playpen” regions. The fact of the matter is that the birds are coming to roost over France’s neo-colonial strategies in Africa, but Paris prefers to put the blame on Russia’s Wagner group which has moved in to fill the security vacuum in Sahel region, as anti-French forces have come to power in several countries at once — Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, CAR. 

In the best traditions of geopolitics, France has begun retaliating in regions sensitive to Russian interests — Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine where Russian military presence is in French crosshairs. Unsurprisingly, Ukraine is the most strategic turf where Macron hopes to achieve a bigger French presence. 

All this is unfolding against the historic backdrop of an inevitable US retrenchment in Europe as Indo-Pacific hots up and the simmering rivalry with China becomes an all-consuming passion for Washington. Alongside this process, the presence of Russia across Europe is beginning to be felt intensely as the number one military and economic power in this strategic space.

Paradoxically, then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev had proposed in 2008 a legally binding pan-European security treaty, which would develop a new security architecture in Europe, regulating security relations in Europe in a wider geopolitical space stretching east “from Vancouver to Vladivostok.” However, the US encouraged the Europeans to see the Medvedev Initiative as a trap to weaken NATO, the OSCE, the EU and other European bodies and reject that peace idea.

Finnish rock bottom

Based on this wise diplomatic analysis of Macron’s talks above, it appears incredible to see “how far at sea” Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen was with her warmongering statement described in the article of Politico, on March 15. She, together with the current top team of Finnish foreign policy, is running the country directly into collision with Russia, together with other European top war-hawks Poland, Chez and Baltic States.

France’s elite, still believing to be a “great power”, is seeking “useful idiots” as playmates in Europe in order to support France’s lost national status.

Russian reactions

Statement by Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov, March 16

“Macron saw Ukraine’s defeat as an “existential threat” to France. Existential – that is, posing a threat to the very existence of France! But how can it be dangerous for France to defeat a distant country that is 2.5 thousand kilometers away from it and has never had any significance for France, even trade?! Even in the best of times, Ukraine accounted for 0.2% of exports and 0.1% of imports from France.

In general, judging by the statements of Macron himself and the hysterical cries of his prime minister, it seems that some influential international forces have given them a task: to start preparing Europe to send troops to Ukraine. Otherwise, Macron’s sudden, poorly thought-out, but very noticeable activation is difficult to explain. Unless, of course, it is the result of banal stupidity and a tendency to pose.”

Of course, Macron’s statements are not accidental. Almost all Western politicians have already declared the threat to the West in the event of a Russian victory. Thus, the West recognizes its participation in the war with Russia in Ukraine. Macron’s statement about the existential threat to France in the event of Ukraine’s defeat should be considered as a threat of the use of nuclear weapons by France against Russia in order to prevent Ukraine’s defeat.

Russian strike in Odessa, March 15 – a preview of what’s to come

Some conclusions

Regarding Macron’s idea of sending ground troops to Odessa or anywhere in Ukraine, the biggest problem to Macron is: all of NATO combined European forces without the US Army cannot defeat Russia, which has now raised an entirely new army group of over 500k men, which is enough to take out all of NATO by itself, barring US presence.

Furthermore, the US absolutely could not and would not commit its land forces to such a European war effort. Why? Because it would mean totally trapping the entire already-depleted and shrinking US military in this one theater, allowing China to grab Taiwan at its leisure without threat of the US military aiding in any overtly significant way.

Besides those above, two other significant things have to remember!

Only a few NATO states are interested, many others have openly declared no troop involvement, Italy and Germany amongst them. In fact, it’s now coming to light that Germany’s internal claim for not supplying Taurus missiles is because it would require them to place ground troops in Ukraine to administer the missiles, which is a big red line for them.

The other big thing no one has brought up: NATO’s infamous Article 5 specifiesthat mutual defense doctrine is only triggered, if NATO troops are attacked on NATO territory. Can you guess what that means for French troops being hit in Odessa?

That means Macron is walking a very fine line—if he can’t get a coalition to back him in this new drive, he’ll be an emperor with no clothes as French troops would be left alone to face potential Russian strikes, to which they would have no answer whatsoever and would be wiped out. This is why Macron is now stampeding across Europe to try and desperately build such a coalition of “useful idiots”.

Now we know what the French people think of Macron’s new warmongering attitude vis à vis Russia… and they absolutely hate it!