Pentagon chief’s remarks show US won’t hesitate to abandon its pawns
Published: May 24, 2022 10:43 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

"This is Ukraine's fight. It's not the US' fight." This is how US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin answered on the Russia-Ukraine war at a press conference Monday. "At the end of the day, what end state looks like will be defined by the Ukrainians, and not by us," he added.

Experts told the Global Times Ukraine is in a relatively passive situation on the battlefield. According to Chinese military expert and TV commentator Song Zhongping, Russian troops' victory in Mariupol is a major turning point. "The US is watching closely and anxiously the development of the war, as the situation is favoring Russia," he noted.

Austin's remarks appear to respect the Ukrainian people's right to "determine their own destiny" in the war, but his words imply the attitude that Washington has been holding since the beginning of the military conflict: It is trying to avoid direct involvement in the war as much as possible.

"The US is trying to portray the conflict as a war between Russia and Ukraine so that it can take itself out as much as possible," said Zhang Tengjun, deputy director of the Department for Asia-Pacific Studies at the China Institute of International Studies.

"Washington is not ready to confront Moscow head-on, so what Austin tries to highlight is to avoid sending a wrong signal to Russia that may trigger a larger conflict between the two," Zhang added.

Song said Austin's remarks demonstrated that the US is attempting to pass the buck. That is, if the Ukrainian troops lose the war, it has nothing to do with the US. "Such a shameless statement means the country can abandon its allies and partners any time it wants," he added.

In this ongoing war, the US or NATO is using Ukraine as its proxy against Russia. When the proxy is in an unfavorable state, the US starts to keep its distance from it. Once it fails to accomplish its goals, the proxy will be abandoned like a piece of waste paper.

By stating the Ukrainian crisis is a matter for the Ukrainians (and the Russians), the Biden administration also refuses to acknowledge that his country is very much behind the creation of the crisis.

But since the US and its core Western allies have already chosen to fully support Ukraine diplomatically and provide it with arms and financial aid, it is clear that they have already taken one side. If they want to stay out of this matter, they should have done so in the first place. It is quite absurd for them to act as if the war has nothing to do with them.

In fact, the US and the West definitely have an idea of what the "end state" looks like: They want Russia to be heavily defeated by Ukraine with their assistance. To make this come true, the US and NATO have put Ukraine, which is neither a US ally nor a NATO member, in a position where it has to continue to fight, even if it means "fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian," even if the country and its people are already covered with wounds and scars.

Austin's statement must have dealt a direct blow to those who support "Taiwan independence," because it turns out if you are a pawn of the US, you will end up being cannon fodder.

For the US, nothing can override its interests.