Scheme to restart top-secret programs in Ukraine lays bare Washington’s ulterior motive
Published: Feb 13, 2023 09:11 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

In the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Washington has been trying to shape itself as an "outsider," but behind the scenes it is increasingly stepping in the conflict. A Washington Post report recently revealed that the Pentagon is urging Congress to resume funding for a pair of top-secret programs in Ukraine. If approved, the move would allow American Special Operations troops to employ Ukrainian operatives to observe Russian military movements and counter disinformation.

Despite the strong support of the US and the West, Ukraine cannot gain a decisive advantage on the battlefield. Kiev seems to have struggled to confront Russia head-on. Without further intervention from the US, it will obviously feel the pressure to deal with military action from Russia.

Under such circumstances, that a US mainstream media outlet revealed the resumption of US secret programs in Ukraine sends a strong political signal - the US is determined to retain the Kiev government so that it could control the intensity of the conflict in the next stage, international relations experts noted.

However, it also further proves Ukraine's role as a proxy. It is no secret that the US achieves its geopolitical goals through proxy wars. It is less costly and more concealing for the US than when it is directly involved. 

The development posture from all sides indicates that the situation between Russia and Ukraine may have major changes in the next phase. It is believed that the US does not want to drag out the conflict at current state for too long and a quick result leading to the final state is desired. 

The US may offer short-term and large military and economic assistance to Ukraine, and the conflict can gradually enter a relatively stable state. However, Ukraine had a drag on too much of the US' energy and resources. The US needs to make a strategic adjustment and re-focus its attention on the Asia-Pacific. 

During this process, the US may walk to the front line from behind the scene and directly engage and negotiate with Russia over the Ukraine issue, according to the experts. They believe that this requires the US to have a bigger lever and more discourse power in Ukraine. This is a major reason that it pushes forward the top secret plans at this juncture, said the experts. 

Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, believes that the US wants to support Ukraine's special operations forces, which aims at gaining a good understanding of Russia's real combat power and the real technical level of Russian weapons and equipment. All of these require Ukrainian special operations forces to use US equipment and observe according to US thinking. The US may conduct professional training for Ukrainian personnel, or send its own personnel to participate in the project. This turns indirect participation into direct participation, but still uses Ukrainian special operations forces as a cover to hide the real goal of its intervention, which is to weaken Russia.

It is impossible for Ukraine itself to achieve a so-called victory on the Russia-Ukraine battlefield. Without the support and help of the US and NATO, Ukraine would not have been able to confront Russia for so long. If the US wants to weaken Russia, it must increase its understanding of Russia's actual combat power, find out the weaknesses and shortcomings of Russia's combat power, and then let the Ukrainian army take military actions against Russia's shortcomings. 

It is very likely that the US' goal is not to "restart" the secret program, but to increase its defense spending to strengthen it. Russia has been engaged in a "secret battle" with the US on an indirect field. If the US is directly involved, it will inevitably lead to a direct conflict between the US and Russia. The US must think twice if it can bear the consequences. 

As Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov was quoted by RT.com, "Discussions on the pages of one of the leading American media about the possible sending of Special Forces to Ukraine are very remarkable. Such publications once again testify that in Washington there is an obsession with an unrealizable dream to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia and readiness to face indescribable risks in this pursuit."

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn