Are the U.S. and Russia Heading to War?

Ukrainian army reservists take part in military exercises as tensions mount with Russia mounted (Image Credit: European Pressphoto Agency)

For months, the U.S. and Russia have been escalating tensions over the future of Ukraine – each blaming the other for fanning the flames of conflict. There have been multiple attempts by both the U.S. and Russia to come to some agreement, but talks continue to go nowhere. Meanwhile the Biden administration claims that Russia is preparing a military invasion of Ukraine any day now.

Russia claims it is not planning to invade Ukraine, even though it has sent about 100,000 troops with tanks to the Russia/Ukraine border. In addition, Russia has also sent military troops and equipment to Belarus, which borders Ukraine in the North, for war game exercises.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has been pushing for Ukraine to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which Russia opposes and sees as a provocation. If Ukraine joins NATO, it will become a site of new NATO military bases and strategic weapons systems, aimed at posing a direct threat to Russia. Already the U.S., NATO, and Ukraine have carried out a series of ongoing military exercises in the region. And just yesterday, the Biden administration sent an additional $200 million in military aid to Ukraine to counter any Russian invasion. The U.K. has also sent anti-tank weapons and troops to train Ukrainian soldiers on how to use them.

The U.S. sees Russia (along with China) as part of what it has called, “a great power competition.” And Ukraine has become a focal point of this competition for military dominance in the region, which happens to be rich in natural gas. Both the U.S. and Russia are willing to engage in this reckless competition, even if it risks spiraling out of control into a full-scale conflict.