Great Powers Play Deadly Serious War Games over Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers training

Right now, it seems like every day U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin trade threats over Ukraine. On Jan. 24, Biden said he was putting 8,500 U.S. troops on so-called “heightened alert,” meaning that they are immediately ready for deployment to Europe. He also said that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be “the most consequential thing that’s happened in the world in terms of war and peace since World War II.” Biden seems to be forgetting the U.S. wars against the people of Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, among other military actions, as well as Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) subversion of democratically elected governments.

But it is clear that Putin’s positioning of Russian troops along Ukraine’s border as well as threats of economic sanctions and possible military action by Biden and his European counterparts in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are a dangerous game among these great powers. And the people of Ukraine are caught in the middle. War would not be in their interest or that of ordinary people in the U.S., Russia, or any of the countries in NATO.

NATO was created by the U.S. government with the help of major powers of Europe at the start of the Cold War to oppose the Soviet Union. But the Soviet Union broke up 30 years ago, the Russian regime today is fully capitalist, and yet NATO is still standing. It is a military alliance of a group of capitalist powers looking after their own interests against those of the Russian capitalists.

Just a few weeks ago in early January, the Russian government sent over 3,000 troops to Kazakhstan to help the government there (friendly to Putin’s regime) put down a mass uprising against the doubling of fuel prices. Where was the U.S. and NATO outrage over this? The politicians running the U.S. and European governments expressed “disappointment” about this actual invasion.

When those politicians talk about defending “freedom” against Russian aggression they pick and choose which cases to get involved in. For these politicians it’s not about freedom or democracy. It is about their political interests and the business interests of the capitalists they represent. As of today, we don’t know whether this will turn into a shooting war. But working-class people and the oppressed people of all countries have no interests in being cannon fodder for the bosses.