Ukraine and US Parallel Power
Irina LEBEDEVA | 25.11.2014 | OPINION

Ukraine and US Parallel Power

Joe Biden and Victoria Nuland have become frequent visitors to Kiev. It was not the first time the US Vice President chaired a session of Ukraine’s government. He is the one to assess the balance of forces in the «all-out war» that Ukraine is ready for as President Petro Poroshenko reported. Before the Biden’s visit Adrian Karatnycky, an expert on Ukraine at the Atlantic Council of the United States, an influential think tank in the field of international affairs, called on the administration to waste no time taking the decision to start lethal arms supplies to Ukraine while increasing the sanctions pressure on Russia. He wants the administration to take necessary steps - something European governments have been hesitant about so far. Addressing the White House he also emphasized the need to expedite the legislative process in Congress and approve the bill The Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 to make it a law. (1) The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September. (2) The legislation offers a wide range of measures to counter the Russia’s policy in Ukraine. It would impose new sanctions on Russia’s energy and defense sector, cut Russia off from international financial institutions, provide military (including lethal) and non-military assistance to Ukraine, grant Major non-NATO Ally status to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, authorize the appropriation to expand broadcasting services to countries of the former Soviet Union and spread the information in Russian language to Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and other states. The $350 security assistance package authorized by the bill for 2015 has not been allocated but the visit of Joe Biden, the second in command to the US President and a politician with presidential ambitions ready to run in 2016, is not only a symbolic gesture. The US neocons support his presidential bid. The Biden’s mission is to beat up the morale of Ukrainian fighters as they get ready to rout the «Putin’s Russia». The US media outlets have intensified the discussions on lethal arms supplies to Ukraine. The name of Antony Blinken, the Assistant to the President of the United States and Deputy National Security Adviser for President Obama, has been mentioned many a time. Looks like plays the role of kingpin as the clans clash over foreign policy issues. 

Barack Obama has so far failed to declare an «all-out war» that Poroshenko wants so much, but part of Washington’s establishment has started to create a mechanism of «parallel power» led by ambitious Joe Biden and his team. 

Anthony Blinken has the reputation of someone close to Biden. The same way one can call him a member of the Clintons’ retinue. The official likes to state the fact that he comes from a Jewish family of immigrants who have escaped from Communist regime. He is known as a staunch supporter of Israel. It brings him close to the political circles centered on the Nuland-Kagan (3) families to defend the interests of transnational Jewish capital. It looks like this very political forces have decided to smoothly insert corrections to the «wavering» stance of Barack Obama on the issues related to Ukraine and Syria, as well as to modify the John Kerry’ policy aimed at finding a solution to Israel-Palestine conflict and the problem of Iran’s nuclear program. On the eve of Biden’s visit to Ukraine, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing to consider President Obama’s nomination of Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken to serve as Deputy Secretary of State. (4) Senators Robert Menendez and Bob Corker, the authors of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, presided over the deliberations. Anthony Blinken shied away from giving a direct answer to the question if the United States should provide Ukraine with lethal military aid. He just kind of insinuated that it is him who should be responsible for the policy on Ukraine. Mr. Blinken remembered his grandfather who left Ukraine for the USA. Then he told senators about his mother who left Hungary to escape the Communist rule and his father who served as US Ambassador to Hungary under Bill Clinton in the days Budapest joined NATO. He also told about his uncle who has been US Ambassador to Belgium, his father-in-law who survived Holocaust, his wife, a US State Department official, and cousins who knew a lot about Latin America. Evasive answers were offered each and every time Blinken was asked about his views on the issue of lethal arms deliveries to Ukraine. It even made John McCain angry. The Senator is expected to take the helm of the powerful Armed Services Committee. The confirmation of Blinken for a key foreign policy position is actually a slam-dunk decision. Perhaps the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will announce its recommendation on November 27, right after the Thanksgiving Day. 

In recent times Biden has tried to go around Obama who takes a soft stand on Ukraine (recently Senator Bob Corker has publicly called Obama a «weak»). It was upon his initiative the participants in negotiations on setting up a coalition at the Ukrainian parliament included into the text of agreement the provisions that annul the Ukraine's non-aligned status and proclaim NATO membership as a key foreign policy aim of Ukraine. The document also calls for new strategies on national security and defense. 

The Biden’s visit to Ukraine showed that the US is going to intensify its Ukraine policy efforts. There is another thing that is obvious. A parallel power structure is being created two years before the next presidential election. It can gradually make the United States lose the ability to conclude international agreements.

Endnotes:

3. Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been a foreign policy advisor to several U.S. Republican presidential candidates. Mr. Kagan is married to long-time career diplomat Victoria Nuland, who is currently serving as Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian Affairs
Tags: Russia  Ukraine  US  Biden  Poroshenko 

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