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Why Doesn't the U.S. Want Peace?

Susan Banaszewski

Jul 20, 2022

As the  holder of the world reserve currency, a leader on the world stage, the de-facto commander of NATO, and a self-avowed enforcer of a ‘rules-based international order,’ the United States is in the best position to bring peace and prosperity to Ukraine. If he wanted to, U.S. President Joe Biden could take the lead in peace negotiations and exert his tremendous leverage over the Kiev regime to reach a settlement. US congresspeople, who claim to be against war and  foreign intervention, could begin to vote against the billions of dollars in military aid that have only prolonged and exacerbated the conflict. So why is it that, apart from some libertarian and ‘America First’ Republicans, our so-called representatives have voted almost unanimously to pump more and more weapons into Ukraine? Why do they continue their inflammatory rhetoric toward Russian president Vladimir Putin? And why have they waged an all-out economic war that is now backfiring and wreaking havoc on economies in the collective West? 


The U.S. establishment spent years provoking the current conflict by crossing a bright red line with its 2008 announcement to expand NATO to Ukraine and later orchestrating the 2014  Euromaidan color revolution and coup d'etat. Senators Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Amy Klobuchar met in 2017 with Ukrainian soldiers, including prominent neo-Nazis like Azov battalion founder, Andriy Biletsky. In a video taken during the meeting, Graham assures the soldiers, “Your fight is our fight - 2017 will be the year of offense. All of us will go back to Washington and we will push the case against Russia.” Upon his return, he did just that. When Russia began its special military operation in February 2022, Graham openly called for Putin’s assassination. Ukraine, there is bipartisan consensus. Throughout the Trump administration, Democratic congressman and purveyor of Russiagate Adam Schiff had also called for military aid to the Kiev regime "so that they can fight Russia over there, and we don’t have to fight Russia here."

Despite repeated warnings from the U.N. Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) in the years leading up to Russia’s special military operation that supplying weapons to Ukraine would only result in continued civilian suffering and human rights violations, the "aid" not only continued - former president Trump was even impeached for delaying some of it. The steady influx of arms worked against the implementation of the Minsk agreements. The U.S. knew that these weapons shipments would only hinder implementation of the Minsk agreements. Indeed, former president Petro Poroshenko recently admitted in an interview to Germany’s Deutsche Welle television that the Minsk Accords were merely a ploy to buy more time to build up Ukraine's military. Meanwhile, there remains a consensus in Washington to deploy Ukrainians to fight a proxy war against Russia, to safeguard “democracy” and the "liberal world order." Following the money, however, reveals the real motives.


With the approval of Biden’s 15th military aid package since the beginning of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, the U.S. has now provided another $7 billion in aid - bringing the total to almost $60 billion. The conflict has been a boon to arms industry stakeholders. While the larger stock market struggles amidst a growing recession, Northrup Grummon stock has shot up 20% since the beginning of the year; Lockheed Martin, 17%; and Raytheon, 11%. Those in Congress and other powerful positions who own arms industry stocks are reaping the benefits: Business Insider reports that at least 20 members of Congress or their families own stock in Raytheon Technologies or Lockheed Martin. Some own up to $250,000 in stock, such as Senators John Hickenlooper (D) and Roy Blunt (R). According to an analysis by Public Citizen, defense sector companies donated over $10M to members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees who are up for reelection in 2022. Recipients of campaign donations from the defense industry have every incentive to ensure those profits keep increasing. In addition to these elected officials who are subject to greater oversight, less visible but still influential government employees and advisors are also presumably reaping the war profits. 

Economic Warfare

Intensifying conflict with Russia has provided the pretext for the U.S. to force its allies to pick sides and distance themselves from Russia economically. For years, the U.S. energy sector and its friends in government have used sanctions and lawsuits to prevent the opening of the completed Nordstream 2 pipeline, which was set to bring from Russia to Germany. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, had promised on January 27th: “If Russia invades Ukraine one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.” At a press conference, President Biden later unilaterally ruled out opening the pipeline in front of Germany's new leader, chancellor Olaf Scholz. The cancellation of Nordstream 2, a project Germany had itself proposed to a skeptical Russia, has meant renewed European reliance on more expensive American liquefied natural gas (LNG), pushing up prices. Other aggressive, anti-Russia sanctions continue to make would-be neutral countries more reliant on the U.S., and Washington has threatened to blacklist and sanction any country that doesn't join in the economic and proxy war against Russia.

This strategy has resulted in increased energy prices, discussions about energy rationing, and record-breaking inflation in the U.S. and Europe, as contributed to a looming global food crisis. This, while the Russian ruble is in fact trading at its strongest level since 2015. 

As long as the war in Ukraine rages on, U.S. arms manufacturers, energy tycoons and western elites will continue to benefit. Each nation on the international stage is now being forced to either cut off trade with Russia and subject themselves to U.S. hegemony, or else risk the penalties incurred by cutting off trade with the U.S. and its allies. Until the U.S. is no longer allowed a stranglehold on bodies of international law and is forced to deal with Russia as a sovereign nation, the Ukrainian people will remain pawns of U.S. imperialism and working and peace-loving people of all countries will continue to suffer. 

This article was originally published in Minneapolis-based Anti-War Committee’s “Ukraine Report” and has been updated with current information.

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