The New York Times reported Wednesday that the US is warming to the idea of helping Ukraine strike Crimea, something the Biden administration has previously avoided due to the risk of provoking a major response from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Citing unnamed US officials, the report said that after months of discussions with Ukrainian officials, the administration is now “starting to concede that Kyiv may need the power to strike the Russian sanctuary, even if such a move increases the risk of escalation.”
President Biden is still holding off sending the longer-range missiles that could hit targets in Crimea that Ukraine is seeking. But the US is discussing with Ukrainian officials how to attack the land bridge to Crimea Russia has secured for itself using US-provided weapons, such as US-provided HIMARS rocket systems and Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
The US, for the first time, pledged to send 50 Bradleys in an over $3 billion weapons package that was announced earlier this month. The Bradleys could potentially help Ukraine go on the offensive, and a US official said the HIMARS could be used to hit Russian supply lines coming out of Crimea from Ukraine’s line in Kherson.
A senior US official told the Times that US and Ukrainian officials are set to meet in Germany this week to wargame out a potential offensive against Russia in southern Ukraine. But the report said that even with the additional military aid, the Biden administration doesn’t think Ukraine can actually take Crimea from Russia.
The US thinking is that Crimea needs to be under threat to give Ukraine leverage for any future negotiations. Even though the risk of escalation is extremely high, US officials said there has been a “dampening of fears that targeting Crimea would drive Mr. Putin to use a tactical nuclear weapon.”
The lessening concern about Putin resorting to nukes appears to be based only on the fact that he hasn’t used any up to this point. This reflects a December report from The Times of London that said the Pentagon was tacitly backing Ukrainian attacks inside Russia because Putin didn’t respond to earlier attacks with a tactical nuclear weapon or by attacking NATO territory.
The New York Times report quoted Dara Massicot, a researcher from the RAND Corporation, who claimed that “Crimea has already been hit many times without a massive escalation from the Kremlin.” But Massicot’s claim is false as Russia began launching missile strikes on vital Ukrainian infrastructure in response to the October truck bombing of the Crimean Bridge.
Before the bridge bombing, Russia didn’t launch large-scale attacks on infrastructure in Ukraine, but now such bombardments have become routine, and millions of Ukrainians are struggling to power and heat their homes.
US officials admit that they don’t know how Putin would respond to the US supporting Ukrainian attacks on Crimea. Putin has previously warned he could use nuclear weapons to protect Russia’s “territorial integrity,” and Russia’s military doctrine allows for the use of nuclear weapons if the country faces an “existential threat.”
96 thoughts on “NYT: US Considering Helping Ukraine Strike Crimea”
I cannot post right now as I am going to check my bomb shelter and make sure everything is in place….
can I share?
As soon as the Condoleezza clouds begin to appear, run towards the light. Surviving a global nuclear war you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, unless perhaps your worst enemy is an actual cockroach. In that case run even faster.
Duck and cover, remember?
Make sure you have enough tables to hide under and toilet tissues for several years.
While Ms. Massicott has an MA (whoopee) in nat’l security&strategic studies, she doesn’t seem to be able to read the real world. Perhaps she is better at reading books.
A waste of time, she lacks reading comprehension.
Yes, but she is consistent with the narrative. And anyway, read impressionistically these latest noises from Washington and NATO have the offal smell of panic, … that they know doom is upon them, and must either go for broke (meaning, according to the “projection” logic of their standard doublespeak, nukes … in some form) and die or surrender and live, if ignominiously.
Russia wouldn’t need to use nukes but it might start shooting down unmanned reconnaissance aircraft flying near its borders and that’s just for starters. Once it escalates to Russian regular troops killing US regular troops, or vice versa, the real trouble starts.
It is all okay as long as it does not go nuclear?
FAFO and if it does, well too bad?
This describes insanity in US government.
Have no fear. Congress is funding a multi million dollar study on cockroaches to see how they would survive a nuclear war. They will then apply the results for themselves so they and their insect brethren would continue on.
I feel better already…
For those like me who have a limited vocabulary of acronyms: FAFO stands for ‘F%@& Around and Find Out’. “Usually reserved for those people who want to keep pushing a situation until they indeed find out how badly the other person is going to react
and open a can of whoop-ass on them.” (urban dictionary dot com)
Step by step the journey towards global thermonuclear annihilation is being completed. Currently we are laying the groundwork for that outcome to be inevitable. We can hope it doesn’t happen if we deny it hard enough, but that particular strategy has been tried and tested in all sorts of cases and is known to have a very a poor rate of success. Even if you go fully Deepak and triple quantumwish.
The US is far more likely to engage in first-use of nuclear weapons. The most recent Defense Dept. documents confirm that the US is willing to use nuclear weapons “to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners.” In other words, not just to protect the territory of the US, but also to defend its ‘vital interests’ and those of its ‘allies or partners’, such as Ukraine. (sources: https://media.defense.gov/2022/Oct/27/2003103923/-1/-1/1/NUCLEAR-STRATEGY-AND-POLICY-NPR-FACTSHEET.PDF, https://www.defense.gov/National-Defense-Strategy/) More documents here: https://www.csis.org/analysis/new-us-national-defense-strategy-2022,
“such a move increases the risk of escalation” – such a move IS the escalation. Russians started the destruction of Ukrainian dual purpose infrastructure after the attack against Crimean bridge. Before that, Ukraine had no problems with the electricity.
NYT: US Considering Persuading Russia to Strike US
LOL. Should be a headline in The Onion.
This is one of the saddest most disheartening headlines I have ever read.
Perhaps the number of attacks on Crimea would increase if Dear Leader authorizes them. Perhaps not. The attacks on Crimea, including the bridge, must have been “unauthorized”. Right?
Perhaps fear of massive retaliation in Ukraine will circumvent Biden’s desire to expand the war.
I am not comparing Putin to The Great Emancipator. However, geo-strategic reality dictates that Putin can no more give up Crimea and its port of Sevastopol than Lincoln could have given up the lower Mississippi River valley and the port of New Orleans. Just as New Orleans was essential to the upper Mississippi River valley states (including Lincoln’s own Illinois) in accessing the Gulf of Mexico and hence engaging in commerce prior to the transcontinental railroads, so Sevastopol is essential to Russia’s access to the Mediterranean (and hence to its Syrian ally) through its exercise of rights of passage under the Montreux Convention through the Turkish straits. Turn Crimea over to Ukraine and a U.S. poodle controls the west bank of the Kerch Strait, enabling the U.S. to bottle the Russian fleet into the Sea of Azov. That’s as unacceptable to Putin as letting Britain’s Confederate poodle control the upper Mississippi’s outlet to the Gulf.
Novorossiysk is a big and always busy port. Look at the map, it is not in Azov sea. Russia would have access to Mediterranean anyway but, of course, it doesn’t mean that Russia is ready to abandon Sebastopol.
True, and very valid from an economic standpoint. From a military/political standpoint though, compared to Sevastopol? I am dubious, and tend to support the thesis of the OP.
Each stage means more escalation, toward WW III. But NATO’s convinced it is resolution – not how history sees it. Governments see what they want to see, at their peril.
Yes. And it is this kind of sleepwalking that led Europe into WWI. Each nation expected another one to put on the brakes, and all were surprised when the train jumped the tracks.
In retrospect, I do not believe that WWI was caused by sleepwalking. It was caused by one or more parties believing they cannot lose. In WWI it was UK that was convinced in irs chances of victory. It had the idiotic German King, grandson of Quern Victoria in the palm of their hands. All other events were in uts favor. UK sponsored Trocky in Germany and revolution was planned against arch enemy Russia. Turkey colir revolution was hatched at the same time. As empires of old crumbled — Ottoman Russian Austri-Hungarian — UK was set to reso the benefits. It needed it,
UK was in debt and wars were the way to deal with them. The shot in Sarajevo was just the needed jolt to set war in motion. Aystria fell for urge to gobafter Serbia — its Balkan nemeis, Russia was obliged to defend. UK armed Japan to teeth to take Russia in in far east, war Russia lost, The cascading effects — Russian revolution, Turkey in the grip of politics., and never ending meat grinder in Europe.
What weakened UK was the unexpected resistance from old Prussia. In spite of the feeble Kaiser that would have let UK run Germany over. Prusdia saw this as an existential battke.
In the end America stepped in, Wilson crafted new European map. and UK slude gas begun.
In spite of getting many former Ottoman pissesdions, UK was so in debt that next war seemed inevitable,
US pledged 50 Bradleys couple weeks ago and a few days ago the Russian MoD reported destroying 4 of them. Lol.
Anyways, give Ukraine what it needs to kick the Russians out and make sure they don’t ever come back for more land. The entire thing was escalated when Putin invaded last Feb. Now it’s just war and unless Putin pulls his sh!t army out, there will be no peace.
You can send all of your money, sell everything and give that too. Then go to Ukraine to kick Russians out. Drive a Bradley all the way to Sevastopol, be greeted with flowers and sweets, as a true tough talking hero.
Drive a Bradley? nah, the Russians already destroyed them all.
Thanks for the compliment. I am a True Action Hero too. You must be the other guy.
Neicon fantasyland. The war started 2014, in case you have not noticed. If you have not noticed, there is less and less of Ukraine today than one year ago. And guaranteed even less unless Kiev starts using its head, and not listening to exciteable neocons here.
So far, Russia has been conducting this war with one pinky finger. But it is mobilizing a sizeable force. Just in case some European idiots assume this all is going to be a cakewalk.
Paying attention to reality is the key. Not wishfull thinking.
There is no justification for attacking Crimea. Those people have never wanted to be part of Ukraine. Let them be.
When Ukraine (with a lot of help from NATO friends) struck the bridge, Russia took out a huge chunk of their electrical grid. Hopefully that sent a message.
Wars pay off for private profiteers and wars take away attention from political failures of domestic policies, like rotting infrastructure, lack of quality education, health care, housing, public transportation and on and on, bottom line failed government.
So far Biden has been a colossal failure at home and abroad. And the insane man is looking for more trouble with China, he is crazy and no adult in the room to stop the train wreck.
It’s partly Biden, who is an old Cold Warrior. But I think a lot of the warhawk energy is coming from the younger neoconservatives in the State Dept., like Blinken, Sullivan, Nuland, Fiona Hill, etc. They just don’t seem to believe in Mutual Assured Destruction.
Winken, Nod, and Blinken…
I knew Nuland was really screwed up, but Hill has surprised me. She’s as screwed up as the rest.
What a grotesque ending to a once upon a time hopeful society.
Nah. Hill was always part of the DC psychopath bunch.
The rabid #CancelRussia mass phenomenon and the discussions about sending NATO weapons are simply an expression of the impotent rage felt by the leaders of the West.
The danger here is that frustrated, hate-filled people are not capable of rational decision-making. If you look at the numbers of military hardware sent to Ukraine, they are so small as to be meaningless.
The Russian strategy is very simple: Russia will kill NATO soldiers and hardware faster than NATO can provide reinforcements and this will continue until NATO surrenders. Western populations need to prepare for years of war and poverty that they will never recover from.
Looks as if the Globalists are getting desperate to start WW3 for all to see. They might just achieve it if they take that action.
They are desperate because their wet dream about unipolar world with themselves at the top of it, collapsed.
Let’s hope so but they won’t give up on their demented schemes to control everything.
Yes, they are working hard to get what they want, but they are not suicidal.
“Before the bridge bombing, Russia didn’t launch large-scale attacks on infrastructure in Ukraine, but now such bombardments have become routine, and millions of Ukrainians are struggling to power and heat their homes.”
There it is in a nutshell. So what if millions of Ukrainians are freezing their a$$es off. The fact that it didn’t cause a direct confrontation with the US/NATO is all that matters. At least to the US/NATO. At some point the light bulb is going to go on and Ukraine will finally realize they are being used as cannon fodder. Until then, millions more will suffer.
I sometimes think the goal of the Biden administration is to push Russia so hard that Putin takes off the padded gloves and does something unspeakable that could be used to justify direct NATO intervention.
For example, instead of leaving just enough electricity to get by, he could take it ALL down. If he did, 3 of the nuclear plants in Western Ukraine would have to switch to backup power to prevent meltdowns. The slightest error in that scenario would result in another Chernobyl.
Unfortunately, I think that is exactly what the Biden administration is doing. I can’t understand it, unless the neocons in the administration truly believe that Russia will back down. Still, with the entire unipolar US empire project at stake that may be the logic.
All I see is that Russia’s immensely low key strategy is a death to neocon need for sugar-high, constant need to feed media frezy and keep populace mesmerized. This boring toutine of infrastructure degradation and snail pace of miving artillery from positions against which Zelensky keeps on throwing reinforcements after reinforcements, wasting soldiers’ lives.
So, sugar high will be provided by some silly bews. What are these miracle weapons that can strike Crimea that is only few hundred mikes away from Ukrainian positions? They did it already. Hit Crimean bridge, Sevastopol.
So why talk about it? Any serious escallation will lead to another escallation.
Russia provided already several rounds of opportunity for negotiated settlement. Every time there is a significant lull in operations — means an opportunity for Ukraine to asses its negotiating opportunity. And every time thus far, suc opportunuties were squandered, and every time Russia moved furter.
So instead on focusing on REAL changes (latest Russa incirporating four Rusdian soeaking regions into Russia — all our attention was on two areas where Russia shortened the front. Moved its forces and civilians, letting Ukraine to take it. Thise were trumpeted as huge Ukrainian victories, Russia in disarray, etc.
By niw the story of success has worn out. The relative lull not taken advantage of. Instead, the neocons straight out of tge yelliw school bus are arguing for some high octane action! Just to show what “plucky” Ukraine can do! And gmhave out talking heads froth at the mouth a whike linger,
What will it do for a counry like Ukraine, or what is left of it? They do not care. Not in the least. They found a soulmate in kiev and will not let go. Until it hurts at home. It already does but we are too busy naval gazing and party politicking.
right. ukraine is so desperate to get crimea back that they will start bombing it
Like Trump said, “What’s the point of having Nukes if you can’t ever use them.”
NATO/U.S. are an existential threat to Russia.
And some say there is no Devil ? No sane person would even give thought to what we all know is another Red Line with Russia, because they might be tempted to use their Nukes. Think about it, if they use Nukes what are we to do, use our Nukes ? That’s check mate time unless we are willing to destroy God only knows how much of the civilized world on both sides in many places and I don’t think the US is ready for that.
The way it stacks up is we are at each other’s mercy and the sooner we realize and act accordingly the better off we will be. This deal makes me wonder if Ukraine has the goods on the Bidens because of past financial entanglements and that is why the President is willing to risk everything to save his own skin.
What’s that in the distance? Oh, a mushroom cloud. Better duck and cover.
They tested Putin to see if he would nuke Kiev over a terrorist attack on Kerch Bridge and it turns out that even a cold-blooded KGB neck-snapper is less psychotic than your average neocon chickenhawk.
Long story short, Greenlight!
Crimea realistically can’t be taken from the North as long as the Russians hold Kherson province south of the river. Anyone who knows the terrain knows that. The only way Russia took Kherson province in the first place was Ukrainian Russian sympathizers allowed Russian forces to cross the dikes and bridges from Crimea over the “rotten sea” that should have been blown. It’s why Russia was willing to evacuate Kherson city (north of the river); other than public perception, and a lot of hungry mouths to feed, Kherson city offers nothing to Russia, but south of the river offers everything as a shield for Crimea. So any plan of “taking” Crimea from the north is an absurdity if the Russians remain willing to fight.
And, 50 Bradleys??? That’s maybe 1 mechanized infantry Battalion. That’s not going to allow any real offensive; only some local attacks until they are destroyed or break down. And I wonder, who is maintaining them for Ukraine?
‘Warming to’, like warming their hands over the flames of war, drooling over all the money they are making.
Oil company profits can go much higher.
They JUMP when the US is in a major war.
The logic is insane.
“We haven’t threatened Russia enough to provoke a tactical nuclear attack”
“Let’s try harder.”
The perpetrators are insane. One follows from the other.
It seems like Biden is hoping that this war will go nuclear. Is it only me that thinks this is tremendously dangerous. Russia has all the veto nuclear weapons of expomential blast, four or five thousand times the blast of the WWII ones that hit Japan and thousands of times more blast than what is in U.S. NATO arsenal. All the U.S. can do to match Russian super nukes is fire off hundreds at one time, which would end the world as we knew it. A murder suicide for them and us….. Anyone else see it this way…??????
I don’t think Biden or his handlers have the slightest notion what has happened, is happening, or will/might happen. They’re screwing around looking for something that works, and don’t have a clue where any of it leads.
The bland leading the blind.
I want to warm Biden up for his immediate retirement. To Guantanamo, right after he pays his regards to the Hague…
Easily the most stupid president in my lifetime. He is the living embodiment of the Peter Principle – a person who has finally been promoted into a position he cannot fill. If your goal is to keep climbing that ladder, you will eventually walk off its top rung.
Too bad he will take all the rest of us with him. A classic exemplar of the fatal flaw of the hero in an Aristotelian Tragedy.
In Moscow they can afford to fiddle while Europs Burns. The coming Winter offensive was always a western construct, not Russian. While the Nazi’s keep throwing themselves headlong into the Donbass meatgrinder there really is no need for a Russian offensive at all.
Moscow has called NATO’s bluff and are prepared for a very long war, a war of attrition, a war Russia is wining.
The rabid #CancelRussia mass phenomenon and the proposals about sending NATO weapons are simply an expression of the impotent racist rage felt by the leaders of the West.
Nato’s European.members hav no weapons, no amunition, no fuel and food shortages. And the european.people do not want war yet the idiot politicians keep pushing them towarda it. If war in Ukraine broadens there will be civil wars & revolutions in Europe and NATO will be incapable of fighting any war against Russia.
Any evidence for those claims?
Europe is a lame duck with no weapons, food or fuel. They will run out of gas before they get to the front lines
Ukraine was only founded in 1917. It was carved off from poland, romania, slovakia etc by ukraine socialists who won their independence. The eastern donbas areas were only given to ukraine by the Soviet Union for administrative purposes. Poland et all will take back their territories when ukraine has lost. Ukraine will not exist.
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