CFR member wants to heighten tension with Russia
April 15, 2014
A former U.S. diplomat and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, James Jeffrey, is calling for U.S. ground troops to be injected into the brewing civil war in Ukraine. Jeffery is a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a beltway think tank controlled by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and associated with the neocon wing of the Republican Party.
“The best way to send Putin a tough message and possibly deflect a Russian campaign against more vulnerable NATO states is to back up our commitment to the sanctity of NATO territory with ground troops, the only military deployment that can make such commitments unequivocal,” Jeffrey writes for The Washington Post, an establishment newspaper often used by neocons to push pro-war propaganda and the concept of American exceptionalism, the philosophical basis for imperialism and warmongering.
Jeffrey believes a relatively small number of U.S. ground troops deployed to Eastern European nations would result in a generalized mustering of troops in those countries. This would likely result in heightened tension and the possibility of confrontation with Russia.
Few in Congress have suggested sending troops into Ukraine. Arizona Senator John McCain and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, however, have suggested supporting the coup government by sending weapons.
“We call on President Obama, together with our NATO allies, to immediately fulfill the Ukrainian government’s request for military assistance,” the neocon duo stated on March 28. “This assistance should include small arms, ammunition, and defensive weapons, such as anti-armor and anti-aircraft systems – as well as critical non-lethal support, such as protective equipment, medical supplies, spare parts, and intelligence sharing.”
In addition to providing arms to the unelected junta, McCain and Graham said the Crimean referendum “must be a wake-up call to NATO. The alliance must urgently conduct contingency planning and military exercises to deter aggression and defend alliance members. We must shift additional NATO assets and capabilities eastward to support these contingency plans. We must increase NATO’s cooperation with, and support for, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other non-NATO partners.”
A poll conducted in early March shows a vast majority of Americans oppose sending troops to Ukraine. Only 12 percent support putting American troops on the ground, while 17 percent support air strikes, according to the CNN/ORC International poll.