By SOCIALIST RESURGENCE and endorsed by WORKERS’ VOICE
The possibility of direct conflict between U.S. and Russian imperialism grows daily. While President Biden considers deploying up to 8500 additional troops to Eastern Europe and the Baltic States, NATO has already dispatched ships and jets to potentially bolster Ukraine against the build-up of 100,000 Russian troops near the border. At the request of the Ukrainian government, Britain and Canada have sent military support. The U.S. has even begun a partial evacuation of its embassy in Kyiv.
Even before the latest deployments, NATO countries had stationed thousands of troops, missiles, and heavy armor in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states. The U.S. has 4000 heavily armed troops in Poland, with an airborne combat unit there, and missile systems in both Poland and Romania that are aimed at Russia. It has several hundred troops and heavy armor in a newly built base in Lithuania, a special operations base in Latvia, and a U.S./NATO airbase in Estonia. And at least 300 U.S. soldiers are stationed near Lviv, Ukraine, to train units of the Ukrainian military. The U.S. has sent some $2.5 billion in military aid to Ukraine since 2014.
Overall, the U.S. has about 65,000 troops and Air Force personnel in Europe (including 34,000 in Germany), and as of 2019, about 250 nuclear warheads deployed in Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the Netherlands.
International negotiations have failed to meet Russia’s main demands that NATO withdraw its forces from the neighboring Baltic states and prevent Ukraine from joining the NATO alliance. The fights for political influence and resources are converging in Eastern Europe, where the U.S., China, EU, and Russia all want the lion’s share. There is little doubt that Putin also sees war threats as a way to fan Great Russian nationalist sentiment in order to help quell discontent with the stagnant economy at home and to raise his own flagging popularity with the Russian people.
Conflict between the U.S.-backed Ukrainian government and the Russian-backed breakaway areas in the Donbas region have cost thousands of workers’ lives. An all-out war between Ukraine and Russia would lead to thousands more needless deaths of workers, students, and farmers, and devastate the Ukrainian economy. Working people have nothing to gain from a war in the region.
We also oppose the U.S. fascist fanatics who are traveling to Ukraine and linking with fascist groups to materially support the Ukrainian military against the threat of a Russian invasion. Inter-imperialist conflict is helping to create a breeding ground for the spread of fascism in Europe and the U.S.
The only solution to imperialist war and the spread of fascism is international working-class solidarity. For the U.S. working class and its allies in this country, this means we must quickly rebuild the antiwar movement and prepare to put thousands into the streets in opposition to another U.S. war.
We must also extend our solidarity to Russian workers and students, who have no interest in war—especially after the Russian military incursions into Syria, Kazakhstan, and Eastern Ukraine. Ultimately, the working class in the former Soviet republics of Eastern Europe and Central Asia must organize to take political power away from the oligarchs and capitalist politicians, who are carrying out wars and repression to further the extraction of profit-making resources.
No U.S. troops to Eastern Europe! End U.S. and Russian intervention in Ukraine. Solidarity with antiwar workers and farmers in Ukraine, Russia, and the rest of Eastern Europe!
Photo: Ukrainian reservists practice military exercises near Kyiv. (Sergey Dolzhenko / EPA via Shutterstock)