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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 The War in Ukraine and the Conceivable Implications for the US

The current war in Ukraine has trigged a pandora’s box of new set of complexities and crisis across the globe where the war does not seem to end anytime soon. Most wars through history had major impacts on shaping the post-war period. It goes without question that the Russo-Ukraine war would be no different where the war’s end will leave behind a memorable effect on the current global geopolitical setting where future wars would be born out of the belly of the current Russo-Ukraine war. Like previous wars that have come to past, they all laid down precedents for the future wars to be waged upon. The First World War came out of the of belly of European wars during the era of the European balance of power system; the Second World War was due to the First; the Cold War was due to the Second and the wars in Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan were due to the post-1991 order-after the Cold War.

Thus, it is necessary to lay out the current global situation to determine how the future circumstances would transpire within the global political arena and the new political risks that will emerge due to it, as it is in the Ummah’s interest to understand the new opportunities and risks that would arise, which could then be exploited in favour for the establishment of the Khilafah (Caliphate) State (on the method of the prophethood). Our Master Muhammed (saw) was in a constant pursuance of the political events in order to seize several fleeting opportunities to establish, maintain and expand the Islamic state in order to revive the people and to spread justice and prosperity throughout the lands. Due to the former efforts of the Rasool (saw) and his Companions, the Islamic civilisation thrived for centuries. Many other Caliphs, governors and military leaders inherited similar political thinking to exploit opportunities in order to spread the greatness of Islam. For example, Sultan Muhammed Fatih continually pursued the ground events within Europe, which led him to a form of policy to exploit the schisms between the West and the East (Byzantine Empire). The former led to the liberation of Constantinople (re-named to Islambul) where it became the new beacon of the Islamic civilisation.

First, it is important to understand the reasons behind the Ukraine war and the motives for both America and Russia and other players who are involved in the following points:

1. For Russia, Ukraine is an extension if its historical grandeur and geopolitical reach; Ukraine without Russia remains Ukraine, but Russia without Ukraine ceases to be a transcontinental power. Since Czar’s era, Russia consisted of three territories-till 1991-which were fundamental to Russian greatness. White Russia (Belarus), little Russia (Ukraine) and mainland Russia. Czar’s title was the “emperor of all the Russias”. Moreover, to this day the head of the Orthodox Church in Moscow is called “Metropolitan of Moscow and all of Rus” Rus means the inclusion of the former territories Belarus and Ukraine. Thus, this deep history is deeply entrenched within Russia’s elite and a good portion of its public to this day. For this reason, Russia can never let go of Ukraine. In one form or another, Russia must exercise a domineering role of some fashion within Ukraine. It is due to the former, to why Vladmir Putin decided to amass a massive quantity of troops right in front of Ukraine’s borders so, in return, he could receive guarantees that Ukraine would never obtain an admission within America’s hegemonic security architecture-NATO. As the former would permanently terminate Russia’s hopes of ever regaining Ukraine.

Furthermore, what really provoked Putin to adopt such radical measures was due to NATO’s military exercises alongside Ukraine right next to Russian borders in late 2021. Not to mention, the victory of Azerbaijan via Turkish backing-who is also a NATO member and an American asset- further undermined Russia’s southern geopolitical sphere. Nonetheless, last year’s NATO exercises were a red line, which compelled the Kremlin to adopt punitive measures to prevent US encroachment onto Russia’s geopolitical interests.

2. Putin primarily did not intend to invade Ukraine; instead, he planned to utilise the troop build-up in order to achieve the political objective of dividing Europe and, furthermore, to compel Ukraine to stop its flirtation with NATO and vice versa. The amassing of Russian troops near Ukraine borders was initially a decent strategy to create uncertainty and anxiety amongst Europeans about the military situation at the border. The Kremlin simply had to utilise the 100,000 troops near Ukrainian borders to play upon European uncertainty and sow seeds of divisions. Prior to the invasion, France, and Germany especially, were not on the same rhetorical alignment as the eastern Europeans like Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine who tried to rally everyone’s staunch support against Russia’s ambiguous military conduct on the borders of Ukraine. France, on the other hands, continued to pursue Russian rapprochement in efforts to exclude America from Europe. Over the years, Macron’s statements on NATO being “Brain dead”, Europe needs a “Security architecture separate from America” and “European strategic autonomy” are all statements consolidating French historical policy of counterbalancing America from the continent via Russia, hoping in return to achieve the revitalisation of French grandeur in Europe. Germany, too, refused to adopt an unequivocal stance towards the troop accumulation on Ukraine’s borders. Furthermore, Berlin refused to halt its gas purchases from Russia and refused discontinue the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. In late December 2021, Ukraine attacked Germany for blocking NATO supplies to Kyiv, where the Ukrainian defence minister stated, “They are still building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and at the same time blocking our defensive weapons. It is very unfair”. Thus, prior to Russia’s futile military incursion, the Kremlin maintained a strong position as it instigated apprehension, disorientation and division amongst the Europeans something, which verily put America at unease.

3. From the American perspective, the only strategy that could have been deployed to save and consolidate America’s primacy within Europe was to provoke an invasion. If Russia, remained at the Ukrainian border without conducting a military incursion, it would have most definitely paved the way for the divergent interests of several European nations to fall prey to Russian blackmail. Germany would have remained firm on the Nord Stream 2 project, the French would continue with their delusional efforts of a Franco-Russian rapprochement to marginalise the US from Europe, and the eastern Europeans would begin to question America’s reliability due to the former events-if materialised-that how America could allow such events to prosper when their security was under threat due to Russia knocking on the front door. Nonetheless, prior to Russia’s invasion, America was planning to provoke Russia for some time.

4. In the 1990s, America utilised the negative sentiments of eastern Europeans towards post-Soviet Russia to maintain NATO’s relevance. Where after the Cold War, the US justified NATO’s expansion towards the east, but not because Russia was a looming threat but rather, to prevent Germany or France from providing their own security guarantees to Poland, Hungry and several other eastern European nations. In fact, Russian circumstances during the 1990s posed no threat of whatsoever towards Europe since, Russia was severely fragmented and economically doomed. Thus, the eastern NATO expansion was the answer for the US, concerning the post-1991 rejection of the alliance’s relevance which aided America to maintain NATO’s relevance and the US as the ultimate arbiter of European affairs.

5. In comparison to the historical conduct of US polices in Europe, the Biden administration concluded that to consolidate America’s postion in Europe, it had to unite the continent towards an imminent threat. Not only would this reverse Trump’s undoing in Europe, but also would help the US achieve other objectives like terminating the Nord Stream 2, sabotaging Franco-German reconciliation with Russia, impair Russia, boost Biden’s poll numbers, boost the profits of the US military industrial complex and lastly, leverage Russia so it could aid America towards the encirclement of China.

America rather than accelerating the process of Ukraine’s NATO membership or providing it with a nuclear umbrella to fend of Russian aggression, it carried out NATO exercises near Russo-Ukrainian border late last year, which was a blatant violation of Russia’s security concerns. Furthermore, the current US administration has purposefully brought US-Russian relations to an all-time low since the cold war. Biden has constantly been after Putin’s human rights violations and the Crimean occupation. Since last year, Biden had portrayed zero interest in improving US-Russian relations, in hope of pushing Putin towards a rash decision. In December 2021, Biden, constantly disregarded Putin’s warning of complete “rapture of US-Russian relations” if he choose to apply unprecedented sanctions upon Russia. Nonetheless, Biden carried on with his tough and an unnecessary stance towards Russia.

Sanction should not be overused as it makes them ineffective and hazardous. Because sanctions do not neutralise the enemy, they simply provoke the enemy and simultaneously weakens it incrementally. Like Japan in WW2, where America sanctioned and embargoed Japan resulting in vital resources being cut from the Japanese, which eventually pressed Tokyo to surrender. The truth behind such a policy decision was that the US required a pretext to convince the Congress for the US to abandon its policy of isolation and recalibrate it to international engagement hence the brutal sanctions.
In addition, the Biden administration continued to promote bombastic rhetoric in regards to Russia invading Ukraine, which also placed the Ukrainians in an uncomfortable postion. Jen Psaki, the White House spokesperson, had stated several times that the Russian invasion is “imminent,” while Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, said it might happen at any moment. The Ukrainian government eventually had to confront the US to why it is misleading and further complicating the situation than it already is. Not to mention, Biden constantly refused to take Putin’s legitimate concerns regarding NATO into consideration and instead released a statement mentioning a “minor incursion being acceptable” indicating to the Russians two things, a greenlight for invasion and lack of US seriousness towards Russia’s vital demands.

6. The war in Ukraine has resulted in America achieving most of its objectives. So far, all Europeans have fallen under America’s umbrella allowing the US to consolidate its power once more. America has been able weaken Russia and has successfully pushed Germany to boost its share of GDP towards NATO, which has heightened the stock prices of American defense corporations due to Germany investing $100 billion dollars to improving its military. And lastly, ending the Nord Stream 2 indefinitely.

However, the Trump administration had the same objectives, but the strategy between the two political factions differed. Under Trump, America desired to weaken Europe and to some fashion divide the continent between Russia and America; thus, supporting anti-EU movements and the Brexit while, at the same time, the US pressured Europeans to boost their financial contributions to NATO. Because under the Trump administration, the goal was to disintegrate the EU benefitting both Russia and US, but to keep NATO intact which would continue to maintain America’s pre-eminence. America also wanted the Nord Stream 2 pipeline terminated; however, on this issue, both Russia and America remained at odds though much cooperation continued to take place between America and Russia on several other matters in comparison to the Biden democrats. Lastly, the US under Trump planned to collude with Russia to contain China.

Thus, it is of no surprise to why Trump during the commencement of the Russian invasion indicated that he would have permitted Ukraine’s eastern territories to be under Russian occupation. Trump mentioned, “This is genius.' Putin declares a big portion ... of Ukraine, Putin declares it as independent." The former statement illustrates that this is something which the Trump administration would have allowed to materialise since the US wanted to subjugate Europe by bringing Russia in, which would have helped the US to establish a new balance of power on the continent while simultaneously allowing the US to protect its interests.

7. There are no fundamental differences between Biden or Trump; instead, the differences lay in the approach. The democrats always had the tendency to fabricate an image of America taking its liberal beliefs and values seriously when conducting foreign policy. Thus, implementing harsh policies towards Russia concurs with the former democratic delusions. Yet, no matter how hard the democrats try to maintain consistency between the rhetoric and the reality, they always end up contradicting themselves, like Obama, who carried out the US intervention in Syria, which resulted in shocking the domestic supporters of his presidency. The republicans, on the other hand, are more pragmatic in their conduct of foreign policy as they accept the limitations and the impracticality of the liberal ideals in foreign policy. For this reason, under Trump, warm relations were maintained towards Russia in comparison to the democrats.

The current and the future implications of the war

In the foreseeable future, the war in Ukraine will severely cost America its political capital further precipitating the nation’s decline. It is clear that America wants to weaken Russia in Ukraine for its interests. However, prolonging the war within Ukraine is also going to damage America’s reputation, which illustrates that the Biden democrats have not taken all matters into consideration prior to trapping Russia within Ukraine. First, the lack of political cohesiveness in domestic America has opened a wide array of issues for the Biden administration. Foreign policy has always been an extension of domestic politics and the divisions at home are complicating the current US policy toward Russia-Ukraine. Second, in relation to the first, the soaring energy prices and the lack of wheat exports from Ukraine and Russia to world markets has increased pressure on the current administration where several US assets across the world are under threat or are refusing to completely align with US policy towards Russia. Third, many US agents have uncovered loopholes to undermine Biden, in efforts, to hurt his postion and find a suitable master to replace Biden who is friendlier towards them.

Though most of America’s objectives, at the current moment, have come to fruition; however, for America to smoothly transition and stabilise its political objectives from the Ukraine war would be extremely difficult. And here’s why.

If America can leverage Russia within Ukraine and somehow is able to strike a bargain with the Kremlin where both states would collaborate towards the containment of China, it would not take long for the Ukrainians to conclude that America is now working with a nation that butchered thousands of innocent Ukrainian women, children and men. Such conclusions would raise scepticism amongst Ukrainians concerning America’s true nature. It would not take long, till such conclusions spread to Ukraine’s neighbours and other nations like France who could utilise it for its own agenda.

The former would also hurt Biden’s approval ratings where 80 million republican Trump voters and the republican party itself would intensify their campaign of crucifying Biden for such carless polices, accusing Biden of undermining America’s greatness. The republicans would further utilise Biden’s mistakes to weaken the Democratic Party and to replace Biden with Mike Pence- turned Trump rival- or Trump himself. Currently, Biden has struggled to pass bills regarding health and education, and several other deals, which are all being obstructed by the republican faction of the congress and senate. In fact, even several democrats are trying to stop Biden from providing concessions to Iran’s national guard, which demonstrates that either the democratic politicians are beginning to discover the treachery that exists between Iran-America or are exploiting Biden’s fragile postion for self-gain, or are undercover republicans planted in the Democratic Party, as it would not be the first time where certain democrats have formed secret deals with their republican counterparts.

Last month, Biden’s $13.6 billion aid to Ukraine was voted against by the republican senate while, at the same time, the republicans pushed Biden to increase his endeavours to save Ukraine. One of the objectives of manufacturing the war in Ukraine is that Biden administration wanted to use the war to unite the government and boost Biden’s poll numbers. However, the divisions remain within the government where many republicans have further precipitated the divide to secure their interests and diminish Biden’s credibly.

Also, big oil-mainly republican sponsors- have exploited the war to leverage Biden’s fragile postion in order to increase their control within the White House. Big oil also exploited the Ukraine crisis to increase the profits of its shareholders profits; Joe Biden mentioned that big oil is the one to blame for the high prices due to their refusal to drill and pump more oil and gas. In exchange, big oil blamed Biden for tighter regulations on the environment, which hinders big oil’s from drilling more oil and gas. Furthermore, big oil justified their stance by stating that they do not have the means to drill such large quantities of oil and gas at the current moment. Though this is not true since it costs billions for big oil companies to produce drilling technologies; hence, it is futile that the overall value of the oil and gas extracted is less in comparison to the amount invested in producing the very technology. The reality illustrates that big oil favours Trump or his likely successor Mike Pence, where under the Trump administration the climate agenda was scrapped off the policy table. Under Trump era, the US decided to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement because the elites who funded his presidency were the Koch brothers and big oil who have a huge distaste for climate regulations, which hinders their oil profits, in comparison to Biden, who was funded primarily by Silicon Valley-tech Corporations. Due to the AI advancements, traditional American corporations do not want to cede power to the new rising US tech capitalists; thus, there is struggle between the two where both political parties are carrying out different policies of their masters, which has created a transparent divide.

To make matters even worse, big oil’s refusal to level the prices and its growing dominance in midst of the war compelled Biden to spare some energy sectors of Russia from sanctions. This undermined Biden’s postion where on one hand he is supporting the Ukrainians while on the other hand, he is helping to kill them. Few days ago, the democrats announced a plan to fight big oil in order to lower the energy prices. It is ironic that Biden had hoped to unite the country and to restore political cohesiveness in Washington, but the situation as headed the opposite direction. As for the republican and its benefactors like big oil plan to undermine the democrats and pave the way for a republican “saviour.” In addition, the former also illustrates that big oil and the military industry are more politically astute in comparison to the premature corporations of tech.

Countries like Saudi Arabia and the Jewish entity have discovered the domestic battle within America and decided to also undermine Biden due to his current pro-Iranian stance. The reasons to why Saudi Arabia denied American request to boost oil production is due American criticism of the MBS’s overall policy conduct and the pro-Iranian stance from the US. Thus, the only person who can save MBS’s kingdom from Iranian revival would be Trump or another republican leader. Besides, decades ago Aramco was owned by big oil and till this day Aramco employees 40,000 Americans ranging from executives, geologists, and advisors who have a history of being employed big oil in the past! Henceforth, it is of no surprise to why Saudi Arabia is aligned with the conservative/big oil position rather than the democrats and the tech capitalists. Saudi Arabia is not pivoting towards China, as it disagrees with the reality since China would not be able to replace Americans benefits to its agent Saudi Arabia. The reason why Saudi Arabia is freely killing Yemeni Muslims is due to American supplies, training, and American protection from its global institutions of the liberal order. China cannot replace the former; thus, Riyadh will not pivot to China. It will remain an American agent, but rather wishes to see the current master replaced with a more favourable one. Besides, the commercial deals there would be no other significant development within the Saudi-Sino relations.

As for India, it is a vital American ally to contain China. The pro-American BJP party was able to consolidate its power within the Indian congress due to the false-flag Kargil showdown and the neoconservatives who immensely boosted their support to the BJP party. India is aware that it plays a key role in America’s grad plan to contain China; however, India for two years has been suffering from the protests of the farmers- predominantly Sikh- which has casted much light upon Mohdi’s inconsistent polices because so far, Mohdi has been pushing the anti-Muslim stance, which has not aided the country in any shape or form; instead, it has made India far worse and instable. Thus, it is in Mohdi’s interest to consolidate his position by helping the agricultural sector of the Indian economy to conceal his shortcomings.

Since the economy of Indian industry primarily functions on oil and gas and since there is the shortage of wheat around the world, Mohdi decided to replace the Russian and the Ukrainian shortages of wheat on the international markets in order to help boost the Indian farmer’s profits. Recently, farmers in India are reaping the benefits of wheat exports across the world. For this reason, Mohdi has been purchasing cheap Russian gas to help boost the efficiency of the agricultural industry within India, which will help him maintain his position of power and keep his constituents pleased. Lastly, India is saving more dollars in its reserves by exporting wheat and by purchasing Russian energy in rubbles. The Americans, however, are starting to become impatient because Biden’s stance towards Russia is being undermined where an important ally is defying America’s postion on Russia. For now, America has been indirect in its condemnation of India’s behaviour; however, the US will progressively alter its course to confrontational one towards India in the foreseeable future.

Finally, the most vital issue is the Arab world, where five Arab spring countries are heavily reliant on wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine; thus, the war in Ukraine has had a severe effect on the Arab world raising the possibilities of a second Arab spring. Egypt’s Sisi is in currently seems to be walking on thin ice. Sisi is already drafting a plan to invite the IMF loans to Egypt since foreign investors had pulled out from the country owing to the Ukraine crises, which also led to the dollars exiting Egypt. Hence, Sisi must find a way to regain the dollars to be able to purchase international commodities and to also repay the existing debt to the IMF, which is also in dollars. Last month, due to the economic hardships being faced by the public the regime in return decided to fix the price of bread, a sector of the economy which is not even subsidised, a temporary solution, which would verily lead to even further implications for the public.

The people in Egypt have started to view the discrepancies and the stupidity of Sisi’s regime where many have portrayed sheer dissatisfaction towards Sisi’s rule. Recent reports highlight that severe pressure has mounted upon the regime, which, in return, has caused the regime to ban public gatherings in order to prevent an uprising. “The Egyptian government is paranoid of any gatherings, including religious ones,” said Essam Telaima, an Egyptian religious researcher and former government-appointed imam. “The restrictions are mainly aimed at preventing anti-government protests,” he told Middle East Eye.

In conclusion, US domestic politics has a huge impact on its foreign policy. Furthermore, America has not taken all the political risks into consideration. If America succeeds against Russia or not, either way America’s political reputation domestic and foreign would be castrated. If America loses, then it would severely diminish American primacy within Europe; if America wins, then it would create future complications exposing America’s true nature and reliability as an ally.

Furthermore, in the foreseeable future, Biden and the Democrat Party will continue to face the republican crusade regardless of the outcomes the current administration achieves within Ukraine. The polarisation of US domestic politics has created many obstacles for the Biden administration to properly execute its policy towards Ukraine-Russia; instead, it has given birth to a new set of implications. The divisions within America can verily lead to a stalemate of the US foreign policy from progressing forward, or yet, instigate catastrophic events like the Arab Spring 2.0, which would verily result in destabilising America’s architecture in the Middle East. Something from which it would not be able to restore.

The internal strife within America is due to the secular utilitarian dogma where a few powerful individuals and small groups within the government are politicking against one another based on the premise of what is desirable and what is undesirable rather than the premise of what is right and wrong. The former is the root cause for the waning of the American power and the increase in destruction of innocent people’s lives around the world. Only the restoration of the correct political order- the Khilafah based on the method of the Prophet (saw)- would be able to spread justice, peace, and satisfy the people’s organic needs and instincts in correct manner, as instructed by the Creator, Allah (swt).

Allah (swt) says in the Quran:

(وَقُلْ جَاء الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا) “And say, Truth has come, and falsehood has vanished. Falsehood is surely bound to vanish.” [17:81].

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Mohammed Mustafa

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