Last month I had the good fortune to interview Commander James Nicolaou (Strategic Global Intervention Team) concerning the violence in Eastern Ukraine. That interview prompted a large number of responses, including some who claim the aggression by pro-Russian militias in the region is a result of US corporate conspiracies. Hard to imagine how that works, yet the people vocalizing these positions remain adamant.
So, I have asked Commander Nicolaou to review the situation, especially in light of the recent cease fire agreement.
Question: Thank you Commander. What do you say to those who argue that the conflict in Eastern Ukraine is a fabrication of US Corporations to gain wealth from warfare?
Commander Nicolaou: These accusations are expected; they have become a mainstay of modern public dialog, perhaps because the more outlandish the charge the more likely the individual making it will gain a few minutes of notoriety in the morning newspaper. These charges have been made about every conflict the US has engaged in for the past 40 years. The truth is, every situation is a little different, a bit unique. As I stated last time, the conflict over the Crimean Peninsula and now Eastern Ukraine is the result of an ultra-nationalist Russian government under the leadership of Vladimir Putin.
Question: With the ceasefire apparently holding, more or less, does this mean the fighting is over?
Commander Nicolaou: The halt in fighting is temporary. Europe and the US have levied a collection of sanctions on Russian and many of Putin’s inner circle of advisors. In addition, the Ukrainian armed forces have fought well, probably to the surprise of the pro-Russian militia leaders. But our analysts believe the worst is yet to come.
Question: What makes you say that? Why do you believe the conflict will heat up again rather than following a political solution?
Commander Nicolaou: Simple. Winter is approaching. Europe receives 38% of its natural gas from Russia, most of that gas flows through pipelines stretching across Ukraine. As cold weather settles in, expect Putin to turn off the gas. Then he will press his offensive again, and when he does we expect he will not bother to offer any weak lies that Russian troops are not engaged. We expect he will openly commit Russian forces to achieve a quick victory and occupation, followed by annexation based on local popular vote, as he did with Crimea.
Question: So you are saying that Putin will use energy as a weapon, by withholding supply to homes, schools, and factories across Europe. You seem confident with this prediction.
Commander Nicolaou: Yes, my analysts at SGIT, supported by the DIA, CIA, and NSA all agree. Today Russian announced that it was cutting exports by up to 60%, and we’ve seen this before, many times. Not only Russian gas exports to Europe, but you may recall that in the 1970’s, OPEC drastically cut oil exports to the US to protest US support for Israel. Energy supply is, and will remain, a weapon. That is why energy independence remains an important goal—not only for the US but for all nations.
Question: Thank you Commander for sharing this perspective.
Commander Nicolaou: Certainly, thank you.