The McCain Factor: Russia Gained a New Adversary

The “hawks” in U.S. politics gained real levers of influence over the Democratic president, as well as carte blanche in U.S. foreign policy.

On Jan. 3, 2015, John McCain stepped into the position of chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. From now on, the Republican voice will set the tone in the committee, taking part in determining the sums of financing for various Pentagon programs. Accordingly, the “hawks” of American politics are gaining real levers of influence over the Democratic president, as well as carte blanche in U.S. foreign policy.

It is impossible to analyze the new appointment without attempting to understand the personality of McCain himself. A third generation soldier, even born on an U.S. military base in Panama, a Vietnam War hero and prisoner of war, an unrepentant “cold warrior,” McCain today remains a supporter of the theory of the “Pax Americana.” His position regarding relations to Russia is well known. Several experts and journalists even confirm that the senator hates everything Russian and Russia itself. But the more likely truth is that McCain distinguishes between Russia and the Russian government. Having once said that in looking at Putin he read only three letters: “KGB,” McCain doesn’t conceal his contempt for the Kremlin neo-imperialist. Having in early December 2014 called the prime minister of Hungary a “neo-fascist dictator getting in bed with Vladimir Putin,” John McCain made clear that while he will be in power, America will not tolerate any totalitarian encroachments in Europe. Having blamed Barack Obama for the deaths of Ukrainians in the Donbass, speaking on an Estonian television network, McCain declared that Ukraine needed to be given weapons. Given the new stature of the controversial senator, the possibility that our country might receive lethal weapons from the U.S. is growing exponentially.

In turn, the appointment of John McCain as chairman of the Armed Services Committee has not gone unnoticed by Moscow. Statements from Russian politicians have already been made in the media to the effect that such an appointment will not facilitate the normalization of relations between the Russian Federation and the U.S. In turn, add the fact that the appointment of McCain may be perceived by Russian security forces and Vladimir Putin as a personal challenge, where the game is played on a large scale, and the stakes are very high and, as a rule, the players play until the last remaining soldier. Understanding that the position of Republicans in the U.S. is being strengthened and that the next president might be Jeb Bush, Russia will fear the realization of all McCain’s designs and plans.

For Ukraine the appointment of the Republican senator to a powerful post has important consequences. Analyzing the situation in the context of the ongoing conflict, economic recession in Ukraine and Russia, and the growth and activation of the protest mood in Russia leads to the conclusion that the main war for Ukraine’s independence is still ahead. If the U.S. begins the constant delivery of weapons to our country, then, the risk that Putin and his circle will begin to worry and strengthen their military presence on the territory of the Ukrainian Donbass will automatically increase. There will also be an increase in the number of massive attacks by terrorists and Russian mercenaries on Ukrainian military positions. As spring approaches, there is a possibility of military actions between Mariupol and Odessa, which could be accompanied by a breakthrough from Transnistria, leading to the connection of Russian occupying positions and creating a land corridor to Crimea.

Particular attention must be given to the subversive terrorist activities of pro-Russian armed groups and spies in Ukraine. Events in Kherson, Odessa and Nikolayev only underscore the real nature of the threat of explosions and mines, leading to more victims, sowing panic, and creating fear among the populations of Ukrainian cities, which only facilitates the strengthening of our common enemy.

On the other hand, McCain’s new authority presents Ukraine with a range of quality possibilities, which could directly influence the fortification of the government’s defenses.

If America after all decides to supply weaponry in those quantities that Ukraine has requested, and the latest “deliveries from beyond the ocean” speak in favor of such a possibility, then Kiev will be able to conduct a quality new war against its adversary, based not only on the use of new weaponry, but also tactics and strategy approved by foreign military specialists. Besides direct military supplies to Ukraine, it is important to study the battle against terrorism of a country like the USA. Yet one additional factor is the possibility of forming an unofficial union between Ukraine and the Baltic states, and also Moldova, given their wish to resist the northern aggressor. By the way, part of the American weapons supplies could be delivered through the Baltics and through a range of Pentagon and NATO programs.

No matter how strong our desire to defeat our enemy is, in 2015, such a task looks unlikely without the help of our allies. Summoning the anti-Russian politics of McCain does not exclude the possibility that Ukraine could become the epicenter of military conflict in a third world war, which according to a number of analysts has been ongoing for a long time. But we have been talking about war already for almost a year, and yet, it still lives nearby, killing and mutilating, depriving and taking away. Surely, the new year is the very time to be prepared for this evil, not only morally, but also technically. And here lies the future role of Sen. McCain, who does not forgive Putin for being the first leader in postwar Europe to carve up an independent, sovereign state.

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