The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The U.S. Government Escalates the War in Ukraine

May 9, 2022

In recent days, the U.S. government has escalated its rhetoric in the war against Russia that is being fought in Ukraine. Joe Biden proposed that Congress approve another 33 billion dollars of mostly military aid for Ukraine, almost double what they have sent up to now. The U.S. said they were sending more offensive weaponry, like tanks and long-range artillery, to Ukraine; whereas at the beginning of the war the U.S. had been supplying Ukraine forces with mostly “defensive” weaponry, like anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. U.S. officials purposely “leaked” that they provided the intelligence to enable the Ukrainians to kill a dozen Russian generals and sink a Russian warship.

It certainly is not clear at this point what the real long-term goals are for the U.S. government with its involvement in this war. At the beginning of the war, the U.S. government said it was sending military aid to a Ukrainian government that didn’t have the forces to stop the stronger Russian military forces that Putin had ordered to invade Ukraine. The U.S. government then continued, week after week, to send more and more military aid and weapons to Ukraine. The dollar amount of military aid that the U.S. has sent to Ukraine in the last few months, and is proposing to send in the near future, is now approaching Russia’s yearly military budget. All these additional weapons have bolstered the Ukrainian forces and have changed the dynamics of the war. It has become a war that the U.S. is fighting against Russia with U.S. money, U.S-provided weapons, U.S. intelligence, U.S. everything except the human cannon fodder to fight the war. The Ukrainian foreign minister described the deal between the Ukrainian government and the U.S. government as “you give us weapons, we sacrifice our lives.”

The U.S. government has shown no signs that it is pushing for negotiations or is looking to find an end to this war anytime soon. Instead, U.S. officials talk more openly about inflicting a military defeat on Russia. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “We want to see Russia weakened.”

Whatever the U.S. government’s ultimate goal is, what is clear about this war is the terrible price that is being paid by the people of Ukraine. Thousands have been killed in bombings, victims of this war. Millions of Ukrainians have become refugees, forced from their homes and across the borders into other countries.

The Ukrainian people so far have had no say in the goals and policies of this war or whether there should be negotiations. Even the Ukrainian president Zelensky is a bit player in this war, as the Ukrainian government is almost totally dependent on U.S. and NATO military aid. Basically, it is a war between Russia and U.S. imperialism.

U.S. imperialism has had a policy of aggression against Russia, since the revolution of the Russian workers in 1917. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the U.S. and NATO have been putting troops and weapons in the former Soviet states, right up to Russia’s very borders. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was certainly criminal, but he was responding to many years of the U.S. and NATO’s warlike aggression toward Russia. Russia’s military forces are dwarfed by those of the U.S. government, military forces the U.S. has stationed around the entire world.

The longer this war in Ukraine goes on, the more dangers are being posed, not just for the Ukrainians who are dying, but also for the people of the rest of the world.

Whatever the goals of the U.S. government or the Russian regime may be, wars can always take their own turn. And this war certainly has the danger of escalating, spreading and involving more countries and more forces. And this war in Ukraine is pitting two regimes against each other, which both have nuclear weapons. Leaving decisions about war and peace in the hands of these two regimes poses a threat to all humanity.