Statement by the US Peace Council – May 10, 2022
With the conflict in Ukraine entering its third month, the likelihood of a successfully negotiated
peace — an immediate necessity — is becoming ever more remote. This proxy war by the
United States is designed to use the Ukrainian people to mortally disable Russia. Those who
profit from war benefit, while those most vulnerable suffer: Ukrainian civilians, but more broadlyworking people internationally and especially in the Global South.
It was expected that the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 would put an end to the first ColdWar and the threat of world nuclear annihilation. Instead, the world’s remaining superpower
continued its imperialist quest of global “full spectrum dominance” to prevent the emergence of
“any potential future global competitor.”
Domestically, instead of a “peace dividend” in 1991, the bi-partisan consensus of Democrats
and Republicans has been a policy of relentless military expansion. The U.S. military now
consumes over half of the federal discretionary budget, which is 12 times the size of Russia’s
defense spending. The Ukraine war has been used to justify Congress’s most recent obscene
additional $29 billion in war appropriations over what the Pentagon itself had requested, $800
millions of which will go directly to Ukraine in the form of hi-tech military weapons.
Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine is providing convenient cover for the current administration to
renege on promised social programs such as COVID protections, full student loan debt relief,
free community college, or the public option for Medicare, and the promised seven days
guaranteed paid sick leave for the workers. The war has been used to encourage fossil fuel
production and blocking fracking on federal land has been forsaken.
A U.S.-Manufactured Conflict
Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine could have been avoided if the U.S. had not
relentlessly provoked it. The U.S. provided weapons and military training to the fascist-
infiltrated Ukrainian army that has targeted ethnic Russians in Ukraine since the U.S.-
orchestrated coup in 2014.
Some 14,000 people had died in the conflict before Russia directly intervened.
Russia repeatedly called for respecting the ceasefire outlined in the Minsk Accords. The 2015
Minsk II Agreement called for autonomy for the separatist Donbas region in eastern Ukraine,
where the majority are Russian-speaking, along with release of prisoners of war and
withdrawal of heavy weapons.
Instead, the Ukrainian army increased its attacks on its own citizens, although the peace
agreement had been signed by representatives of Ukraine along Russia, the separatist
provinces, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for western
Europe. Then in late February, a planned full-scale assault by the Ukraine army on the
separatist region immediately precipitated the Russian invasion (need citation to support this).
The conflict could not have continued without weapons and intelligence openly provided by the
U.S. In a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Mark Milley, chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reported that the U.S. and NATO had supplied 60,000 anti-tank and
25,000 anti-aircraft weapons to the Ukrainian army. In recent weeks, the Biden administration
ordered another $1.6 billion of “lethal aid” to Ukraine further escalating the conflict.
NATO — the U.S.-Dominated Global War Machine
Contrary to its claims, NATO is not a defensive organization. Its purpose from the start has
been to act as an instrument for U.S. world domination and to prevent all challenges to the U.S.
hegemony. That is why it was not dissolved in 1991 after the dissolution of the Socialist
Camp’s Warsaw Pact. On the contrary, despite the promises made by high U.S. officials to
Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would expand “not one inch east,” it was expanded into fifteen
new countries. This relentless eastward expansion of NATO during the past decades has been
an existential threat to a nuclear-armed Russia and the main cause of the present military
conflict in Ukraine. Now, driven by the war in Ukraine, NATO may be able to add Sweden and
Finland in western Europe and Ukraine and Georgia in eastern Europe to its list of members.
NATO is not a true alliance. It is in fact an integrated imperialist army under direct U.S.
command. Its constituent states are bound to dedicate significant portions of their national
budgets to maintaining this war machine and to offer up their youth as soldiers.
Nor is it serving the interests of Europe, where U.S. nuclear weapons are stationed — in
Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey — making them immediate targets if the
cold war turns hot; likewise for Poland and Romania, which now host the U.S. “missile
defense” facilities for NATO aimed at Russia.
Severing Russia from Europe Through Weaponizing Ukraine
Not only has the Ukraine conflict been used to oblige NATO members to buy more weapons
from U.S. military contractors, but the larger U.S. objective of economically severing Russia
from Europe is being advanced. Precluded is an integrated Europe with peaceful commerce
between Russia and its neighbors. Instead, Germany, for instance, is being compelled against
its economic self-interest to buy U.S. liquefied natural gas rather than getting supplied from
Russia via the Nord Stream II pipeline at a fraction of the cost.
The eventual peaceful integration of Russia with the rest of Europe has now been forestalled forthe foreseeable future. Such a potential integration could have served in the long-term as a
counterbalance to U.S. hegemony. Thus, severance of Russia from Europe has been a
paramount strategic geopolitical objective for the U.S. And forget about pledges to restore
engagement with Cuba, rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, or negotiate with North Korea for a
Weaponizing Ukraine as a part of NATO is the key to, in the words of the semi-governmental
Rand Corporation, “overextending and unbalancing Russia.” Early on, U.S. strategic planners,
such as President Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, put into play the
elements that would eventually precipitate Russia’s military response on February 24th .
For all the reasons stated above, the U.S. government has pursued trapping Russia in the
Ukraine conflict and has every incentive to prolong the conflict. Ukraine’s hands are tied, as it
cannot negotiate a settlement without permission from the U.S., which is unlikely to be
The reverberating consequences of the conflict and the associated sanctions by the U.S. and
its allies on Russia have been devastating, causing food and fuel shortages globally and an
ensuing inflation in the cost of living most impacting those who can least afford it.
Climate chaos, the ongoing pandemic, and inflation are all exacerbated by the conflict. Instead
of international solidarity and cooperation to combat these threats, the opposite is occurring
with global fragmentation. The U.S. is threatening to sanction countries such as China and
India, home to 35% of the world population if they do not cut economic ties with Russia.
Pakistan recently experienced a U.S.-backed coup, in part for continuing to have a friendly
relationship with Russia.
Call for Peace
With the U.S. imperialist thrust to prolong the proxy war to weaken Russia, the voices for
peace are regrettably few. Liberals in the U.S. supporting the Democratic Party are reluctant to
take a principled stand for peace. Rather, they fully call for the overthrow of Putin and
punishing the Russians for their transgressions.
Although liberals were quick to invoke the specter of fascism when it could be associated with
President Trump, they exhibit little concern about aligning with real self-avowed fascist
elements in Ukraine. Yet the resurgence of a radical right is directly tied to the capitulation of
liberals to a failed neoliberal agenda (along with an embrace of a neoconservative outlook on
foreign relations), which has alienated and victimized many workers who previously supported
liberal and social democratic alternatives.
The Republicans, viewing the upcoming midterm congressional elections, have taken the
tactic of advocating for an even more adventurous jingoism. Meanwhile, many alternative
views to the imperialist narrative have been de-platformed from social media leaving the U.S.
public with a steady diet of Russophobia.
Even the left is not entirely unified on a peace platform. Some view the conflict as simply an
inter-imperialist rivalry between a capitalist U.S. and a capitalist Russia primarily over natural
resources in which the working class has no stake. While there are elements of truth in such a
view, it ignores larger and far overriding issues, especially the destructive impact of NATO’s
success in Ukraine on the lives of the working people throughout the world.
On the basis of this assessment of the present situation in Ukraine, the U.S. Peace Council
reiterates its statement of March 24 calling for rapidly de-escalating the violence and
negotiating a peaceful resolution. Analysts across the political spectrum agree that never has
the world been so close to nuclear holocaust.
We call upon the Biden Administration to stop fueling the fire and prolonging the war by
sending billions of dollars’ worth of weapons to Ukraine. It is time for these funds to be spent
on critically-ignored human needs instead of waging imperialist wars against other nations.