By Nauman Sadiq for VT Islamabad
In retrospect, Hitler’s worst strategic debacle that ultimately cost the Nazi Germany the Second World War was invading Russia before crushing the British peril following the precipitous rout of the French military in June 1940. The only reason the megalomaniac Fuhrer didn’t initially commit enough military resources into crossing the English Channel and dismantling the Anglo-American Empire once and for all was that ruling elites of the two nations were tied together by blood relations.
Kaiser Wilhelm, the last deposed emperor of the House of Hohenzollern that ruled Germany until the end of the First World War, was the eldest grandchild of British Queen Victoria. Wilhelm’s first cousins included King George V of the United Kingdom and many princesses who, along with Wilhelm’s sister Sophia, became European consorts. Similarly, the German social elites of the Second and Third Reich regarded the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy of the United Kingdoms as kinsmen not to be harmed.
In the Second World War, the Nazi air force did mount Luftwaffe attacks on a limited scale targeting Britain’s industrial infrastructure, but the tiny island boasting imperial legacy was simply not a match for the Third Reich’s military strength without the assistance of its trans-Atlantic ally, the United States, with vast natural resources, territorial possessions spanning the whole of the North American continent besides Canada, technologically innovative manpower and logistical difficulty of mounting an invasion. Thankfully, Britain was spared the pulverizing force of the Nazi Blitzkrieg experienced by France and Eastern Europe.
According to a 1978 essay by German historian Andreas Hillgruber, the Russia invasion plans drawn up by the German military elite were colored by hubris stemming from the rapid defeat of France at the hands of the invincible Wehrmacht and by traditional German stereotypes of Russia as a primitive, backward Asiatic country, having Turco-Mongol ancestry, a fallacious superiority complex predicated on the Nazi social Darwinism and the cherished myth of the German and Anglo-Saxon racial superiority.
Had Hitler skimmed through the European history as a major in high school and been aware of the Napoleonic army’s harrowing fate in its botched Russia campaign in 1812, he would never have committed the blunder of invading Russia to create so-called Lebensraum or “living space” for the German race.
Russia defeated the forces of Napoleon and Hitler through “strategic depth” of its vast territorial possessions spanning almost the entire northern landmass of Eurasia, by letting them advance into Russian territory, extending their supply lines, burdening logistics and mounting ferocious guerrilla warfare campaign that decimated the morale and military capabilities of the most invincible armies of their eras.
Russian fatalities during the Second World War ranged from 20 to 27 million, according to various estimates, including over 8 million military fatalities. In comparison, the United States lost 400,000 soldiers during the war. Clearly, Russia paid the most sacrifices and defeated Nazism while the United States misappropriated the credit for salvaging the world from the menace of fascism in the imagination of the subjects of the Anglo-American Empire.
Before the end of the Second World War, when Japan was about to fall in the hands of geographically adjacent Soviet Union, the Truman administration authorized the use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to subjugate Japan and send a clear message to the leaders of the former Soviet Union, which had not developed its nuclear program at the time, to desist from encroaching upon Japan in the east and West Germany in Europe.
The Pentagon publicly confessed to over 30 Broken Arrows , serious nuclear accidents, including accidentally dropping atom bombs on populated areas in the US and Europe that thankfully didn’t explode, though the real number of such nuclear accidents is calculated to be in thousands, particularly at the height of the Cold War during the sixties when such apocalyptic “accidents” were everyday occurrence.
Thus, the United States came close to making the planet uninhabitable for the rest of humanity due to its unfettered nuclear arms race and the global domination agenda that subtly continues to this day, as is obvious from the escalation of hostilities against Russia and China and the current stand-off in Ukraine.
As for Ukraine’s aspirations for joining NATO and the alliance’s eastward expansion along Russia’s western borders, the ostensible cause of the escalation, it’s pertinent to mention that the trans-Atlantic military alliance NATO and its auxiliary economic alliance European Union were conceived during the Cold War to offset the influence of the former Soviet Union which was geographically adjacent to Europe.
Historically, the NATO military alliance, at least ostensibly, was conceived as a defensive alliance in 1949 during the Cold War in order to offset conventional warfare superiority of the former Soviet Union. The US forged collective defense pact with the Western European nations after the Soviet Union reached the threshold to build its first atomic bomb in 1949 and achieved nuclear parity with the US.
But the trans-Atlantic military alliance has outlived its purpose following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and is now being used as an aggressive and expansionist military alliance meant to browbeat and coerce the former Soviet allies, the Central and Eastern European states, to join NATO and its corollary economic alliance, the European Union, or risk international economic isolation.
Regarding the mainstream media’s contention that Russia has amassed 100,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders, thus portending imminent invasion, the United States, too, has permanently deployed over 100,000 forces, not to mention strategic armaments, nuclear-capable missiles and air force squadrons, in Europe since the end of the Second World War, including 50,000 troops at sprawling Ramstein Air Base  and several other military bases in Germany.
Does that mean the United States has invaded and occupied Europe? Of course, it has in the garb of establishing Pax Americana across the world. If the United States has purported “strategic interests” across the Atlantic Ocean in Europe, then is it too hard to imagine that Russia could also have vital security interests along its western borders in Ukraine?
In Europe, 400,000 US forces were deployed during the height of the Cold War in the sixties, though the number has since been brought down after European powers developed their own military capacity following the devastation of the Second World War. The number of American troops deployed in Europe now stands at 50,000 in Germany, 15,000 in Italy and 10,000 in the United Kingdom.
During the last year, the United States has substantially ramped up US military footprint in the Eastern Europe, deploying strategic armaments aimed at Russia and provocatively exercising so-called “freedom of navigation” right in the Black Sea and the South China Sea, veritable “territorial waters” of Russia and China, respectively.
Wouldn’t it be a cause of immense consternation for the US military strategists and policy-makers if Russia or China deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear-capable strategic bombers and provocatively exercised “freedom of navigation” right by deploying nuclear submarines in the Gulf of Mexico straddling the US borders?
Ukraine is Russia’s backyard whereas the distance between New York and Kiev is over 7,500 kilometers. What’s the purpose of deploying thousands of US troops equipped with strategic armaments in the Eastern Europe if not to intimidate and insult Russia? Despite the obvious contradiction between tangible reality on the ground and parallel universe of media narratives, the corporate media would project Russia as an aggressor and the United States as a peace-maker.
Not only the disenfranchised masses of Ukraine but underprivileged proletariats of all the former Soviet constituent republics in Eastern Europe share historical, political and cultural bonds with Russia. The collective security of Eurasian nations is Russia’s responsibility as a successor to the former Soviet Union.
The imperialist stooge, Volodymyr Zelensky, elected president through sham electoral process in bourgeois democracy called Ukraine, represents nobody but the avaricious and exploitative entrepreneurial oligarchs wanting to expand family businesses and attract foreign investments by pandering to corporate interests of Western Europe and North America.
He is a figurehead beholden to the deep state, the top brass of the military trained and educated at premier Western military academies, the West Point and Sandhurst, and conducting joint military and naval exercises alongside NATO forces deployed in the Eastern Europe.
Centralized governments across the world are run by behemoth state bureaucracies. Politicians are merely show pieces meant to lend legitimacy to supposedly “elected governments” and to cater to interests of business elites which they really represent.
Disenfranchised masses are least bothered whether government is being run by autocrats or by “elected representatives” of the bourgeoisie, though the political and business elites often get restless and mobilize their support base to demand a share in the power pie.
The national security and defense policies of modern nation states are formulated by civil-military bureaucracy, dubbed as the deep state. Whereas trade and economic policies are determined by corporate interests and business cartels within the framework of neocolonial economic order imposed on the post-colonial world by corporate America following the signing of the Bretton Woods Accords at the end of the Second World War in 1945.
Purportedly democratic governments, elected through heavily manipulated electoral process, are reduced to performing ceremonial gimmicks and are meant only to serve as showpieces to legitimize militarist and capitalist exploitation.
Excluding the self-styled global hegemon, the imperial United States, the rest of the Western powers might have been colonial powers before the Second World War but they are no longer “powers” in global politics.
In fact, they can more aptly be described as Western regimes that serve no other purpose than act as Washington’s client states via the framework of transatlantic NATO military alliance to maintain the charade of multilateralism. With the second largest army in NATO after United States, Turkey has more military power and political sovereignty than the servile lackeys of Washington: the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
After the Second World War, Washington embarked on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe with an economic assistance of $13 billion, equivalent to hundreds of billions of dollars in the current dollar value. Since then, Washington has maintained military and economic dominance over Western Europe.
The European colonial powers were so utterly devastated following the Second World War that let alone keeping their Asian and African colonies, they was finding it hard to keep European countries united and economies running.
Thus, the age of colonialism didn’t end due to colonial powers voluntarily relinquishing control over colonial possessions, as peddled by Orientalist historians, rather they didn’t have the military and economic capacity to forcibly suppress liberation movements kicking off all over the colonial world.
In the medieval era, although monarchs were chosen by hereditary title, their throne rested on unequivocal support of military aristocracy. As kings didn’t have standing armies of their own beyond several legions of praetorian guards. Feudal barons provided the bulk of forces from private militias in times of wars and insurrections.
Thus, the deep state and its monopoly over politics, specifically in the domain of national security and defense policy, was in-built in the Western governance system since the time of the imperial rule, and insidiously continues in the neocolonial era.
Ironically, the first military dictator to establish a standing army of 50,000 men in Europe was none other than infamous Oliver Cromwell, who ruled England with an iron fist for a brief period of time from 1653 to ’58, albeit with far-reaching consequences. As his model of military autocracy was subsequently widely adopted across Europe and the United States, albeit in a barely disguised veneer of hereditary monarchy, military aristocracy and, at times, dubious parliamentary democracy.
In conclusion, military aristocracy held real power in the medieval times, as it provided foot soldiers and cavalry units to monarchs in times of war. With the advent of standing armies in 17th century, the power transferred to generals, who were typically princes or belonged to the nobility.
The United States of America is credited with building the first plebian army, as it couldn’t trace a royal lineage, so settler colonists, having the blood of indigenous Red Indians on their hands, were raised to higher ranks, and first wreaked havoc across Latin America in the 19th century by invoking the Monroe Doctrine, and then unleashed a reign of terror in the wider world in the 20th century by invoking the Truman Doctrine that enunciated raison d’etre of the American-led neocolonial world order as containment of the Soviet-led communism.
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About the author:
Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based geopolitical and national security analyst focused on geo-strategic affairs and hybrid warfare in the Af-Pak and Middle East regions. His domains of expertise include neocolonialism, military-industrial complex and petro-imperialism. He is a regular contributor of diligently researched investigative reports to alternative news media.