By Nauman Sadiq for VT Islamabad
The frontal war in Ukraine is already over even before it began when the mouthpieces of NATO’s imperial interventions abroad, NY Times and Washington Post, are publicly acknowledging that the impending fall of Kyiv in the face of Russian blitz is a foregone conclusion and that Ukraine’s “valiant comic actor” Volodymyr Zelensky would soon form a government-in-exile, which would lead guerrilla warfare from safe havens in Poland.
The Washington Post reported  Saturday, March 5: “The possible Russian takeover of Kyiv has prompted a flurry of planning at the State Department, Pentagon and other U.S. agencies in the event that the Zelensky government has to flee the capital or the country itself.
“‘We’re doing contingency planning now for every possibility,’ including a scenario in which Zelensky establishes a government-in-exile in Poland, said a U.S. administration official.
“Zelensky, who has called himself Russia’s target No. 1, remains in Kyiv and has assured his citizens he’s not leaving. He has had discussions with U.S. officials about whether he should move west to a safer position in the city of Lviv, closer to the Polish border. Zelensky’s security detail has plans ready to swiftly relocate him and members of his cabinet, a senior Ukrainian official said. ‘So far, he has refused to go.’”
Although NATO’s military strategists are drawing parallels with the Soviet-Afghan War of the eighties and the two-decade occupation of Afghanistan by the US forces from Oct. 2001 to August 2021 when the ragtag Afghan insurgents defeated two superpowers of the era, and are betting on the success of Ukraine’s potential insurgency against Russian forces from border regions of Poland and Romania, those were two very different wars.
The former Soviet Union and the US never lacked resources to subdue insurgency in Afghanistan. What they lacked was the will to pour infinite military resources into a meaningless war lacking clear strategic objectives over an indefinite period of time.
By contrast, the Vladimir Putin government is fully committed and Russia’s national security establishment regards Ukraine as an integral part of Russia and would go to any extent to integrate Ukraine into Russia’s sphere of influence and forestall NATO’s further eastward expansion along Russia’s vulnerable western flank.
If we take a cursory look at the insurgency in Afghanistan, the Bush administration toppled the Taliban regime with the help of the Northern Alliance in October 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack. Since the beginning, however, Afghanistan was an area of lesser priority for the Bush administration.
The number of US troops deployed in Afghanistan did not exceed 30,000 during George Bush’s tenure as the American president, and soon after occupying Afghanistan, Washington invaded Iraq in March 2003 to expropriate its 140 billion barrels proven oil reserves, and American resources and focus shifted to Iraq.
It was the ostensibly “pacifist and noninterventionist” Obama administration that made the Afghanistan conflict the bedrock of its foreign policy in 2009 along with fulfilling then-President Obama’s electoral pledge of withdrawing American forces from Iraq in December 2011, only to be redeployed a couple of years later when the Islamic State overran Mosul and Anbar in Iraq in early 2014.
At the height of the surge of the US troops in Afghanistan in 2010, the American troops numbered around 100,000, with an additional 40,000 troops deployed by the rest of the NATO members, but they still could not manage to have a lasting impact on the relentless Taliban insurgency.
Notwithstanding, the aforementioned Washington Post report further notes: “During an official visit, a Ukrainian special operations commander told Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and other lawmakers that they were shifting training and planning to focus on maintaining an armed opposition, relying on insurgent-like tactics.
“Ukrainian officials told the lawmakers that they were frustrated that the United States had not sent Harpoon missiles to target Russian ships and Stinger missiles to attack Russian aircraft, Moulton and Waltz said in separate interviews.
“As the Russian military struggles with logistical challenges — including fuel and food shortages — Waltz anticipates that the Ukrainians will repeatedly strike Russian supply lines. To do that, they need a steady supply of weapons and the ability to set improvised explosive devices, he said. ‘Those supply lines are going to be very, very vulnerable, and that’s where you really literally starve the Russian army.’
“‘You can’t ship them to Ukraine at the last minute and expect some national guardsman to pick up a Stinger and shoot down an aircraft,’ he said. Continuing a resistance campaign will require continued clandestine shipments of small arms, ammunition, explosives and even cold-weather gear. ‘Think about the kinds of things that would be used by saboteurs as opposed to an army repelling a frontal invasion,’ Moulton said.”
Clearly, planning and preparations are well underway to lure Russia into NATO’s “bear trap project,” a term borrowed from the Soviet-Afghan War of the eighties when Western regimes used Pakistan’s security forces and generous funding from the oil-rich Gulf States for providing guerrilla warfare training and lethal weaponry to Afghan jihadists to “bleed the security forces” of former Soviet Union in the protracted war.
The Biden administration approved on Feb. 24 an additional 7,000 US troops  to be deployed to Germany, bringing the total number of American forces sent to Europe to 12,000 this month, including troops previously deployed to Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania.
In Poland alone, the US military footprint now exceeds 10,000 troops as the majority of 12,000 troops sent to Europe last month went to Poland to join the 4,000 US troops already stationed there. The East European nation notorious for tacitly supporting the Nazis during the Second World War and willingly participating in committing a massacre of three million Jews has once again become a hub of covert warfare and providing lethal military assistance to Ukraine’s security forces and allied foreign mercenaries and neo-Nazi militias.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Russia decides to invade Poland next after subduing Ukraine. According to a Politico report , confirmed by Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Washington had reached a three-way deal with Poland to get Soviet-era MiG fighter jets to Ukraine in return for the US providing Poland F-16s, despite a stark warning by the Kremlin that any country attempting to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine would be treated as a belligerent in the war.
The US has already disbursed $240 million of the $350 million in military assistance Biden approved recently, mostly on buying surface-to-air missiles and antitank Javelins, though there would be no shortage of funds for turning Ukraine into one of the most militarized nations on the planet following military intervention by the New Cold War rival, as the Biden administration has already announced a much larger $10 billion “humanitarian” and military assistance package, subject to forthcoming approval by the US Congress, and Washington’s opulent West European clients would willingly contribute billions more to punish Russia’s transgression in Eastern Europe.
The Machiavellian plan of NATO’s military strategists is to establish refugee settlements with the “humanitarian assistance” in the border regions of Ukraine’s neighboring countries Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria, and then provide guerrilla warfare training and lethal arms to all able-bodied men of military age in order to “bleed Russia’s security forces” in the ensuing irregular warfare following the impending fall of Kyiv.
Currently, the black-ops of NATO’s mercenaries in Ukraine are being directed from Ukraine’s Security Service (SSU) headquarter and the main center for information and psychological operations in Kyiv. No wonder Russia formally issued an ultimatum on Tuesday, March 1, that it would target the hub of covert warfare.
In fact, private military contractors in close coordination and consultation with covert operators from CIA and Western intelligence agencies are not only training Ukraine’s conscript forces in the use of caches of Stingers and Javelins provided by Germany and the rest of the European nations as military assistance to Ukraine but are also directing the whole defense strategy of Ukraine by taking an active part in combat operations in some of the most hard-fought battles against Russia’s security forces north of Kyiv and at Kharkiv and Donbas.
Despite public display of uncharacteristic valor by sporting military fatigues and flaunting images and video clips of soldiers proudly standing beside caches of MANPADS and Javelins on social media, Ukraine’s conscript army was reportedly so frightened following Russia’s military intervention that it wanted to surrender territory and opted instead for mounting guerrilla warfare by adopting hit-and-run tactics from the safety of border regions of Poland and Romania, as confirmed by the Washington Post report.
But NATO’s covert operators embedded with Ukraine’s security forces reassured them that the war wasn’t over and implored them to give their Western mentors a face-saving by mounting at least a semblance of resistance against the fierce onslaught by Russia’s professional security forces.
Although NATO powers did provide Stingers to their jihadist proxies that helped turn the tide in the Soviet-Afghan war in the eighties, since then, despite providing anti-tank munitions and rest of weapons to militant groups during the proxy wars in Libya and Syria, Western powers have consistently avoided providing MANPADS to proxy forces, because such deadly anti-aircraft munitions could become a long-term threat not only to military aircraft but also to civilian airlines.
In the sheer desperation to inflict maximum material damage on Russia’s security forces, however, NATO appears to have breached its own long-standing convention of curbing the proliferation of anti-aircraft munitions. Following Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, Germany alone has proudly bragged  of dispatching caches of 500 US-made surface-to-air Stinger missiles and 2,700 Soviet-era, shoulder-fired Strela missiles to Ukraine’s conscript military.
Who would be responsible for the myopic and vindictive policy of providing anti-aircraft munitions to Ukraine’s irregular militias once Kyiv falls and those MANPADS are found in black markets posing a grave risk to civilian airlines across the globe?
Volodymyr Zelensky reassured his compatriots  Thursday, March 3: “Ukraine is already welcoming foreign volunteers who are coming to our country. First ones from 16,000. They are coming to defend freedom, defend life. For us, for everyone. And it will be a success, I’m sure.”
In order to create an “international legion” comprising foreign mercenaries, Kyiv lifted visa requirements for anyone willing to fight. “Every friend of Ukraine who wants to join Ukraine in defending the country, please come over,” Zelensky pleaded at a recent press conference, adding “We will give you weapons.”
Ukraine has already declared martial law and a general mobilization of its populace. Those policies include conscription for men aged 18-60 and the confiscation of civilian vehicles and structures, while Ukrainian convicts with military experience are being released from prison to back up the war effort.
In a show of solidarity with Ukraine, several European nations recently announced they would not only not criminalize but rather expedite citizens joining the NATO’s war effort in Ukraine, despite being aware of the lamentable fate of a similar botched policy of enlisting volunteers for proxy wars in Libya and Syria, particularly from diaspora community of those countries, who later returned to Europe and carried out some of the most audacious terror attacks.
The wounds of the Manchester Arena bombing at Ariana Grande’s concert in May 2017, claiming 23 lives and hundreds wounded, by a Libyan ex-pat Salman Abedi, whose brother Hashem Abedi was found guilty of 22 counts of murder in March 2020, are still fresh in the minds of families of the victims. Who would be responsible after armed and violent “volunteers” had fought in the brutal proxy war in Ukraine return home to their native countries and commit wanton acts of vandalism and terrorism?
The myopic and reckless Western policy of lending indiscriminate support to militants in order to topple the Arab nationalist government of Colonel Gaddafi in Libya and the anti-Zionist government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria was directly responsible for the spate of terror attacks in Europe from 2015 to 2017.
After a lull of almost a decade since the horrific Madrid and London bombings in 2004 and 2005, respectively, when the Western powers decided to train and arm militant groups in border regions of Turkey and Jordan straddling Syria from 2011 to 2014, the first incident of terrorism occurred on the Western soil at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, and then the Islamic State carried out the audacious November 2015 Paris attacks, the March 2016 Brussels bombings, the June 2016 truck-ramming incident in Nice, and three gruesome terror attacks took place in the United Kingdom in 2017, and after that the militant group carried out the Barcelona attack in August 2017.
About the author: Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based geopolitical and national security analyst focused on geostrategic affairs and hybrid warfare in the Af-Pak and the Middle East regions. His domains of expertise include neocolonialism, the military-industrial complex, and petro-imperialism. He is a regular contributor of diligently researched investigative reports to alternative news media.