Beijing - The Ukraine crisis drags on with no immediate solution in sight, while the United States, the culprit behind the conflict, has been well placed to profit from it.
By pushing Nato to expand eastward continuously and orchestrating “colour revolutions“ around Russia, the United States has, over the years, never stopped trying to contain and ”squeeze“ Russia, while ignoring its legitimate security concerns and apprehensions.
Instead of contributing to de-escalation, Washington has been sparing no efforts in stoking tensions in the region, shipping weapons into Ukraine at breakneck speed and pushing its European allies to impose sweeping sanctions against Russia.
The efforts have “paid off.” By instigating the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Washington has managed to drive a wedge between Europe and Russia, increase natural gas export to Europe to replace Russian fuel and undermine the European Union's strategic autonomy, with itself poised to benefit significantly from all of these results.
LIGHTING THE FUSE BY EXPANDING NATO
The United States is clearly the leading instigator of the Ukraine crisis, as the taproot of the ongoing conflict, analysts believe, is the US-led Nato enlargement.
Under the banners of “consolidating democracy,” “promoting stability and common values,” Washington has been continuously pushing to expand the alliance eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union.
In 30 years, Nato has gone through five rounds of enlargement, moving eastward more than 1,000 km to somewhere near the Russian border, pushing the country into a corner step by step.
US President Joe Biden has, since assuming office, signalled a tougher stance against Russia, while stepping up diplomatic efforts in establishing “friendly” relations with Ukraine. By asserting support for Ukraine's Nato membership, the Biden administration eventually crossed Russia's security "red line."
Thomas Friedman, a renowned US expert on international issues, has pointed out that the US government should bear considerable responsibility for the deterioration of relations with Russia caused by its major mistake of green lighting the Nato expansion.
“America and Nato aren't innocent bystanders“ to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, he said in an op-ed published recently.
Nato enlargement is a critical element of a larger US strategy to turn Ukraine into a Western bastion, and analysts believe that Washington has long been trying to create so-called “manageable chaos” in Ukraine, which best suits its own political and economic interests.
By constantly “pouring kerosene on the fire” in Ukraine, the Biden administration now gets a second chance to demonstrate the steady leadership he promised, and the world's sole superpower has also managed to consolidate its dominant position on the global stage by increasing Europe's energy and military reliance on it.
The Ukraine crisis “could have easily been avoided if the Biden Admin and Nato had simply acknowledged Russia's legitimate security concerns regarding Ukraine's becoming a member of Nato,” tweeted former Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a 2020 presidential candidate.
“NO CONFLICT, NO PROFIT”
When discussing the political logic of conflicts, a central question is often put forward: Who benefits?
As a number of analysts and political observers have pointed out, whenever there was a military conflict, the US military-industrial complex made a fortune.
Indeed, besides the diplomatic and political gains, the United States, especially its arms dealers, has also raked in an immense amount of cash from both Nato's enlargement and the Russia-Ukraine standoff.
Gabbard told Fox News in mid-February that warmongers on both sides of Washington had been drumming up tensions, and if a Russia-Ukraine war broke out, the military-industrial complex would make a ton more money than they had been in fighting al-Qaida or making weapons for al-Qaida.
Since the Russia-Ukraine conflict started, the top five biggest defence contractors in the United States have seen their stock prices skyrocket.
Lockheed Martin, the world's top weapons manufacturer, saw its stock price surge by 28% from US$354 in early January to $453 on March 25, while the stock price of Raytheon Technologies increased by more than 20%. Meanwhile, arms companies like Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics have also seen their prices surge.
The scene is all so familiar as it is what the United State has been doing repeatedly over the years: fuelling conflicts and selling weapons abroad.
Erik Sperling, executive director of anti-war group Just Foreign Policy, said that the defence spending across Nato members are likely to grow as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine unfolds.
Many of the weapons "that Nato uses are gonna be overwhelmingly US-based weaponry. So that's all positive for the weapons companies,“ Sperling said.