A former US State Department official has stated openly that the conflict in Ukraine is a NATO “proxy war with Russia,” and called for killing as many Russian soldiers as possible, “the more and faster the better.”
These comments were made by Eliot A. Cohen, who served as a counselor for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from 2007 to 2009, in the George W. Bush administration’s State Department.
A staunch advocate for hardline neoconservative foreign policy, Cohen published an article in The Atlantic magazine on March 14, titled “America’s Hesitation Is Heartbreaking,” in which he praised the Joe Biden administration for waging an indirect war on Russia on multiple fronts, including through information war, economic war, and proxy war in Ukraine.
Cohen complained, however, that Biden should do even more to up the ante, escalating the conflict even further.
The Biden administration has already sent Ukraine more than 17,000 anti-tank weapons, including Javelin missiles, as well as 2,000 stinger anti-aircraft missiles. Some of these went directly to the notorious neo-Nazi Azov regiment.
After sending $350 million in arms to Ukraine in late February, the Biden administration approved an additional $13.6 billion aid package in March, including $6.5 billion in military support.
NATO is sending weapons and trainers to help neo-Nazis in Ukraine’s white-supremacist Azov movement fight Russia, as the US floods the country with weapons.
This follows numerous reports of Western government support for Ukrainian far-right extremists.https://t.co/5gYgmU8PFo
— Benjamin Norton (@BenjaminNorton) March 10, 2022
Eliot Cohen insisted this is not nearly enough. “The stream of arms going into Ukraine needs to be a flood,” he proclaimed in his article in The Atlantic.
“The United States and its NATO allies are engaged in a proxy war with Russia,” he wrote clearly. “They are supplying thousands of munitions and hopefully doing much else—sharing intelligence, for example—with the intent of killing Russian soldiers.”
Cohen added on an equally explicit note: “we must face a fact: To break the will of Russia and free Ukraine from conquest and subjugation, many Russian soldiers have to flee, surrender, or die, and the more and faster the better.”
“Thus far the Biden administration has done an admirable job of winning the information war, mobilizing the NATO alliance, and imposing crippling (if not yet complete) sanctions on the Russian economy,” he continued. “It has, it appears, sped the delivery of some weapon systems (notably Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger man-portable surface-to-air missiles) to Ukrainian forces.”
The neoconservative hawk called for the Biden administration to give Ukraine fighter planes. He claimed sending MiG-29 jets would not escalate the proxy war into World War III with Russia – although many experts strongly disagree with him, including leaders of the Pentagon and US intelligence agencies.
“If only we have the stomach for doing what needs to be done,” he wrote.
Cohen was a leading supporter of the 2003 Iraq War, and has likewise called for Washington to wage a conventional war on Iran.
Although he is no longer directly in government, Cohen works at the highly influential neoconservative think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which is funded by the US government and its allies, the weapons industry, and fossil fuel corporations.
He is also a professor at the elite Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, which has a revolving door with the US government.
Cohen’s ultra-bellicose views are quite representative of his fellow hawks in Washington; he is by no means alone. His article in The Atlantic provides an honest glimpse into how prominent US imperial planners see the crisis in Ukraine: as an opportunity to use the Ukrainian people as cannon fodder in a proxy war to bleed Russia.