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VIPS Send Memo to Biden on ‘Avoiding War in Ukraine’

April 14 , 2021 (EIRNS)—The Steering Committee of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, known as the VIPS, sent a memorandum to President Joe Biden on April 6, posted on the anti.war.blog recommending that he take the necessary diplomatic action to forestall the “growing risk of war” from the escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

These experienced professionals argue that the starting point for policy depends on recognizing on two basic realities: that Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and therefore Article 5 of the NATO Treaty would not apply in the case of an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia; and that “Ukraine’s current military flexing, if allowed to transition into actual military action, could lead to hostilities with Russia.”

Therefore, “we think it crucial that your administration immediately seek to remove from the table, so to speak, any ‘solution’ to the current impasse that has a military component. In short, there is, and can never be, a military solution to this problem....

“We strongly believe:

“1. It must be made clear to Ukrainian President Zelensky that there will be no military assistance from either the U.S. or NATO if he does not restrain Ukrainian hawks itching to give Russia a bloody nose.... (There must be no repeat of the fiasco of August 2008, when the Republic of Georgia initiated offensive military operations against South Ossetia in the mistaken belief that the U.S. would come to its assistance if Russia responded militarily.)

“2. We recommend that you quickly get back in touch with Zelensky and insist that Kiev halt its current military buildup in eastern Ukraine. Russian forces have been lining up at the border ready to react if Zelensky’s loose talk of war becomes more than bravado. Washington should also put on hold all military training activity involving U.S. and NATO troops in the region....

“3. It is equally imperative that the U.S. engage in high-level diplomatic talks with Russia to reduce tensions in the region and de-escalate the current rush toward military conflict. ... This would be an opportune time to work toward a joint goal of preventing armed hostilities in Ukraine and wider war....

“This crisis offers your administration the opportunity to elevate the moral authority of the United States in the eyes of the international community. Leading with diplomacy will greatly enhance the stature of America in the world.”

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