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The war in Ukraine – what is the role of the United States?

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Heffermehl is a lawyer and author. Latest book The back of the medal. Nobel Peace Prize – a hundred years of unused opportunities.
USA / RUSSIA / It was a sad day for the world, but Russia's shocking military action should not stop us from looking at the United States' role in the situation that has arisen.

While the world is shaking and despairing over military attacks in Ukraine, I'm afraid the mood is different in US governing circles and at NATO headquarters. They have been right that Russia wanted to enter the military. And Putin has fueled the massive propaganda about his cruelty and despotism.

The Security Council met in the morning hours on Thursday, Norwegian time, as it should and should always happen in a situation that threatens international peace and security. But again the Council met to give the West a chance to condemn Russia. The council should have had two meetings this week. Under the UN Charter, the massive Western sanctions should also have had the consent of the Security Council.

A sad day for the world, but Russia's appalling military action should not prevent us from looking at America's role in the situation that has arisen. By stimulating the Ukraine crisis, the country's leaders have been able to divert attention from their enormous problems at home and have been able to advance their international positions by leaps and bounds. This applies, for example, to the process of consolidating, supplementing and harmonizing the country's system of 800 bases in 80 countries (Russia has around 20). The wish is to obtain the most uniform agreements and seamless operation of the bases. The Nordic region will also get more and more American "boots on the ground". Denmark wants an increased presence of forces from the USA. Norway is in the process of accepting four American military bases. Sweden has an increasingly close military partnership. The work to strengthen history's greatest military force has been given good terms by the crisis maximization in Ukraine.

At the time of writing, all the plans the Russians will have for the invasion of Ukraine have not yet been fully clarified.


At the same time as we are horrified by Russia, we should not forget to question our relationship with USA and our own role in the most powerful military apparatus in world history. And we must consciously verify all statements in and about international politics – the field is permeated with propaganda, distortions of the truth and outright lies. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has again and again placed the blame for the crisis squarely on Russia – I have claimed the opposite. The long-term picture is that the USA/NATO have constantly pressured and encircled Russia militarily. The USA/NATO should have made use of the wonder of prudence and willingness to disarm that Gorbachev stood for in the late 1980s. A world of cooperation, peace and disarmament was within reach. But the military-industrial complex that has the real power in the United States is dependent on warding off all approaches to understanding and order in the world. In 1990, the American military succeeded in its campaign to avoid the reduction of military budgets – far from a patriotic safeguarding of the interests of the American people. And far from the interests of the Nordic countries, which are now drawn ever deeper into military cooperation with a politically vacillating USA.

There is doubt as to whether the country can hold the next election without a civil war Trump or something even worse could be re-elected. Then it cannot be the civilian United States that we put our trust in. It must be the military-industrial complex we trust. In my latest book, Back of medal», I describe the military power in the United States as the criminal one the overworld, a powerful and far-reaching power structure, much more deadly and harmful than the underworld. Country after country has been smashed because they stood up to America's wishes.

A world of cooperation, peace and disarmament was within reach.

The US has evil intentions, including with us. The country's goals and thinking can be clearly read in the analyzes prepared by the Rand Corporation think tank. Rand prides herself on having won the Cold War by forcing an arms race on Russia that they broke their necks. In a report from 2019, Rand recommends an oil boycott, making Russian academics emigrate, building bases along Russia's border – or of highly topical interest: "By supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons, we will be able to exploit Russia's greatest vulnerability." At the same time, Rand warns, such arms aid "must be carefully calibrated to increase the costs for Russia". Such extreme political vileness has regime change as its goal. We are wise to assume that Russian leaders have read this document from 2019 [see below].

Norway and Denmark

What about the military plans for Norway and the Nordic countries? There will of course not be nuclear weapons on the bases or on approaching naval vessels, we are told. But, is it so obvious? I show in Back of medal that the US is not to be trusted. Norway's defense minister once ordered that American warships in Norwegian waters had to promise that they did not have nuclear weapons on board. It wasn't like that. He finally had to admit in the Storting that Norway only reminded of Norwegian laws and regulations, no promises were received from the Americans. In such matters we cannot trust our ministers.

A Danish journalist, Poul Brink, was supposed to make a report 30 years ago about workers who had fallen ill after collecting radioactive snow after an American plane crash in Greenland. After years of digging, Brink discovered that the US had nuclear weapons at the Thule base. Two Danish prime ministers, HC Hansen and Jens Otto Krag, had lied and secretly accepted nuclear weapons on Danish soil. They had also agreed that the Danish authorities should never say anything that could damage or lead to liability for damages for the US military. As I show in the book, behind the backs of the Danish people, the government had agreed with the US to repeal Danish law, even Danish workers' right to occupational injury compensation.

A broad national discussion is very much needed before the plans go ahead, but all discussions about our alliance policy are made difficult by manipulative language. When Norway in 1949 entered the NATO we made a promise to the Soviet Union not to open bases to foreign powers. Now people are being told that what we are going to get are not bases, because in the agreement it is referred to as "reunified areas". There is a lot of news like this.

Verbal camouflage exercises

I recently checked the newspapers' reports from 2014 and found that the claim of Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea must be a propaganda number, repeated so often that everyone believes and repeats without checking whether Russian military really marched in. The truth disappears behind a wall of verbal camouflage exercises. War turns into humanitarian intervention, Libya is shelled to be protected. The USA's self-produced "rules-based" world order has displaced the UN Charter's "law-based world order" and prime ministers, foreign ministers and defense ministers in 30 countries speak NATO language with perfect pronunciation.

Who will be president and what kind of United States will we be dealing with in two or three years? It is impossible to conclude agreements with a country on the brink of chaos, dissolution and violence. All friends of America's people and culture—I count myself one of them—must now help America dismantle its empire, its military-industrial complex, and curb its violent tendencies. Increasing the US military presence in the Nordics is definitely not a step in the right direction. We must keep a cool head and not let developments in Ukraine scare us further into the arms of the United States.

See «Overextending and Unbalancing Russia» rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB10014.html

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