A lot of commentators have pointed out that the West really does not want a full scale war with Russia because this would, at best, be a suicidal proposition. True.
But there are some specific interests in the West which very much want to raise tensions as high as possible. Today I will list just a few: (partial list)
The US energy sector
The energy sector is deeply concerned about Biden’s “green” rhetoric, combined with the fact that OPEC+ countries are not obeying US demands about prices. Also, US shale gas is expensive. Should a war happen between Russia and the Ukraine, it would also certainly completely derail Russian energy exports to the EU which, in turn, would create a very high demand for US energy in Europe (and worldwide). This is an old US goal in Europe, to force the EU to purchase US energy even though Russian can provide it for a much better price
That one is simple: NATO has no raison d’être, but now NATO leaders can claim to be the only thing standing between the good, freedom loving EU countries and Putin’s hordes.
“Biden” option one
Biden’s ratings are almost as bad as Zelenskii’s. If an anti-Russian provocation is executed and Russia has to openly intervene in the Ukraine, Biden can become a “wartime President” and he can wave the flag which will hopefully distract from his immense internal problems and make him look more “presidential” (which in US parlance means “more willing to use force”).
“Biden” option two
Say no provocation takes place and with time, all this hysteria eventually fizzles out. Then Biden can claim that “he showed the Russkies who is boss” and “America’s” resolve “deterred and contained the Putin”, etc. That would be like a mouse claiming that it deterred a sleeping bear from attacking it. The proof? Well, the evil bear did not attack, did it? So what more proof do you need?
“Biden” option three
As I have mentioned in the past, there are signs that the US has farmed out the Ukraine to the Europeans, which in turn means that should a shooting war happen, and its outcome is not in doubt, “Biden” can say “we tried to help the Ukraine as much as we could, more than anybody else, but they cannot expect us to go to war with Russia to support them”. In other words, letting “Ze” lose a war against Russia is a very elegant way to get rid of “Ze” and to blame the current full-spectrum chaos in the Ukraine on him, while deflecting any criticisms of the USA.
UK and EU politicians have been faithfully parroting all the anti-Russian propaganda and now they are stuck in their own ideological corner: they hate Russia, but they need Russian energy. This dilemma could be “solved” by a short but nasty war which would powerfully re-polarize the EU against Russia and, therefore, fully and totally place the EU in the iron grip of the USA.
That one is obvious: the bigger and scarier the Russian boogeyman is, the more the peace-loving USA can be spend on “defense”. And remember that the goal of US “Congresspersons” (love that newspeak!) is not to contribute to a sane US foreign policy, but to get re-elected. That, in turns, means that keeping the US MIC up and running, a real financial bonanza for a country otherwise is terrible economic shape, is one of the best way to get reelected while projecting the image of a “patriotic” elected official. Ted Cruz anybody?
The US deep state
The US deep state has always hated Russia and has always fanned the flames of hysterical russophobia. The Neocons play a major role here, but they are far from being the only ones, it is quite clear that, besides the White House, the deep state also runs the Department of State, the CIA and the Pentagon.
It is now clear that the 3B+PU attempted to overthrow Lukashenko, and that they failed. How to better conceal the magnitude of this failure from the general public than to have a short and ugly war against Russia, especially since the 3B+PU fully understand that Russia will never attack them first. Here I have to make a special mention of Poland which currently feels like a giant, standing as they do, on the shoulders of the USA. For them, it is a win-win situation: if Russia is defeated, they get to proclaim themselves the best soldiers in the history of the universe, if Russia wins, then they can declare themselves the most victimized nation on earth. Either way, both option are a salvific manna from the heavens for Polish nationalists (who otherwise are in trouble with the EU).
Zelenskii’s ratings are even worse than Biden’s. Most of his former allies have turned against him and unless something very dramatic happens, his political future is pretty much zero, he will be lucky if he manages to escape the Ukraine on time, that is before somebody decides to take direct action against him (lots of different interests in the Ukraine are now openly and deeply hostile to ‘Ze’).
The British military/security establishment
The Brits have imperial phantom pains and they feel relatively safe, being far away from the Russian-Ukrainian line of contact. They also feel that it is quite unthinkable to imagine that Russia would dare to actually strike at a British ship/aircraft or, even less so, at a location in the UK. That latter belief is quite mistaken, by the way, because the Russians also realize that should they, say, sink a UK ship, or even hit a military facility in the UK, the latter would have two basic options: 1) do nothing by themselves and ask Uncle Shmuel for protection 2) counter-strike against Russia themselves, which would only expose themselves to more Russian counter-strikes. If this sounds like a losing strategy to you, it is because it is. But for the country of Litvenenko, Skripal, Bellingcat, and “highly likely” reality is never an impediment to action. Besides, it really appears that the UK is run by a mentally deranged Prime Minister surrounded by petty bureaucrats and a senile Queen.
The folks nostalgic for the good old days of the white, western, empire
That’s folks like Josep Borrell and all those who wanted a unipolar world, run by the West, of course, where no country could dare defy the rule of the Single World Hegemon (don’t matter which country, as long as it is a western one). These folks are the ones who need to get whacked, hard, by the Russian military every century or so.
In truth, there are many more groups in the West who want some kind of war, some want it quick and small, others want it bigger, while others want to stop the escalation just short of actual war.
As always, what happens next will be the result of of the sums of the many vectors influencing that outcome: each party will pull towards its interests as much as possible, and the sum vector of all of these unofficial foreign policies will result in what many of us will call “US foreign policy”, in spite of the fact that as such, no such policy exists (other than a sum of these different vectors).
Lastly, is the Putin-Biden being canceled?
Yesterday Psaki said that she was not aware of any preparations made for a summit between Biden and Putin. Also, a quick look at the calendar makes me wonder: between the upcoming Summit for Democracy, Dec 9th-10th, and the period between the western holiday season (Dec 24th – 1 Jan) the time available to organize such a summit is shrinking quickly. Following the initial announcement, the rhetoric in both Russia and the USA about such a summit has become much more vague as if both sides now appear to have second thoughts about this.
And if that summit is planned for sometime in January, then this just leaves more time for the Ukronazis to come up with any provocation they like. If that happens, then any summit would the scrapped sine die anyway.
We can still hope that this summit will take place, and that would be an effective way for “Biden” to show to “himself” and his enemies (the other factions of the US power structure) that he, “Biden”, is still in control. A bad peace is always preferable to a good war. But with so many western interests vested into such a war, I am not very optimistic.