By Mike Whitney

Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin). In more than two and a half years of conversations with key Russian players, from knuckle-draggers in the dark recesses of the Kremlin to Putin’s sharpest liberal critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests.” William Burns, US ambassador to Moscow writing to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, 2008

“There’s nothing inevitable about the “multipolar world”. Its emergence depends entirely on a war that is just beginning and whose outcome is still unknown.” From the text

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center: “About half of Americans… say they are either extremely (24%) or very (26%) concerned about the possibility of U.S. and NATO support for Ukraine leading to a U.S. war with Russia.” (“Americans’ Concerns About War in Ukraine: Wider Conflict, Possible U.S.-Russia Clash”, Pew Research Center)

This is a smaller percentage than one might expect given the risk that an unexpected escalation that could trigger a nuclear war. Even so, this is what the data tell us and the data don’t lie.

But here’s the interesting part: Even though half of the country is worried about a direct conflagration with Russia, they still overwhelmingly support the other measures Biden has taken to punish Russia for its alleged “aggression”. Here’s more from the survey:

Wide support in both parties for U.S. actions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Sizable majorities of both Republicans (73%) and Democrats (80%) say they approve of the U.S. placing strict economic sanctions on Russia. Similar shares say they approve of sending military equipment and weapons to Ukraine.

About seven-in-ten Democrats and six-in-ten Republicans also say they approve of stationing large numbers of U.S. military in NATO countries near Ukraine.” (“Americans’ Concerns About War in Ukraine: Wider Conflict, Possible U.S.-Russia Clash”, Pew Research Center)

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