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Chatham House Demands Escalation Against Russia, Don’t Worry About War

Chatham House, also known as the Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA), the British Crown’s preferred foreign policy think tank, produced a real gem May 10, authored by Senior Consulting Fellow Keir Giles, which demanded the U.K. go full steam ahead in confronting Russia. “Backing down in the face of Russian threats is the worst option,” says Giles. Better to join France in its insane policy of “strategic ambiguity.”

Giles lavishes praise on Foreign Secretary David Cameron for recently calling on Ukraine to use British weapons to launch strikes into Russia. The U.K. position, he boasts, “is a sharp contrast to that of the U.S. which has consistently forbidden Ukraine from using the weapons it supplies to hit targets in Russia.” The only problem, Giles laments, is that “sadly” Cameron undermined the effect of his excellent proposal by ruling out the presence of Western troops in Ukraine. “This makes no sense,” he wails, as this will just reassure Putin “he can continue the war with less concern for possible consequences.”

There should be no holds barred, Giles insists. Forget about reality. Washington and Berlin have been duped by a Russian “con trick” into believing that provision of more sophisticated weapons to Kiev will lead to escalation. Instead, European leaders, including the U.K., should follow French President Emannuel Macron’s lead and preserve “strategic ambiguity.” The “rogue” Kremlin may use its extended network of “proxies” to attack the U.K. and other European nations, possibly even resort to terrorism against European cities. But “Europe must not be just a passive victim.”

The U.K.’s delivery of its Storm Shadow missiles to Kiev was done to deliver a message about “an explicit consequence of specific Russian actions.” Now it seems that Washington has done the same with its long-awaited supply of longer range ATACMs missiles. And “to nobody’s surprise, except perhaps in the White House, the sky has not fallen.” Then this: “Britain’s explicit endorsement of strikes into Russia could also have been presented as a consequence for Russia’s attacks against Europe, and with a promise that more would follow. What’s more, explicitly allowing Ukraine to strike Russia with British weapons as well as its own opens up other possibilities for targeting Russia’s ability to wage war.”