Yalta 2.0 Needed Now!

On Wednesday, February 14, Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that his panel had “made available to all Members of Congress information concerning a serious national security threat.”

This announcement made headline news, followed by statements from his colleagues in the House. Some of them, like Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), even before the briefing on this subject said that this is “additional proof of Putin’s attack on our freedom and democracy.”

However, Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) demanded that House Speaker Mike Johnson opens a probe into the impact of Mr. Turner‘s call for President Biden to go public with a national security threat that caught lawmakers and the White House by surprise on Wednesday.

“In hindsight, it has become clear that the intent was not to ensure the safety of our homeland and the American people, but rather to ensure additional funding for Ukraine and passage of an unreformed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” Mr. Ogles said.

In addition, it turned out that earlier this month in Kyiv, Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), assured Ukrainian President Zelensky that the “U.S. stands in full support of Ukraine and is working diligently to secure funding necessary for his country to defend itself against Russian aggression.”

Moreover, prior to release of his statement, Turner cleared it with the White House.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, spilled the beans further when, during his public address from the briefing room, suggested not to worry about this threat but, after some pause, added that “more importantly is to continue funding Ukraine.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson said that there is “no need for public alarm on security threat,” and seemingly confused, if not embarrassed, Secretary of State Blinken had to repeat the same line.

This story reminds us of other instances when facts and news were manipulated to achieve political goals. 

For example, in April 2021 on the eve of Biden-Putin summit in Geneva, Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who was not happy about this summit said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about worldwide threats that “The Russian military is an existential threat to the United States.”

Back to February 2024, considering that the bill’s fate with $60 billion for Ukraine is in the hands of Republicans in the House of Representatives, and contrary to Turner, many of them don’t like this bill, the Russian threat proved to be a very convenient instrument in Washington.

Needless to say, the U.S., Russia, and China are definitely working on new space technology that can be used in potential future conflicts, but, as was noted by officials in the know, Russia does not appear close to deploying these weapons, and it is not considered by these officials to be an urgent threat. Also, US officials openly acknowledge there is no evidence or indication that Russia is abandoning the 1967 Outer Space Treaty that banned orbiting nuclear weapons.

The U.S. also makes experiments with versions of this technology but has yet to deploy them. China is obviously in the same loop.

In the recent interview to Tucker Carlsen Putin mentioned the idea of U.S.- Russia joint missile defense to face similar threats from third countries. This was during the times when GW Bush praised Putin for his help in the October 2001 Afghan operation while Secretary of State Colin Powell was talking about “seismic changes in U.S. – Russia relations” while in Moscow .

The late Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation and I published an article in the Washington Times on October 26, 2001 saying that the recent dramatic positive developments in U.S.-Russia relations towards a rapprochement can be compared on a geopolitical scale with the far-reaching impact that the collapse of communism had in 1991. 

Well, regrettably it was a short window of opportunity that has been squandered by Washington.  

Presently, the most logical thing in these circumstances, when the talk of nuclear WW3 is getting more and more alarming, would be an urgent summit between the U.S., Russian, and Chinese leaders, something like Yalta 2.0 to resemble the historic Yalta Conference, held February 4-11, 1945, by the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union which helped to avoid WW3 for almost 80 years.

With Biden in the White House, it is highly unlikely because some other forces from the so-called Deep State are ruling the U.S. foreign policy. Trump could be more inclined to do it, but the same forces are desperately trying to prevent him from winning or even continuing the race.

As it happens, after Trump’s victory in 2016, a former State Department official and Senate Republican Policy Committee advisor James Jatras and I presented this idea to Trump by saying the following in the December 5, 2016 issue of the Washington Times

“With the defeat of Hillary Clinton by Donald Trump, we may never know how close America and all mankind came to nuclear war. Driven by the globalist agenda of the “indispensable” neoconservatives and liberal-interventionists calling the shots in a Clinton administration, it would have been only a matter of time before the United States found itself at war with Russia, or China, or both.

Trump can move decisively to restore stability to a global order that has been spinning out of control. It is a good sign that he held cordial phone conversations with both Putin and Xi soon after his victory. It’s time to cement mutual goodwill with both Russia and China, which have established a de facto alliance in response to the mishandling of American policy under Trump’s immediate predecessors.”

Unfortunately, Trump ignored, or was prevented by the above mentioned forces to do it, but in case of victory in November he might have another chance.

The latest news is that Biden instructed his foreign policy team to enter into negotiations with Russia on space security subject but one wonders if Russia agrees to do it without expanding the agenda to ending the war in Ukraine. However, those who are pushing for continuing this war to the last Ukrainian, and throwing good U.S. tax-payers money after bad, will not let Biden to stop it.

To summarize, it looks like this year could be a fateful one, tighten your belts.

Edward Lozansky is President of the American University in Moscow.