Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Russia to Counter US Eastern European Buildup

Russia to Counter US Eastern European Buildup

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed ongoing US anti-Russian provocations - including plans for troop deployments and heavy weapons positioned near its borders.

Reuters reported US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James calling Russia "the biggest threat" on her mind - when none whatever exists.

The Air Force may further increase its rotational forces in Europe, she said. What's likely is just "the beginning. There will be more" to come.

"We will be reassuring (our) allies we are standing shoulder to shoulder with them." Air patrols in the Baltics increased. Fifth-generation F-22 stealth warplanes may be stationed in Europe. 

Washington wants NATO members to increase military spending - at a time none face external threats except ones they invent.

On Monday, Russia's Foreign Ministry said the following:

Reports of its planned Eastern European military buildup "show that the the United States is obviously negotiating with its allies to erode the fundamental provision of the Russia-NATO Founding Act of 1997, under which the alliance pledged to avoid 'additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces' in" Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Romania and Hungary.

"The prepositioning of weapons is equivalent to permanent stationing, and the rotation of military personnel is but a detail."

"Washington claims that these measures are necessary to reassure its European allies in the face of the alleged Russian threat."

"In fact, Washington and its European allies know that the perceived Russian threat is but a myth, which can be used to relieve the United States of responsibility for the anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine and the activities of certain forces in Kiev that refuse to end the fratricidal war in Donbass." 

"The United States is fueling tensions and nurturing its European allies’ anti-Russian fears, also because it plans to use current tensions to expand its military presence and hence strengthen its influence in Europe."

"There is growing risk that the US military strategy on NATO’s 'eastern flank' will take on a life of its own, disregarding realities and Europe’s political interests, in the process of acquiring inertia that would be difficult to reverse."

Moscow hopes cooler heads will stop things from heading toward "a new military confrontation with destructive consequences."

Russia takes US belligerence very seriously. It will defend its security responsibly. 

General Yury Yakubov warned "(i)f US heavy hardware, including tanks, artillery systems, or other fighting vehicles does appear in some Eastern European and Baltic countries, this would mark the Pentagon and NATO’s most aggressive step since the Cold War time of the past century."

USAREUR commander Lt. General Ben Hodges said "surveys" are being conducted in "Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria" to choose locations for US heavy weapons and troop deployments.

"We really want to put some in southeastern Europe, some in the Baltics, some in Poland," he said. He ludicrously claimed these countries want them as "a deterrent" against (nonexistent) "Russian aggression."

At the same time, Kiev intends deploying S-300 air defense missile systems in Odessa near the breakaway Moldovan Transnistria republic's border.

A separate article discussed the risks of possibly using them against Russian aircraft delivering equipment and supplies to its 1,400 peacekeepers stationed there.

It's the only way Moscow can reach landlocked Transnistria after Kiev blocked a land route through its territory.

If it foolishly targets Russian aircraft, all bets are off. International Centre for Geo-Political Analysis president Leonid Ivashov believes Washington through its Kiev proxy intends provoking Russia into a second regional war.

Former Georgian fascist dictator Mikheil Saakashvili's appointment as Odessa governor may have this strategy in mind.

He's militantly anti-Russian. He calls tightening border security with Transnistria one of his priorities. He may close the entire 450 kilometer border between both states.

Ivashov says "(s)hould a single Russian plane be shot down or a single Russian soldier killed, the events may take an irreversible course." 

Poroshenko is playing with fire. He's "deliberately provoking Moscow into a tough response to Ukraine’s steps to establish a military blockade (on Transnistria) to ask NATO to send troops to Ukraine on the pretext of a newly-triggered conflict."

Washington is manipulating events the same way it orchestrated Maidan protests and violence from November 2013 to February 2014. It got Saakashvili appointed Odessa governor.

"The United States had already tried to lure Russia into an armed conflict in Donbas, in the Southeast of Ukraine," Ivashov explained. "It failed. Transnistria has been selected as the next territory for staging an anti-Russian provocation." 

"Moscow will be faced with a dilemma - either leaving 200,000 of its citizens and Russian peacekeepers in the self-proclaimed republic at the mercy of their fate, or getting involved in an armed conflict." 

"By leaving its own people in the lurch Moscow would lose face and world prestige. Should it intervene, it will be blamed for an act of aggression, the way it happened in Georgia in 2008."

Washington wants to get Russia involved in a European war - possibly one involving confrontation with US-dominated NATO.

Ivashov says Moscow should explain to EU leaders the danger of continental war they want to avoid. Playing America's dirty game makes it possible. 

Transnistria issues should be resolved diplomatically. No European country benefits from a military confrontation - only America at their expense.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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