Tag Archives: NATO

Trump the Disruptor, but Justin Raimondo

European powers that be are just as pissed off at Donald Trump as American powers that be. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

If the New York Times is to be believed – a problematic proposition – then it looks as if Trump Derangement Syndrome has gone international. In a front page article headlined “As Trump Era Dawns, A Sense of Uncertainty Grips the World,” we are told:

“The Germans are angry. The Chinese are downright furious. Leaders of NATO are nervous, while their counterparts at the European Union are alarmed.”

Oh heavens-to-Betsy, whatever shall we do?

So what’s the source of this latest Trumpanic? It’s an interview with Tory mandarin Michael Gove and Kai Diekmann, a former editor of the German newspaper Bild, in which the President-elect reiterates what he’s been saying to the American people for the past year, and on the basis of which he won the election: US foreign policy is going to change, and in a big way.

However, to Times reporter Steve Erlanger, this all comes as a big revelation, evidence that “Trump has again focused his penchant for disruption on the rest of the world.” Oh, the poor babies! Perhaps they need to find a safe space in which to park themselves for the next four-to-eight years.

This being the Times, there’s the requisite Russia-baiting:

“No one knows where exactly he is headed – except that the one country he is not criticizing is Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin. For now. And that he is an enthusiastic cheerleader of Brexit and an unaffiliated Britain. For now.”

If this reads like a paragraph torn out of one of the Hillary Clinton campaign’s strategy memos, well then consider the source. And speaking of the source, what exactly did Trump say in this supposedly “disruptive” interview that has the Powers That Be in such a tizzy?

To continue reading: Trump the Disruptor

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Make No Mistake: Russia Remains the Only Target Country of NATO’s Nuclear Weapons, by Brian Cloughley

What would happen if Russia had all the armaments and troops in Canada and Mexico that the US has in various countries bordering Russia? It would be intolerable, but Russia umbrage at the weapons in neighboring countries is considered provocative. From Brian Cloughley at strategic-culture.org:

Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are the world’s five «nuclear weapons states», a description officially recognised in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which lays down that «each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices…»

It is apparent that the word ‘transfer’ involves ownership and not location, because the United States has transferred many nuclear weapons to countries which, although members of the US-NATO military alliance, are not nuclear weapons states. An analysis by the Nuclear Threat Initiative indicates that the US has positioned 160-200 B-61 nuclear warheads «at six bases in five NATO countries: Belgium (10-20), Germany (10-20), Italy (60-70), Netherlands (10-20), and Turkey (60-70)».

According to a NATO statement of December 2015, «A number of NATO member countries contribute a dual-capable aircraft (DCA) capability to the Alliance. These aircraft are available for nuclear roles at various levels of readiness – the highest level of readiness is measured in weeks. In their nuclear role, the aircraft are equipped to carry nuclear bombs and personnel are trained accordingly».

The claim that the readiness level is measured in weeks is intriguing, because, as indicated in the US-NATO Readiness Action Plan of October 2015, the entire alliance is gearing up for war against Russia and, among other blatantly provocative initiatives, is «Raising the readiness and capabilities of the Multinational Corps Northeast Headquarters in Szczecin, Poland and enhancing its role as a hub for regional cooperation».

To continue reading: Make No Mistake: Russia Remains the Only Target Country of NATO’s Nuclear Weapons

NATO’s Rear-Guard Actions, by Brian Cloughley

Why should the US be paying the bulk of the freight to defend Europe from largely nonexistent threats? From Brian Cloughley at strategic-culture.org:

In the military a rearguard action is defined as ‘a defensive action carried out by a retreating army’ and it is an appropriate description of the desperate scrabbling by NATO to convince the rest of the world — and especially Donald Trump — that its existence is justified.

President-elect Trump has never said that the US should actually leave NATO. Certainly Hillary Clinton declared that he ‘wants to pull out of NATO’ but this was just another of her lies, and what he said back in April was that it is ‘obsolete’ which is a gentle way of indicating that it’s hopeless. He did, after all, tell a town hall meeting in Wisconsin: «Maybe Nato will dissolve and that’s OK, not the worst thing in the world», but although that may have sent shivers up the supple spine of NATO’s Secretary General Stoltenberg, it was by no means a definitive statement of intention.

The fact remains that The Donald is unhappy with NATO, and he’s perfectly right to consider that it’s a vastly expensive and largely ineffective military grouping that indeed should be disbanded. On the other hand, the massive propaganda campaign waged against Russia has convinced much of the world that Moscow has expansionist plans and that the only way to counter its supposed ambitions is to spend more money — lots and lots more money — and deploy troops and aircraft and ships all over the place to make it look as if gallant little NATO is defending the so-called Free World against the might of an illusory aggressor.

To continue reading: NATO’s Rear-Guard Actions

 

Merkel Urged To Temper NATO’s Belligerence, by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

There are at least a few people who think that starting World War III with Russia may not be a brilliant idea. From a group called the Veteran Professionals for Sanity (group members listed in linked article) at antiwar.com:

U.S. intelligence veterans are calling on German Chancellor Merkel to bring a needed dose of realism and restraint to the upcoming NATO conference, which risks escalating the dangerous new Cold War with Russia.

MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: NATO Summit in Warsaw
REFERENCE: Our Memorandum to You, August 30, 2014

We longtime U.S. intelligence officers again wish to convey our concerns and cautions directly to you prior to a critically important NATO summit – the meeting that begins on July 8 in Warsaw. We were gratified to learn that our referenced memorandum reached you and your advisers before the NATO summit in Wales, and that others too learned of our initiative via the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which published a full report on our memorandum on Sept. 4, the day that summit began.

Wales to Warsaw

The Warsaw summit is likely to be at least as important as the last one in Wales and is likely to have even more far-reaching consequences. We find troubling – if not surprising – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s statement at a pre-summit press event on July 4 that NATO members will agree to “further enhance NATOs military presence in the eastern part of the alliance,” adding that the alliance will see its “biggest reinforcement since the Cold War.”

The likelihood of a military clash in the air or at sea – accidental or intentional – has grown sharply, the more so since, as we explain below, President Obama’s control over top U.S./NATO generals, some of whom like to play cowboy, is tenuous. Accordingly we encourage you, as we did before the last NATO summit, to urge your NATO colleagues to bring a “degree of judicious skepticism” to the table at Warsaw – especially with regard to the perceived threat from Russia.

Many of us have spent decades studying Moscow’s foreign policy. We shake our heads in disbelief when we see Western leaders seemingly oblivious to what it means to the Russians to witness exercises on a scale not seen since Hitler’s armies launched “Unternehmen Barbarossa” 75 years ago, leaving 25 million Soviet citizens dead. In our view, it is irresponsibly foolish to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not take countermeasures – at a time and place of his own choosing.

Putin does not have the option of trying to reassure his generals that what they hear and see from NATO is mere rhetoric and posturing. He is already facing increased pressure to react in an unmistakably forceful way. In sum, Russia is bound to react strongly to what it regards as the unwarranted provocation of large military exercises along its western borders, including in Ukraine.

Before things get still worse, seasoned NATO leaders need to demonstrate a clear preference for statesmanship and give-and-take diplomacy over saber-rattling. Otherwise, some kind of military clash with Russia is likely, with the ever-present danger of escalation to a nuclear exchange.

To continue reading: Merkel Urged To Temper NATO’s Belligerence

America Should Exit from NATO and the National Security State, by Jacob G. Hornberger

Speaking of multilateral institutions that serve no real purpose but pose huge dangers, isn’t it time, 25 years after the dissolution of the USSR, to dissolve NATO? From Jacob Hornsberger at the Future of Freedom Foundation, fff.org:

n its reporting on Brexit, the New York Times asks an interesting question: “Is the post-1945 order imposed on the world by the United States and its allies unraveling, too?”

Hopefully, it will mean the unraveling of two of the most powerful and destructive governmental apparatuses that came out of the postwar era: NATO and the U.S. national-security state. In fact, although the mainstream media and the political establishment elites will never acknowledge it, the irony is that it is these two apparatuses that ultimately led to the Brexit vote:

The Times points out:

Refugees have poured out of Syria and Iraq. Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon have absorbed several million refugees. But it is the flow of people into the European Union that has had the greatest geopolitical impact, and helped to precipitate the British vote.

But what was it that gave rise to that massive refugee crisis?

The answer: It was the U.S. national-security state’s regime change operations in the Middle East, including NATO’s bombing campaign as part of its regime-change operation in Syria.

What did U.S. and NATO officials think — that people would simply remain where they were so that they could get blown to bits with the bombs that were being dropped on them, by the U.S. assassination program, or by the massive civil-war violence that came as a result of the U.S. and NATO regime-change operations?

People don’t ordinarily behave in that fashion. Most people prefer to live rather than die and will do anything they can to survive. That’s why those refugees fled to Europe— to escape the horrific consequences of interventionism by NATO and the U.S. national security state in the Middle East.

I wonder if deep down, those who are lamenting and groaning about the Brexit vote realize that: If there had been no U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, no regime change in Libya, no U.S. and NATO bombing and interventionism in Syria, there wouldn’t have been a massive refugee crisis in Europe and, almost certainly, a rejection of Brexit by a majority of British voters.

How’s that for dark irony?

Like the U.S. national-security state, NATO is a Cold-War era governmental apparatus, one whose mission was ostensibly to protect western Europe from an attack by the Soviet Union, which was America’s and Britain’s World War II partner and ally.

But as everyone knows, the Cold War ended more than 25 years ago. A question naturally arises: Why then didn’t NATO go out of existence once the Cold War was over?

The following statement by the Times perfectly reflects how the mainstream media and the political establishment elites just don’t get it:

NATO has rediscovered its purpose in the aftermath of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. Yet the Baltic countries still worry whether the military alliance would truly defend them against Russian aggression, and the alliance has had trouble defining its role in fighting terrorism or dealing with the migrant flow.

What the Times is insinuating is that NATO is just as necessary today to protect western Europe (and now eastern Europe) from Russian aggressiveness as it was during the Cold War era.

But there is something wrong with that picture, something that the Times and the political establishment elites don’t want to focus on — that it was NATO and the U.S. national-security establishment that precipitated the crisis with Russia over Ukraine.

To continue reading: America Should Exit from NATO and the National Security State

NATO General Admits Russia Is Not A Threat To The Region, by Tyler Durden

A rare and honest admission from NATO general Petr Pavel. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Over the course of the past few months, the United States has pushed NATO to build up troops on Russia’s border, held war games in its backyard, and deployed aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean in order to send a message to Russia of what the US is capable of. The rationale for such actions has always been very vaguely communicated, but as NATO European Command General Philip Breedlove said, it has all been to send a signal of deterrence to Russia.

Granted, over two years ago Russia annexed Crimea, however since that time the turmoil in that area has been relatively quiet. The reality is that, according to General Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, there is no intelligence that suggests Russia is planning any broad-scale aggression whatsoever.

According to General Pavel, NATO is not contemplating any further troop build-up in Eastern Europe beyond what’s already been done, and as Reuters reports, Pavel claims that the build-up was just in hopes of discouraging Russia from orchestrating the kind of campaign it used to annex the Crimea peninsula. However what Pavel said next is most interesting:

“Deployment of substantial military force is not being considered. It is not the aim of NATO to create a military barrier against broad-scale Russian aggression, because such aggression is not on the agenda and no intelligence assessment suggests such a thing.”

Well that’s quite a statement, because the actions of the US and NATO have completely contradicted that assessment. If Pavel is correct, and there is no actual intelligence that suggests any aggression is being planned by Russia, then either the US is trying to provoke the country into action on purpose, which is always a possibility, or another possibility is one that we pointed out last week, and that is the Saudi’s are pressuring the US to get rid of Assad. If the US accommodates that request from its good friend Saudi Arabia, then a direct conflict with Russia would be imminent, as Russia has made it very clear that the US isn’t to take Assad out militarily. If the US knows it is going to go ahead and topple Assad at the behest of the Saudi’s, then it would make sense to have an already established force surrounding Russia’s border to deter any immediate action.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-22/nato-general-admits-russia-not-threat-region

German minister warns Nato against ‘warmongering’ by BBC News

According to the US, moving a lot of military and weapons to Eastern Europe and conducting war exercises within miles of the Russian border isn’t provocative or aggressive, but the Russians responding with troop and weapons movements and war exercises within its own borders is provocative and aggressive. Right. From the BBC News at bbc.com:

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has warned Nato against “warmongering”, after it conducted military exercises in Eastern Europe.

Mr Steinmeier said that extensive Nato manoeuvres launched this month were counterproductive to regional security and could inflame tensions with Russia.

He urged the Nato military alliance to replace the exercises with more dialogue and co-operation with Russia.

Nato has carried out a 10-day exercise simulating a Russian attack on Poland.

The drill, which ended on Friday, involved about 31,000 troops, as well as fighter jets, ships and 3,000 vehicles.

Russia has been strengthening its military presence near its borders. In February it held a combat-readiness exercise involving 8,500 troops in a southern region near areas of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian rebels.

In 2013, Russian jets staged a simulated attack on the Swedish capital Stockholm.

‘Do not create pretexts’

“What we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation further through sabre-rattling and warmongering,” Mr Steinmeier said in an interview to be published in Germany’s Bild am Sontag newspaper.

“Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken.

“We are well-advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation,” he said, adding that it would be “fatal to search only for military solutions and a policy of deterrence”.

The exercise in Poland, which takes place every two years, was intended to test Nato’s ability to respond to threats, and to allay fears in eastern Europe since Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Nato spokesperson Oana Lungescu said the alliance’s actions were “defensive, proportionate, and in line with our international commitments”.

She said the alliance had maintained dialogue with Russia through the Nato-Russia Council, although practical co-operation had been suspended, following the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

In an interview with the Bild newspaper on Thursday, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia was seeking to create “a zone of influence through military means”, with “massive militarisation” at Nato borders.

Russia has repeatedly said that the presence of Nato troops near its borders is a threat to its security.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36566422