US/NATO Preparing for War on Russia? Six Military Exercises at Russia’s Doorstep

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, September 07, 2020

Wars by hot and other means are all about Washington’s main strategy to advance its imperium — seeking dominance over other nations, their resources and populations by brute force if other methods don’t achieve its objectives.

From inception, the US has been addicted to war, glorifying it deceptively in the name of peace.

In 1982, founder of the Pentagon’s nuclear navy Admiral Hyman Rickover explained the risks to Congress in the age of super-weapons able to end life on earth if used in enough numbers, saying the following:

“The lesson of history is when a war starts every nation will ultimately use whatever weapons it has available” to win, adding:

“I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it.”

Rickover regretted his role in what became a nuclear arms race.

“I would sink…all” US nuclear powered ships, he said. “I am not proud of the part I played in” their development.

“That’s why I am such a great exponent of stopping this whole nonsense of war.”

Bertrand Russell noted the risk, saying:

“Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war.” It’s the only way to live in peace. The alternative risks annihilation.

World powers have a choice. End wars or sooner or later they’ll end us.

Russia is a prime US target. In 1961, hardline US Air Force chief of staff General Curtis LeMay believed nuclear war with Soviet Russia was inevitable and winnable — at the time, calling for preemptive war on the country with overwhelming force.

Joint Chiefs chairman Lyman Lemnitzer at the time urged a surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union during a National Security Council meeting.

Expressing disgust, Jack Kennedy walked out of the session, telling then-Secretary of State Dean Rusk:

“And we call ourselves the human race.”

JFK’s Defense Secretary Robert McNamara rejected what LeMay and Lemnitzer called for.

Their recklessly dangerous ideas never went away. In an age when super-weapons can end life on earth in days if detonated in enough numbers, the risk of mass annihilation is real.

Weeks earlier, Russia’s Defense Ministry accused US-led NATO of conducting “provocative” military drills near its borders — what goes on with disturbing regularity. See below.

In June, Russian Colonel-General Sergey Rudskoy, head of its General Staff sent NATO a letter that called for scaling down military exercises by both countries.

With US-led NATO drills in the Barents Sea at the time, he accused the Pentagon of simulating strikes on Russian territory and intercepting its retaliatory ICBMs.

According to Rudskoy, provocative Barents Sea drills at the time were the first of their kind by US-dominated NATO since Soviet Russia’s 1991 dissolution.

He also criticized increasing numbers of flights by Pentagon nuclear-capable strategic bombers near Russia’s borders — at times forcing its military to scramble warplanes and put air defense forces on high alert.

Since the Obama regime’s 2014 coup d’etat in Ukraine, replacing democratic government with neo-Nazi infested fascist tyranny on Russia’s border, bilateral relations  sank to a post-Cold War low.

Moscow considers the deployment of US-led NATO forces near its borders a destabilizing threat to its national security.

Rudskoy said “(t)he US and its allies are continuing to destroy Europe’s security system under the guise of a perceived ‘Russian aggression’ ” that doesn’t exist.

The US refused Moscow’s offer for dialogue to reduce tensions and the risk of conflict by accident or design.

On Sunday, Rudskoy again highlighted the threat of provocative US-led NATO actions near Russia’s borders, including increased surveillance and aerial operations to test its air defenses.

In August, provocative US/NATO aerial maneuvers increased about 30% over the comparable 2019 period, he explained, including simulated missile strikes on Russian targets.

Shoigu called what’s going on “alarming,” notably because several incidents occurred close to Russia’s borders.

Last week, Russia scrambled warplanes to intercept three US nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over Ukraine and the Black Sea near Crimea, a statement saying:

“Violations of the state border of the Russian Federation by American aircraft were prevented.”

Two weeks earlier, a similar incident occurred in international airspace over the Black Sea.

Days earlier, Moscow slammed the US for holding live-fire exercises in Estonia near its border.

A statement by its Washington embassy said the following:

“Russia has repeatedly proposed to the United States and its allies to limit training activities and to divert the exercise zones from the Russia-NATO contact line,” adding:

“Why do this demonstrative saber-rattling? What signals do the NATO members want to send us?”

“Who is actually escalating tensions in Europe? And this is all happening in the context of (a made-in-the-USA) aggravated political situation in” Belarus.

“(H)ow would the Americans react” if Russia conducted similar provocative exercises near its borders?

According to NATO, the following US-led military exercises are ongoing or soon to begin in Europe (and near Iranian waters the Mediterranean):

Operation Dynamic Move II 20 — ongoing through September 10 in waters near Italy, explaining:

“To exercise naval mine warfare (NMW) tactics and procedures, the Allied Worldwide Navigational System (AWNIS), and Naval Cooperation on and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) procedures in order to enhance participant’s ability to conduct littoral and amphibious operations.”

Operation Steadfast Pyramid 20 — begun in Latvia on Sunday will continue through September 11, NATO explaining:

“An Exercise Study focused on further developing the abilities of commanders and senior staff to plan and conduct operations through the application of operational art in decision making based on the ACO Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive (COPD) and utilizing a complex, contemporary scenario.”

Operation KFOR III 20 will be held from September 8 – 16 in Herzegovina, explaining:

“Conducted to familiarize future Key Leaders of HQ KFOR with their new tasks, the overall situation in KFOR AOR (Area of Responsibility), and to prepare a smooth transition without loss of continuity.”

Operation Ramstein Guard 9 20 is scheduled for Romania from September 13 – 17, explaining:

“The NATO Electronic Warfare Force Integration Program is a means to exercise the NATO designated regional elements of NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence System conducted through the CAOCs (Combined Air Operation Center) while also including some national systems and assets.”

“It is designed to train Air Command Ramstein and subordinate units on the reporting/coordination requirements while exposing them to a wide variety of EW (electronic warfare) tactics and techniques in a controlled environment.”

Operation Steadfast Pinnacle 20 is scheduled for Latvia from September 13 – 18, explaining:

“An Exercise Study focused on further developing the abilities of commanders and senior staff to plan and conduct operations through the application of operational art in decision making based on the ACO (Allied Command Operations) Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive (COPD) and utilizing a complex, contemporary scenario.”

Operation Ramstein Guard 10 20 is scheduled for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania from September 20 – 24, NATO explaining:

“The NATO Electronic Warfare Force Integration Program is a means to exercise the NATO designated regional elements of NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence System conducted through the CAOCs (Combined Air Operation Center) while also including some national systems and assets. It is designed to train Air Command Ramstein and subordinate units on the reporting/coordination requirements while exposing them to a wide variety of EW (electronic warfare) tactics and techniques in a controlled environment.”

Exercises like the above go on at all times near the borders of Russia, China, Iran, and other nations on the US target list for regime change.

From now through yearend 2020 near the borders of Russia and Iran alone, other US-led NATO military exercises will be held in Turkey, France, the UK, Kosovo, the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Poland and Norway.

Instead of prioritizing world peace, stability, and cooperative relations with the world community of nations, US-dominated NATO is preparing for greater wars than already ongoing in multiple theaters by its forces.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

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.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2020

Estonia: NATO’s Gambit Against Russia

 photo chessgam_zps15b0569a.jpg

By Richard Edmondson

Recently US officials and their mainstream media strumpets have been doing a great deal of querulous grousing over Russian troops said to be “massing” along Ukraine’s border. What they don’t mention is what precisely has been “massing” for a number of years outside Russia’s border—in the Baltic state of Estonia.

Last month a leaked phone conversation of the EU’s Catherine Ashton brought forth strong evidence that people in Ukraine’s Maidan, both protesters and police alike, had been shot by snipers employed by the opposition. Alert readers may recall that the person speaking with Ashton on the other end of the phone line was Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet.

Since 2004, when it officially became part of the NATO alliance, Estonia has increasingly become a key piece on the NATO global chessboard. Its capital, Talinn, is just 225 miles from St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city. Located a mere thirty minute drive out of Talinn is the Ämari Air Base, which in Soviet times hosted a military aerodrome, or landing/departure outpost, but in 2010 Estonia completed a three-year project, jointly funded with NATO, under which it upgraded, expanded and modernized the airbase to accommodate NATO war planes and transport aircraft. The following photos were taken at the base:

estab

estab4

estab3

As of 2010, Ämari could accommodate 16 NATO fighter jets and up to 20 transport planes. Imagine if Russia were to build a military installation of this sort 225 miles from a major US city. Imagine the angst and hysteria we would hear.

In December of last year, as events in Ukraine were unfolding, Estonia signed a procurement agreement for an advanced military radar system to be supplied by a US company, ITT Exelis, and which will be installed at Ämari. According to the Estonian Ministry of Defense, the radar is an important step for airbases in the process of adapting to NATO standards.

“The precision approach radar procurement is one of the last large-scale procurements for equipping Ämari Air Base to make it interoperable with NATO standards as an air base,” said Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu.

The new system is expected to become operative in the summer of 2015.

While the base is becoming increasingly militarized, it does still retain civilian aviation functions. The following is an Ämari promo video:

Yet increasingly Estonia is playing a role in NATO military operations:

In January 2008, the Estonian military had almost 300 troops stationed in foreign countries as part of various international peacekeeping forces, including 35 Defence League troops stationed in Kosovo; 120 Ground Forces soldiers in the NATO-led ISAF force in Afghanistan; 80 soldiers stationed as a part of MNF in Iraq; and 2 Estonian officers in Bosnia-Herzegovina and 2 Estonian military agents in Israeli occupied Golan Heights.

On March 18, two days after the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, Vice President Joe Biden met with Estonian Prime Minister Toomas Hendrik Ilves in Warsaw, Poland, after which the two held a joint press conference. Both were on the same page as regards the events in Ukraine—each voicing objections to Russia’s “illegal” actions in Crimea and its putative violation of Ukraine’s “territorial integrity.”

ilvesbiden

“The Ukrainian crisis is something that causes concern for all people who believe in freedom and justice and rule of law, and also even in international law, where we see such blatant cases of aggression, of violations of international law, where, if the international community does not stand up, the international order will collapse because the kinds of behavior we’ve seen is dangerous for the world,” said Ilves.

Engaging in what could reasonably be viewed as warmongering, Ilves called for the “East-West relationship” to be “put on a new standing” in the world, while Biden, evoking “history,” exuded some belligerent rhetoric of his own.

“The Estonian people, like many of Russia’s neighbors, have a personal stake in what’s happening in Ukraine,” Biden said. “Your history reminds us of how vigilant you have to remain. And today, Mr. President, we’ve consulted on a path ahead.

“We spoke about the steps we’re taking alongside many other nations to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; to help Ukraine stabilize its economy and conduct fair and free democratic elections; and to condemn and reject Russia’s illegal — absolutely illegal conduct in taking steps to annex Crimea. And also, we talked about how to impose costs on Russia for their aggression. There’s no other word for it; it’s aggression,” Biden added.

The full text of both Biden’s and Ilves’ remarks can be found here. Ilves by the way was born not in Estonia, but in Stockholm, Sweden, and actually grew up in the US. He attended Columbia University, graduating in 1976, and later worked for Western propaganda outlet Radio Free Europe.

Perhaps not surprisingly, ties between Estonia and the state of Israel are strong and include social, economic, and cultural ties. In 1998, Ilves, then foreign minister, made his first visit to Israel, followed by a second visit, as president, in 2010. Paet, Catherine Ashton’s phone chum, has also made visits, and in 2012 trade between the two countries totaled 19.9 million euros.

According to the website of the Estonian Foreign Ministry, the first Estonian film festival took place in Israel during April and May of 2010; Estonian artists and performers routinely tour to the Jewish state; and in the Israeli Knesset there is an “Estonian friendship group” that is chaired by Knesset member Rina Frenkel. Also it seems the holocaust is extensively taught in Estonian public schools, while even teachers, apparently, are required to undergo holocaust training as well.

“The project is funded by the Estonian government and Yad Vashem,” says the Foreign Ministry website. “The most recent course took place in July 2012. The programme includes an overview of Jewish culture, history, Zionism, Nazism, Judaism in past eras, the life of contemporary Jews before the Holocaust, the Holocaust in the Soviet Union and Europe, and tips for how to address the topic of the Holocaust in school lessons.”

Also Estonia has been given the kosher seal of approval from the World Jewish Restitution Organization insofar as it is “the only country in Eastern Europe to which the WJRO makes no demands,” boasts the Foreign Ministry website.

NATO’s Foot in Russia’s Door

Estonia is increasingly becoming NATO’s foot in Russia’s back door. This past week, following NATO meetings in Brussels, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas announced that the Ämari air base will become a second location from which NATO will conduct air patrols over the Baltic states bordering Russia. Simultaneously, the US and other NATO members announced they would be offering more planes to take part in those patrols.

Conducted for the purpose of maintaining airspace integrity, the Baltic air patrols have heretofore been conducted from Lithuania alone, from the country’s Zokniai/Siauliai Airport, which was a major airbase during Soviet times. The patrols are part of an elaborate system of air surveillance, involving airspace and weapons and radar systems management, as well as training in so-called Quick Reaction Alert intercepts. The skies over all three NATO-member Baltic states—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—are patrolled, though the exercises are handled by the air forces of different NATO members on a rotating basis. Most deployments involve four fighter aircraft with between 50 and 100 support personnel. Now, with the patrols set to be expanded and conducted out of Ämari as well, these efforts apparently will be doubled.

Meanwhile the rhetoric relentlessly heats up. This past week, following the meetings in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen accused Russia of “violating every principle and international commitment it has made, first and foremost the commitment not to invade other countries.”

But it isn’t only by air that NATO is encroaching upon Russia’s borders. Last November, just as the protests were getting underway in Ukraine, NATO carried out a major war game exercise called Operation Steadfast Jazz. The exercises were conducted principally in Latvia and Poland, but all 28 NATO members, plus Finland, Sweden, and Ukraine, participated. Air, ground, and maritime forces were all integrated into the games.

NATO’s mission in Afghanistan—its so-called International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF—is said to be winding down at this point. The purpose of Operation Steadfast Jazz was to help NATO transition from the type of warfare it has been waging in Afghanistan, into the sort of “high intensity conflict” that theoretically it could expect to encounter in a war with Russia. The following video was shot on the last day of the exercises and includes comments by General Phil Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Commander, who discusses the need to redirect NATO’s focus—from counterinsurgency warfare to high intensity conflict.

In other words, Breedlove and the people he serves are getting ready for war with Russia. That was in November of last year. On Tuesday this past week, simultaneous to the meetings in Brussels, the coup government in Kiev approved a series of military exercises to be conducted by NATO in Ukraine this summer. Called Rapid Trident and Sea Breeze, the maneuvers will “put US troops in direct proximity to Russian forces in the annexed Crimea peninsula,” according to one report. There will also be a NATO summit in Wales in September in which Russia is sure to be high on the agenda.

While all of this may sound like insanity, there is perhaps a certain method behind the madness. The cui bono question becomes more crucial than ever here. Who benefits if the world’s two most advanced military powers should clash? A war between the US and Russia, even if it doesn’t go nuclear, would largely consume their respective military  capabilities and financially ravage both countries. This would set up a situation whereby Israel would be well placed to become the dominant power in the West, while China would rule the East.

The US has no interests whatsoever in Ukraine. Russia, while it could be provoked and goaded into a war with the West, likewise obviously has no desire for such a conflict. Breedlove, rather than preparing for a war with Russia, would perhaps do well to think about defending his own country from the internal, domestic enemy within.

%d bloggers like this: