17.11.2018 Author: Martin Berger

NATO’s Military Buildup along Russia’s Borders is No Joke, or is It?

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The massive military games code named Trident Juncture have just come to a close in Norway, marking a new milestone in the rapid military escalation between the West and Russia. A total of 29 NATO member states took part in these games, fielding some 65,000 men, 10,000 armored vehicles and 65 military ships led by USS Harry S. Truman.

In a bid to explain this build up in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders the Natoaktual media site would try to claim that NATO is becoming increasingly frustrated with Moscow’s persistent presence in the Arctic, as this region is extremely rich in hydrocarbons and Washington is reluctant to surrender it to Moscow. Therefore, this recent demonstration of Western military might was nothing more but a blatant attempt to scare Russia into submission.

It is stated that Operation Trident Juncture was aimed at developing common tactics of repulsing military aggression of a potential enemy. However, no NATO member state, aside from the US, Poland and a number of Baltic states believes that Russia, the largest country on the planet, would ever attempt a land grab in Europe, as this would be illogical. As it’s been pointed out by Der Welt, a hybrid war between Russian and the US has been raging for quite a while, with cyberweapons, propaganda and proxy forces all playing a major part in it, but it’s highly unlikely that it can reach a point where in it will transform into a direct military confrontation between the two major nuclear powers. Against this backdrop, German journalists find themselves unable to pinpoint the reasoning behind Washington’s military buildup on Russia’s borders.

Most journalists seem to agree that this senseless and comical saber-rattling was reminiscent of a blockbuster movie shooting rather than a military operation.

For instance, Der Spiegel found it rather comical that on top of erecting a platform for 300 guests, Norwegian journalists were broadcasting every stage of Trident Juncture live. In turn, the New York Times would report that the ‘Cold War’ took a new meaning for US marines at these military games that Washington deemed to be extremely successful.

Although it is true that success may be measured in different ways and forms, it was of little concern for NATO commanders that the task force began losing ships without the opposition even showing up on the horizon.

For instance, in the course of the military games Norway’s KNM Helge Ingstad collided with an oil tanker and sank. A total of eight sailors suffered severe injuries, while the crew of 138 men was forced to abandon the frigate in a bid to save their lives. It’s curious that Helge Ingstad was equipped with the Aegis combat system that should have been transmitting data from other ships and aerial vehicles to increase the survivability of the ship by increasing the situational awareness of its crew. Yet, this system has somehow managed to miss an oil tanker.

To make matters worse, a report released by the Royal Canadian Navy states that a ‘minor fire’ broke out in a gas-turbine engine on board HMCS Halifax during the course of Trident Juncture.

Further still, the USS Harry S.Truman carrier-led strike group had to abandon their allies at the height of an imaginary battle as its commander, rear admiral Eugene Black got overly concerned with a storm approaching the Northern Atlantic.

One can only imagine that if Russian forces would make a presence amid the exercise, the consequences could be far more disastrous for the formidable force assembled by Washington in Norway.

Yet, the MSM carries on with its extensive anti-Russian propaganda campaign to make it clear for everyone that Russia is an aggressor and every country on the face of this planet must be prepared for an imminent Russian invasion. It goes without saying that this narrative is the only way for NATO to justify its aggressive and dangerous posture in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders.

However, immediately after the completion in Norway of Trident Juncture on November 8, NATO decided to signal the start of yet more military games that were going to take at least two weeks. Of course, we’re speaking about the Iron Wolf exercise taking place in Lithuania with a gathering of 3,500 servicemen from fourteen countries. Soldiers from Great Britain, Estonia, Italy, US, Canada, Slovenia and Ukraine joined together with NATO forces permanently stationed in the territory of this republic to test modern tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armored cars and other equipment.

Additionally, yet another major NATO exercises, Anaconda 2018 will be held this month both in the Baltic States and in Poland. It’s believed that NATO will deploy a total of 150 fighters and helicopters, 45 warships, and well over 5,000 armored vehicles. The Anaconda 2018 scenario will repeat similar military games held in the past with the only difference being the number of servicemen deployed will reach well over a 100,000 drawn from 24 NATO countries and five partner nations. The stated goal is an attempt to prepare for the annexation of Russia’s Kaliningrad region! In Poland, on the border with Belarus, an exercise will be held on the forced eviction of the inhabitants of the city of Bialystok, who are going to find themselves “in the middle of a combat zone.”

Finally, a group of NATO minesweepers have recently entered the port of Batumi, where they held joint exercises with Georgia’s coast guard.

In a bid to come to grips with all this madness, Norway’s NY TID would point out that when somebody starts bashing Russia he should ask himself what would the US do if Mexico created a military alliance with Russia, with the latter deploying nuclear warheads in the immediate vicinity of American borders? What would the US do? And now, notes this media source, explain why should Moscow sit and watch as an ever increasing number of armed and unfriendly armies begin patrolling its borders?

So exactly for how long can you tease the Russian bear with impunity? Did Russia start the First or Second World War? Did it unleash a devastating war against Yugoslavia?

Maybe today’s hotheads will sober up a little when those European capitals participating in Washington’s military games become permanent targets of Russian nuclear missiles? Or maybe it is just smarter to turn one’s back on Washington’s never-ending saber-rattling and start working together with Russia in a bid to improve living conditions of regular Europeans?

Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”  


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