I have written several times about the continuing NATO preparations for an attack on Russia, a second Operation Barbarossa, the code name for the Nazi invasion of the USSR in 1941. Circumstances prompt me to write about it again, for as of the last week in January the Americans and their gang of lieutenant nations in NATO have commenced the biggest military exercises in 25 years to take place in Europe. The code name for this operation is Defender-Europe 20 but we can interpret that as Attack-Russia 20; in effect a preparation for an attack on Russia comparable to the Nazi invasion in 1941 that killed 27 million Soviet citizens, wounded countless more and destroyed everything west of the Urals and led ultimately to the crushing of the Nazis that launched the attack.
For the past several years the US has been building up bases in Eastern Europe, building up their logistics systems, prepositioning vast amounts of munitions and weapons of every type and calibre, securing convoy routes from the USA across the Atlantic and across Europe right up to Russia’s borders for the rapid movement of military equipment and formations, installing nuclear capable missile systems in key locations from Poland to Romania, increasing intelligence flights in the Baltic, particularly with regard to the Russian base at Kaliningrad and the approaches to St. Petersburg, and the Black Sea, Crimea and Ukraine as well around the Russian bases at Vladivostok, all the while, in their propaganda talking about false flag operations they could use to blame Russia and provide the pretext for their attack. Kaliningrad has been mentioned several times by US generals and officials as one possible scene for staging a false flag operation for this purpose. But the number of scenarios they could use is limited only by their imagination and capabilities.
These conventional military exercises are complemented by the withdrawal of the United States from several nuclear arms treaties to give the US a free hand to develop and deploy nuclear weapons which, according to their National Defence Strategy, they will use whenever and wherever they see fit, without limitation or restrictions, including the intention to launch a nuclear first strike. The clear targets are Russia and China. The “pivot to the Pacific” that the Americans began some years ago is a part of these preparations, and while this applies pressure against China it also threatens Russia.
But the new exercises are raising alarms in Moscow and Minsk The Belarusian Minister of Defence, Andrei Rakov, noted that:
“NATO’s military contingent deployed in the countries neighbouring Belarus during the Atlantic Resolve and Enhanced Forward Presence has been increased by 13 times in the past six years, from 550 to more than 7,000 troops, and the number of hardware units has grown fivefold and that the Defender-Europe 20 exercises to be organized on the territories of ten states, including Poland and the Baltic republics that border Belarus involve about 37,000 troops, with 20,000 of them from the United States.”
He also said that “the number of NATO drills near the Belarusian border and the number of personnel involved in these drills had more than doubled in the past five years. Defence spending has increased as well. In the past five years, Poland’s military budget soared by 30%, that of Lithuania — by 2.5 times, and Latvia’s — threefold.”
In such conditions, he underscored, “Belarus is forced to take response measures. We are forced to react to the scale-up of military activities in Europe, including in close proximity to our border. Our response will not necessarily be tit-for-tat. We were ready for such development of the military political situation that is why our reaction has a planned character,” he noted. “Thus, in the past three years, the Belarusian military have increased the number of exercises by more than 20% and the number of snap combat readiness checks have doubled.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry on January 17 stated that,
“NATO’s military drills on the eastern flank of NATO are increasingly more reminiscent of purposeful preparations for a large-scale military conflict” and, “NATO countries are constantly building up their military presence close to our borders, working to improve the operational efficiency of redeploying forces to the eastern flank. The intensity of the drills whose scenarios are increasingly more reminiscent of preparations for a large-scale military conflict is increasing. The systematic development of the European segment of the US/NATO missile defence system continues.”
On February 4th Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated,
“Russia will react to the US military exercise in Europe Defender 2020 due in March, but it will do so in a way that will rule out unnecessary risks. Naturally, we will react. We cannot ignore processes that arouse very great concerns. But we will react in a way that will not create unnecessary risks.”
However it is certain the United States and its armed gang in NATO will do everything they can do take risks that could kill us all. For the Defender-Europe 20 exercises are on a vast scale, involving according to a US Army fact sheet, four Army prepositioned weapons and ammunition and other logistics sites in three European countries, transport materiel four thousand kilometres across twelve convoy routes, involve nine thousand US troops already in Europe, seven thousand National Guard soldiers, use 14 major ports and airfields, major elements of the US Navy, major elements of US Air Force units from the US, Europe and Africa, the deployment of 20,000 Army and Marine US soldiers from the US to Europe, twenty thousand pieces of equipment to be moved from the US to Europe including trucks, tanks, and artillery pieces, all having the objective, the US claims of
“increase strategic readiness and interoperability by exercising the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly deploy a large combat-credible force and equipment from the United States to Europe; and alongside its allies and partners, quickly respond to a potential crisis.”
And, they add,
“The joint, multinational training exercise is scheduled to take place from April to May 2020, with personnel and equipment movements occurring from February through July 2020. The exercise supports objectives defined by NATO to build readiness within the alliance and deter potential adversaries.”
The last sentence in the US Army Europe statement reveals the strategic objective of the exercises, to build readiness for war on Russia. There is no other interpretation possible.
On February 26, 2016 the Atlantic Council, the preeminent NATO think tank, issued a report on the state of readiness of the NATO alliance to fight and win a war with Russia. The focus of the report was on the Baltic States. The report is called “Alliance at Risk.”
It has the sub-heading “Strengthening European Defense in an Age of Turbulence and Competition.” Layer upon layer of distortion, half-truths, lies and fantasies obscure the fact that it is the NATO countries that have caused the turbulence from the Middle East to Ukraine. NATO is responsible for nothing according to this report, except “protecting the peace.” Russia is the supreme aggressor state, intent on undermining the security of Europe, even intent on attacking Europe, an “existential threat” that NATO must prepare to repel.
It states a series of lies at page 6 that,
“The Russian invasion of Crimea, its support for separatists, and its invasion of eastern Ukraine have effectively ripped up the post-Cold War settlement of Europe. President Vladimir Putin has shattered any thoughts of a strategic partnership with NATO; instead, Russia is now a de facto strategic adversary. Even more dangerously, the threat is potentially existential, because Putin has constructed an international dynamic that could put Russia on a collision course with NATO. At the center of this collision would be the significant Russian-speaking populations in the Baltic States, whose interests are used by the Kremlin to justify Russia’s aggressive actions in the region. Under Article 5 of NATO’s Washington Treaty, any military move by Putin on the Baltic states would trigger war, potentially on a nuclear scale, because the Russians integrate nuclear weapons into every aspect of their military thinking.”
Lies, because none of this is true and it is the NATO war alliance that threatens the peace and incorporates nuclear weapons into all their military thinking and planning.
This supports warnings made the past two years of a move by NATO in the Baltic states which will be justified by false flag hybrid war operations conducted by NATO, as I have stated several times in other essays. This is emphasized by the recommendation in the report that “to deter any Russian encroachment into the Baltic States, NATO should establish a permanent presence in the region… to prevent a Russian coup de main operation …”
The document also uses language that indicates that the NATO powers do not recognize Russian sovereignty over Kaliningrad that was established at the end of the second world war, claiming that Russia “has ripped up” the post-Cold War settlement of Europe, whatever that means to them, because as far as we know the Cold War was supposed to end with the withdrawal of the Red Army from Eastern Europe in exchange for a commitment by USA that NATO would not move east. Instead the NATO powers, with the treachery that is their custom, moved quickly into those territories and began conducting regular and expanding military exercises threatening Russia directly.
Once again, the NATO powers are preparing the ground for an incident involving Kaliningrad, home base of their Baltic Fleet and guardian of the approaches to St. Petersburg and what the Guardian stated is “emerging as a critical square on the east European chessboard in Vladimir Putin’s efforts to push back assertively against NATO expansion.”
The situation has become so critical that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved their Doomsday Clock 20 seconds closer to midnight last week citing as a primary reason the immediate danger of nuclear war between the United States and Russia. They stated, “Civilization-ending nuclear war—whether started by design, blunder, or simple miscommunication—is a genuine possibility. But even they, a US organisation, lied about the true state of affairs and blamed Russia as much as the US for the situation the US and its allies have created.
As for international law, it is nowhere to be seen. The preparations for war by NATO are a violation of the UN Charter and the fundamental principles of international law contained in it. They are war crimes under the Nuremburg Principles and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, because they are part of the conspiracy to commit, and preparations for, a war of aggression against Russia, and, since the use of nuclear weapons is a certainty if war breaks out, genocide of the entire human population.
The UN cannot act to prevent this because the Security Council, neutered by its own structure cannot act. The ICC continues to be an irrelevancy. And since, in the absence of a world government with policing powers, international law relies on a shared sense of morality, ethics and humanity to be effective, the total negation of morality by the leadership of the United States and the NATO countries has led to a breakdown of international law. Thugs, gangsters and pirates recognise no laws, and we live in a world where these are the people that are now in power in the west.
And so Russia reacts to defend itself, preparations for war intensify, and any hope we have of the American people delivering us from the criminals they keep raising to power, of us doing the same in the other NATO countries, of calling for peace as the World Peace Council does, giving peace a chance, as Lennon said, is buried deeper and deeper under layers of lies and propaganda and we are left with little but despair unless the people, the mass of people release the power latent in them and confront those in power and replace them with leaders dedicated not only to the welfare of their people, but also dedicated to peace, peace now and peace forever. I joined the Canadian Peace Congress to try to do that. I urge all of you to wake up to the danger, join peace groups wherever you are, do whatever you can, but block the road to war.
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”