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Russia in NATO’s Crosshairs
Darko Lazar

Imagine waking up to the news of a Russian military deployment to Mexico's Monterrey, which sits just a few hundred kilometers from the US state of Texas. Or imagine hearing the news that the Russians were building an airbase in Hermosillo - 150 miles from California.

NATO-Russia flag

How would the military and political establishment in Washington react? Would the Pentagon offer to assist the Russians by providing them with the necessary construction materials, or would Mexico's president Enrique Pena Nieto wake up with a horse's head in his bed the very next day?

How long would it take Washington to recognize Nuevo Leon and Sonora as independent states if they chose to oppose the Mexican government's integration into the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization [CSTO]?

And how long would it take the Americans to intervene militarily in neighboring Mexico to safeguard their national security interests?

After all, the Russians would not travel thousands of miles from home to enjoy the sunsets over the Mexican desert, but to keep Washington in their crosshairs.

Of course, the construction of Russian bases in Mexico is just a figment of the imagination. But American military deployments along Russia's border are very real indeed.

Estonia's Amari Air Base, located just over 300km from Russia's second city of Saint Petersburg, hosts a sizable NATO contingent and is home to the aerial assets of the US-led Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Amari is just one of many military installations across the Baltic states, as well as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, being declared NATO interoperable.

The frontlines are being drawn up and the only missing piece is Ukraine.

The full integration of Ukraine into the west's battle against Russia is designed to replicate the end of 1941, when Hitler's armies besieged Moscow - a siege that would eventually be broken at the cost of 700,000 lives. Back then, the Baltic region and Ukraine served as the main routes for the German advance toward Saint Petersburg and Moscow. 

Preventing moves to re-Sovietize the region?

Russia has grown considerably more powerful over the last decade, making it clear that it was only a matter of time before its former satellites were returned to the Russian orbit. Initially, this consisted of economic and cultural exchanges, before being followed by political and military cooperation.

By 2012, Moscow recorded a great deal of success in advancing the level of cooperation between most of the former Soviet republics, prompting then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to issue a stern warning to the Kremlin.

"There is a move to re-Sovietize the region," Clinton told a news conference in Dublin in December 2012.

"It's not going to be called that. It's going to be called a customs union, it will be called Eurasian Union and all of that. But let's make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it," she added, before heading into a meeting with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

At the time, Aleksey Pushkov, who serves as the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Russia's State Duma, described Clinton's comments as an "ultimatum" to Moscow, warning that Washington's desire for a confrontation in the region would have serious consequences.

Pushkov was undoubtedly among those who believed that Clinton's threats to obstruct the creation of a Eurasian Union should be taken very seriously, and that the most likely outcome would be war.

One year later, the unrest started, quickly followed by a conflict in Ukraine - right along Russia's western border. The ensuing whirlwind of instability dragged Moscow into a confrontation with the west, resulting in sanctions.
 
The only thing that the Clintons and their friends have been unable to do so far is force Russia to send ground troops across the border. But realistically speaking, how much longer can the Kremlin look on, as indiscriminate shelling kills civilians and destroys key infrastructure in neighboring Donbas? A couple of months; a year, perhaps?

For NATO, the masterplan is simple: self-preservation. The main objective is prolonging NATO's lifespan for the coming decades, insuring economic and political profits for the alliance's most influential powerbrokers.

Moreover, the Euro-Atlantic structure, as well as the concept of a global empire, cannot survive without NATO. Its demise would also raise serious questions over the ability of the US to avoid the same fate as the former USSR - a scenario that Washington's top brass are working to prevent at all costs.

This would explain the great deal of investment that went into producing crises on a global scale, underwriting the ‘need' for a western-led military alliance. And if things go to plan, few will be able to make the argument that NATO has become obsolete.

Much of the plan rests on a direct military confrontation between Kiev and Moscow, which would open up a world of possibilities for NATO. Naturally, losing Kiev to the Russians would not be ideal for Washington, but it would allow the Americans to cement themselves across Eastern Europe for many years to come.

The Kremlin has so far chosen a different approach, hoping that the catastrophic economic situation would eventually topple the government in Kiev. But whatever path Moscow chooses, the thinking in Brussels and Washington is, ‘if Kiev must fall one way or another, Ukraine's anti-Russian potential must be exhausted first'.
 
When all else fails, other players will join the fray, including the Baltic States - protected by Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all.

This dark portent may seem far-fetched, but just months before the start of World War II, few were predicting a global conflict, even though all signs inevitably pointed to exactly that. An important lesson to take away from 20th century history is that once the battle lines are drawn, it is very difficult to backtrack. And if any of us believe that the west has money to waste on beefing up their militaries for no apparent reason, then history has taught us nothing.

Trump's chances 

The change of tenants at the White House, and the fact that Donald Trump is the new US president instead of Hillary Clinton has so far failed to yield much in the way of results, signaling just how far the NATO war machine has come.

With the help of the mainstream media and the vast western intelligence networks, the Clintons have succeeded in cornering Trump.

Coming to terms with the fact that the establishment's snipers have him in their sights, Trump is quickly learning that unless he wants to end up like his national security advisor Michael Flynn - or even worse - he had better, at the very least, start calling for the ‘return of Crimea to Ukraine.'


The fact that Flynn, who was the Trump administration's designated liaison with the Kremlin, tripped up on the first landmine less than a month into the job, suggests that Trump's options are increasingly limited.

He can always try mobilizing the masses and bring the millions who voted for him onto the streets, but it is highly doubtful that a lightweight like Trump could politically survive such turmoil.

As Hillary Clinton pointed out just over four years ago, the western establishment is always working on "effective ways" to subvert the Russians using NATO and all the resources at their disposal. Even though there is still some hope for the Trump administration it is clear that his side doesn't posses the same resources.

Then again, if he chooses to, Trump always has Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin in his corner - and that's not just a small asset either.

Source: Al-Ahed News

08-03-2017 | 12:28


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