Introduction — May 29, 2016
The tone coming from NATO’s Deputy Chief of Staff sounds disconcertingly like the sort of thing we once heard regarding Iran. Readers will recall that only a couple of years ago Zionist zealots and U.S. hawks claimed that Iran posed an “existential threat” to Israel.
That threat has yet to materialise, which is why we probably don’t hear U.S. and Israeli hawks talk about it much anymore. Instead senior NATO commander Major Gen. Hans van Griensven is now warning of a similar threat to Europe — from Russia.
All of which leaves this writer wondering: is the Western public being psychologically prepared with the sort of warnings sounded below for a planned confrontation with Russia? Because it’s not Russia that is pushing for war but NATO; as it deploys men and equipment ever closer to Russia’s Western borders.
Not only is NATO deploying ever further eastwards, its commanders quoted below sound increasingly belligerent. Are they so blind that they cannot see that their actions run the risk of provoking a full blown military confrontation with Russia? Or is that indeed part of the agenda?
Russia ‘pushing EU to brink of war': Putin poses ‘existential threat’ to Europe, says Nato
Tom Batchelor — The Daily Express May 28, 2016
In a string of highly-charged comments on the threat from the east to the military alliance and its 28 member states, several senior Nato commanders said the Kremlin’s current leadership was pushing parts of eastern Europe to the brink of war.
Speaking during joint Nato exercises in eastern Poland, senior Nato commander Major General Hans van Griensven warned of an existential threat to the continent.
He claimed Moscow was “destabilising the region” and warned about the potential for an escalation of tensions along Europe’s eastern border.
The deputy chief of staff said: “If you see what Russia has been doing over the past few years, intimidating its neighbours, annexing Crimea, destabilising Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, trying to influence all kinds of other things, trying to influence our states with hybrid warfare.
“We perceive this as a new threat. There are more threats that will affect us not only militarily but economically and diplomatically.”
He continued: “It is not only Nato that must reconsider how we counter this, it is all states.
“Russia is trying to influence stability in the West by supporting delinquents in our areas.”
Nato has been on high alert since 2014 when Russian troops invaded Crimea, annexing the Ukrainian province in a matter of days.
Responding to that threat, Nato officials meeting at the 2014 Wales summit decided a high-speed reaction force was needed to deter Moscow from launching similar operations elsewhere in the region.
British Nato commander Martin Wills insisted the alliance’s latest military drills in Poland – codenamed Exercise Brilliant Jump – were not aimed at Moscow.
But he added: “If you are Russia and you look to take on Nato, you don’t take on one country, you take on 28.
“That is something that makes you think twice.
“Is the deterrence of Nato working? It appears to have worked very well since 1945.”
Russian diplomats claim the Kremlin is ready to build bridges with the US-led alliance.
But Moscow’s aggressive actions in Ukraine are sufficient to worry countries along Russia’s border.
US Brigadier General Frank Tate said the Atlantic alliance was “very ready” for Putin.
He told Express.co.uk: “Crimea was a wake-up call. Russia has been putting feathers out like a peacock.
“Russia could be very ready but we are watching for indicators and warnings.
“But Nato has more combat power, more money, more resources.
“Power is in Nato’s favour. Russia knows that any conflict would end badly because they are facing a richer alliance.”
World leaders and defence ministers meet in Warsaw in July for the alliance’s biennial summit.
On the agenda will be plans to send around five battalions to eastern Europe to shore up defences there.
The deployment, Nato’s biggest since the end of the Cold War, could include up to 3,500 troops, with the UK, US and Germany forming the bulk of those.