Though much of the world’s attention is understandably riveted right now on North Korea and their chilling nuclear threats against the U.S., tensions with Russia are also spiking and require urgent attention.
Consider just a few key developments that have occurred in recent weeks:
Moscow is gearing up for massive war games later this Fall that could put upwards of 100,000 Russian troops on the borders of the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Each of these countries are NATO members. Each lived for decades under the cruelty of Soviet occupation. Each are increasingly worried Putin may be interested in seizing them and putting them once again under Russian hegemony. It’s a concern I share but am concerned not enough leaders in the West do.
If such provocations weren’t enough, Vladimir Putin has just expelled 755 American diplomats from Russia, effective September 1st… read more
Just days after we reported that the US had begun deploying some 2,800 tanks, trucks and other military equipment to Germany, from where they would be transported by rail and road to Eastern Europe as part of a buildup of NATO reinforcements against “Russian expansion”, the next US deployment has made its way to Europe over the weekend, when some 4,000 US troops arrived in the German port of Bremerheven, on their way to Wroclaw, Poland under a planned NATO operation to “reassure the alliance’s Eastern European allies” in the face of what NATO has dubbed mounting Russian aggression.
The American soldiers landed in Wroclaw, home to a key Nato and Polish air base in south-west Poland. The troops will be followed by the roughly 2,800 tanks and other pieces of military equipment which are currently en route from Germany.
The delivery of US Abrams tanks, Paladin artillery, and Bradley fighting vehicles, as well as supporting troops, marks a new phase of America’s continuous presence in Europe, which will now be based on a nine-month rotation… [read more]
At a Warsaw summit in July, NATO states decided to deploy four rotating multinational battalions of about 1,000 soldiers each to the military alliance’s eastern borders.
In addition, the United States announced that an armoured brigade, currently stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado, would be deployed.
Around 4,400 American soldiers from the 3rd armoured brigade will be stationed in Central and Eastern Europe on a rotating basis as part of operation Atlantic Resolve, according to Poland’s IAR news agency.
The agency added that equipment belonging to the brigade, including Abrams tanks and Bradley armoured vehicles, would reach the German port of Bremerhaven on Friday… [read more]
The secret services of a NATO country is ‘highly likely’ to have been behind the assassination of ambassador Andrey Karlov, claimed a top ally of Vladimir Putin. Senior senator Frantz Klintsevich, deputy chairman of the Russian upper chamber’s defence and security committee, said: ‘It was a planned action. ‘Everyone knew that he was going to attend this photo exhibition.
‘It can be ISIS, or the Kurdish army which tries to hurt Erdogan.
‘But may be – and it is highly likely – that representatives of foreign NATO secret services are behind it.
‘What has happened is a true provocation, a challenge.
‘It is a challenge for Russia.’… [read more]
The man who rammed a 7-ton truck into a crowded Christmas market in the heart of Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring 48, has been identified by German media as a 23-year-old refugee of Pakistani origin who arrived in the country via the ‘Balkan route’.
lhwm notes: Guess what Obama is pushing as fast as he can to get more refugees in the United States. What has America come to?
Nato chiefs, thrown into a panic by fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin might attack the West, are scrambling to put together a force of 300,000 troops which they can put on ‘high alert’.
Relations between Russia and the West have plunged in the last year, with Moscow’s insistence on backing its Syrian ally, President Bashar al-Assad, at all costs leading to serious tension with the US, Britain and France.
Most Nato members cut their defence spending dramatically since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 but Russia has been bolstering its military capabilities, holding parades involving more than 100,000 troops each year….. [read more]
(CNN) If you invade, don’t expect our people to make it easy for you.
That was the message Lithuania sent to Russia Friday as it published a manual for its three million citizens on how to defend their homeland in the event of invasion. Since Russia annexed Crimea two years ago, Lithuanians have been on edge.
Conscription has been restarted and defense spending ramped up, not to mention their now-answered calls for NATO to deploy more troops to the Baltics. But even this is not enough to assuage anxiety — the Lithuanian government has Friday issued a 75-page guide on what to do if the country is invaded, entitled “Prepare to survive emergencies and war.”
“Attention needs to be paid to the actions of the neighboring country — Russia,” says the manual….. [read more]
Germany is preparing to deploy its most modern ‘Leopard 2’ tanks and more than 600 infantrymen to Lithuania as it joins NATO’s biggest military buildup since the Cold War, German media reported citing the defense ministry.
The plans to deploy not infantry and tanks to the NATO member state bordering Russia were announced by the German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen at a two-day meeting of the alliance’s defense ministers in Brussels.
Deployment of “heavy weaponry” was then confirmed to the German daily Die Welt by a defense ministry spokesman, who said that tanks will be only part of the military equipment that Germany is going to deploy to the Baltic State.
A NATO battalion under German command will be stationed in Lithuania In February. The battalion’s personnel will amount to 1,000 soldiers, with from 450 to 650 of them coming from Germany and the rest being deployed by France, Belgium and Croatia….. [read more]