As the two old, cold war adversaries, Russia and NATO, prepare to begin massive war games to show off their respective military strengths, it was the UK’s turn to accuse Russia first of “testing the West” by conducting war games on NATO’s eastern flank in its biggest military exercise in four years. Speaking on BBC’s “The Andrew Marr Show” on Sunday, U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said that Russia’s exercise “is designed to provoke us, it’s designed to test our defenses, and that’s why we have to be strong. Russia is testing us and testing us now at every opportunity. We’re seeing a more aggressive Russia. We have to deal with that.”
In a testament to our hyperbolic times, Fallon’s statement also contained just a “little bit” of fake news: while Fallon said that more than 100,000 Russian and Belorussian troops are at the borders of North Atlantic Treaty Organization members, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said last month that the so-called Zapad 2017 exercise Sept. 14-20 involves 13,000 troops, and that the drills are “purely of a defensive nature” according to Bloomberg. Continue reading →
RAND researchers have conducted a series of wargames to examine the threat Russia may present to the Baltic republics and found that as currently postured, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization could not defend the territory, according to a RAND report titled “Reinforcing Deterrence on NATO’s Eastern Flank. Wargaming the Defense of the Baltics,” by David A. Shlapak and Michael Johnson.
“Russia’s recent aggression against Ukraine has disrupted nearly a generation of relative peace and stability between Moscow and its Western neighbors and raised concerns about its larger intentions. From the perspective of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the threat to the three Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania — former Soviet republics, now member states that border Russian territory — may be the most problematic of these. In a series of war games conducted between summer 2014 and spring 2015, RAND Arroyo Center examined the shape and probable outcome of a near-term Russian invasion of the Baltic states. The games’ findings are unambiguous: As presently postured, NATO cannot successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members,” the analysts said. Continue reading →
Caption: Russian soldiers prepare to take part in the Victory Day military parade at Red Square in Moscow on May 9. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
It is the best of militaries, it is the most mismanaged of militaries. It is a force of wisdom, it is a force of confusion. It is a military of nobility, it is a military of hypocrisy. The world sits before it urging it on, the nations burn resentfully in its wake.
The first half of each of those sentences reflects the way the people of Russia increasingly see their county’s military—noble, fierce and worthy of high praise. The second half of each reflects the view many Americans have toward the United States military.
Barring a miracle, it won’t be part of the current package, but debt relief is still the big issue that will have to be tackled at some stage
Whatever deal is, or possibly is not, cooked up for Greece, there is an important point to remember: the country’s debts, standing at €320bn (£235bn), or about 180% of GDP, are unsustainable. One way or another, a debt writedown will have to happen at some stage. Barring a miracle, it won’t be part of the current package.
This has been easy to forget as the euro circus has travelled between Athens, Berlin, Brussels and Riga in recent weeks and months. The talks have concentrated on setting the terms for the release of the last €7.2bn tranche of loans from the previous bailout.
As we said over the weekend, it’s all about Riga again for Greece. EU leaders will meet on Thursday and Friday in Latvia where PM Alexis Tsipras will try to secure a more favorable outcome than did FinMin Yanis Varoufakis who, last month in Riga, reportedly did more chiding and lecturing than negotiating, a performance that may ultimately cost him his job once all is said and done. The situation is far more urgent this time around, with Greece having tapped its IMF SDR account to make a payment to the Fund and with the banking sector running dangerously low on collateral that can be pledged for emergency liquidity. Continue reading →
As Greece takes another step towards total capitulation to the German-dominated EU, or Fourth Reich, we begin to see who has the leverage. Although Greece always has the Russian trump card, this is a nuclear option that will likely irreparably damage relations for the country for generations to come. Greece likely realizes by turning towards the Kremlin, undermining and bringing down the entire EU, then possibly the global economy with it, will hold higher consequences. As said often before, Greece is going nowhere. The best case scenario for it is to be part of a newly structured second-tier currency bloc within the periphery of the EU — if it’s still called the EU by then.
He has been the subject of a spoof video from Germany showing him giving the middle finger. But now Greek finance [sic] Yanis Varoufakis is facing enemies closer to home after being overlooked by his own party.
Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, has stepped in to reshuffle Varoufakis’s team, which was supposed to be brokering the agreement, after negotiations took a nasty turn in Riga last week, according to the FT. Continue reading →
The Latvian armed forces claim they have detected two Russian Kilo-class submarines and a research vessel 27 and 30 nautical miles outside the country’s territorial waters, three days after a sighting of a Russian destroyer was reported off its coast.
The Kilo-class vessels, to use their NATO classification, have been deployed by the Soviet, and then the Russian navy since the early 1980s. Nimble and quiet, they have traditionally been named “black holes” for their stealth capabilities. Continue reading →
Normally it isn’t a big and considered business as usual, like the NSA spying revelations, since every country is doing it to another. The difference however, like the NSA spying ‘scandal’, is that the situation is way overblown. The intention behind this is to foment a split as it’s Germany’s desire to control the continent via its wanted EU Army.
For more on Breedlove’s errors, please see HERE and HERE.
Steinmeier, speaking on a visit to the US, said to Kerry at a joint press conference in Washington: “It is far too early to pat our shoulders and take pride in what we’ve achieved.”His comments come days after an official in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s offices had complained of US Air Force General Philip Breedlove’s “dangerous propaganda” over Ukraine, and that Steinmeier had talked to the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about him. Continue reading →
What we saw previously in Ukraine was a series of Russian failures which do not resemble the kind of failures we saw in 1989-91. No, no, we must not think in terms of Russian retreat or collapse. That is not the kind of failure we see in Ukraine. What we see is a failure by Russia to conquer those parts of Ukraine the standing operational plan called for; that is, Odessa and a large chunk of eastern Ukraine (in addition to Crimea). We must keep in mind that Russia’s policy today is not based on deceiving the West that Russia is a friendly country. Today’s Russian policy, which is a war policy, more resembles Stalin’s policy of 1939-40, when the Red Army annexed Eastern Poland, the Baltic States, and invaded Finland. In this policy there is no pretense of friendship with the West. Here the hostility is open, frankly acknowledged, and accompanied by actual troop movements. Or as Putin allegedly boasted to Ukraine’s president, “If I wanted, Russian troops could not only be in Kiev in two days, but in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw or Bucharest, too.” Continue reading →
For translation purposes, as the original article is in German, the entire article translated will remain here. Take note that it’s also ‘broken’ English.
Für die Leute, die auf Deutsch lesen können oder Lust haben, die Quelle liegt ganz unten.
NATO prepares to quarrel with Russia before the next stage of escalation. In Riga German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) announced yesterday a stronger military presence in Eastern Europe, and the Bundeswehr. NATO must prepare for the defense, “much more than we had in the past,” Merkel added. The Alliance wants in case of conflict can react more quickly than before. This strategy will decide on its summit in September in Cardiff, Merkel representation NATO.
The Baltic States could rely on Article 5 of the NATO Treaty – the defense commitment – not only theoretically applies. In plain English: For Ukraine, the Alliance would not go to war, for the small NATO partners but already Latvia.Continue reading →