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    NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

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    NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  Russian Patriot on Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:20 am

    NATO air defense drills begin in the Baltics

    RIA Novosti

    12:1814/07/2009 TALLINN, July 7 (RIA Novosti) - NATO states will start in the Baltic states on Tuesday a series of air defense exercises involving Czech fighter jets, the Estonian Defense Ministry said.

    The two-day drills are focused on improving air interoperability and developing NATO air forces' capabilities in defending the air space over the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

    The exercises will involve four Czech JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets, based at the Lithuanian Siauliai Air Base, and a U.S. C-130 Hercules military transport plane.

    The exercises are a continuation of NATO's air policing drills, held last October and this April.

    NATO's air policing is one of the key aspects of common security and defense for the Alliance. In the case of the three Baltic states, the alliance rotates air policing capabilities.

    The Czech Air Force took over Baltic air policing from the Royal Danish Air Force on May 1. At the end of its leg, the Czech Republic will hand over the NATO mission to the German Air Force later this year.

    A NATO agreement on airspace security over Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is set to expire in 2011, and the three countries are currently pushing for the agreement to be extended to 2018.

     

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2009/07/mil-090714-rianovosti03.htm

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    Poland, Lithuania - Ukraine defence cooperation

    Post  Russian Patriot on Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:07 pm

    Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine to set up "joint army"

    RIA Novosti

    16:23 18/11/2009 MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik) - Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine intend to create a combined military unit: a Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian brigade.

    Ukraine believes a joint formation can help its armed forces meet NATO standards. The agreement was reached at talks in Brussels, attended by Ukraine's acting Defense Minister Valery Ivashchenko, Lithuania's Minister of National Defense Rasa Jukneviciene and Poland's Undersecretary of State for Defense Stanislaw Komorowski.

    Combined units are a common practice in military cooperation. Within NATO, for example, a joint Franco-German brigade was organized in 1987. This alliance marked a milestone in cooperation between France and Germany, formerly enemies and later partners in post-war Europe.

    In 1992, a rapid response force was established, consisting of troops from France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg. Now the unit is seen as one of the building blocks of the EU combined armed forces.

    In 1999, Denmark, Germany and Poland set up a corps now known as Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE). Initially, it included Polish, Danish and German units and was later joined by the Baltic countries, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States. The core, however, is still made up of troops from the three founding nations, with headquarters in Stettin. In its ten years, its personnel have taken part in many drills and operations, including NATO's Afghanistan operation.

    So, the Baltic military has cooperation experience with Polish troops. The Ukrainian military, too, has cooperation experience with NATO within the Partnership for Peace program.

    There is also the Polish-Ukrainian peacekeeping battalion set up in the late 1990s, which includes units of the Polish 14th Tank Brigade and Ukrainian 310th Mechanized Regiment.

    Establishment of a permanent brigade-class joint unit is expected to improve teamwork, allowing Ukrainians to grow into NATO's command, staff, tactical and logistic culture.

    What are the aims and strategic objectives of the joint unit? Ukrainian NATO membership does not make much sense as an objective. The decision to accept a new member is a question for all NATO members, and the stand taken by Germany, Italy and some other bloc members makes it doubtful that Ukraine will soon join the North Atlantic Pact. Another key requirement for candidates is upgrading their armed forces to meet the bloc's standards. Ukraine, which is going through a deep economic and political crisis, has nothing to boast of in this respect. Ukrainian participation in the new brigade will not change this.

    Nor it is likely that the purpose is to step up the peacekeeping efforts of Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine. Considering the situation in these countries, they cannot improve much over their current contributions to international operations.

    Yet the new brigade may have a political objective. It is meant to set up an alternative center of military consolidation for West European projects, a center which could embrace former Soviet republics (above all Ukraine), now outside NATO. There is no doubt who will control this process, considering U.S. influence in Poland and the Baltics.

    Such a unit would allow the U.S. to preserve and strengthen its influence in Eastern Europe, even if West European countries follow through with their project of establishing joint EU armed forces, which would weaken the U.S.'s role in NATO. Also, this formation would fit into the strategy of establishing a "cordon sanitaire" involving some East European countries and former Soviet republics, which would serve as a barrier to closer contacts and cooperation between Russia and Western Europe. True, the original intent of the strategy was to oppose Communist ideas, but this makes its present mission appear less than clear.

    What's interesting about the report is that other countries can join the agreement reached by Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine.

    The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2009/11/mil-091118-rianovosti05.htm

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    NATO plans military exercises near Russian border

    Post  Russian Patriot on Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:59 pm

    NATO plans military exercises near Russian border

    RIA Novosti

    04/03/201011:25

    MOSCOW, March 4 (RIA Novosti) - NATO has announced it will hold military exercises involving fighter planes over the Baltic Sea this month, the first in a series of military drills to be held this year near the Russian border.

    The Baltic Region Training Event training mission will take place over the former Soviet republics of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and will involve French Mirage 2000C, Polish F-16, and Lithuanian L-39 Albatross fighters, along with U.S. aerial tankers.

    The exercises will demonstrate "NATO solidarity and commitment to its member countries in the Baltic region," a spokesman for the Allied Air Headquarters said.

    The military events will continue in June in northern Estonia, where up to 500 U.S. Marines and Estonian soldiers will be involved in a ten-day drills about a hundred km from the Russian border, Russia's Kommersant daily said on Thursday.

    Another joint military exercise of NATO and the Baltic states will be held in Latvia this autumn. Involving over 2,000 personnel from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and the U.S., the exercise will be the largest in the area since the three countries joined the alliance in 2004.

    Leaders of the three former Soviet Baltic states have repeatedly spoken in favor of large-scale military exercises in the region with the participation of NATO's European contingent since the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia.

    Their concerns seemed to be further aggravated by the Russian-Belarusian Zapad 2009 exercises, held last September in Belarus. Some Baltic politicians said the drills, involving around 13,000 service personnel, 63 airplanes, 40 helicopters, 470 infantry fighting vehicles, 228 tanks and 234 artillery pieces, were to train "various plans of assault" on some Baltic states, Kommersant said.

    Russia's deal to buy four Mistral warships from France also caused a stir in Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and Polish military circles. The deal, if concluded, will be the first-ever military sale to Russia by a NATO country.

    The NATO spokesman said however there was "no relationship between our training event and the potential Mistral deal."

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2010/03/mil-100304-rianovosti01.htm


    Last edited by Russian Patriot on Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:01 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  milky_candy_sugar on Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:53 pm

    Doesn't sound good to me :/


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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  sepheronx on Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:40 pm

    Just your standard practice. They used to do this all the time during the cold war on eastern Germany's borders.

    In case of real war, I doubt US will risk the lives of 300M people for a nation with 1 million.

    All about bluffing.

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  GarryB on Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:06 pm

    Yes, it is about bluffing.

    It is also about western speak...

    You see when NATO has exercises near Russian territory it is all about peace and stability in the region.

    If Russia has an exercise with a partner then it is a serious threat to peace and stability in the region, it is also a provocation, or Putin himself flexing his muscles on the international stage, or Russia forgetting that it is no longer a superpower anymore. (whatever that means....)

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  UMC on Fri May 21, 2010 5:31 am

    depends how you look at it Cool

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  GarryB on Sat May 22, 2010 5:26 am

    The problem with trash talk is that it becomes expected and ignored.
    I could write for the US State Department when a military sale goes through anywhere in the world.

    If the US is selling weapons/at fault/attacking it is speech A:
    This new sale/purchase/joint development/incident/attack is a promising development that will improve peace and stability in the region for all nations concerned.
    Otherwise speech B is used:
    This new sale/purchase/joint development/incident/attack is a worrying development that will upset peace and stability in the region for all nations concerned.
    It becomes a yard stick as to US interests in a particular region, which are generally quite transparent.
    To third party nations that watch on it is further evidence of the very high moral standards the west sets, and also the fact that while it holds others to its own standards it rarely attempts to live up to them itself... the hipocracy is clear for all to see.

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    NATO Military Build up In Eastern Europe, Russian borders

    Post  lulldapull on Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:55 pm

    I wonder what Putin has in mind when this reality is unfolding right between his eyes. If push comes to shove, then Putin should make sure that these little Baltic countries know that Topol missiles directed at these bases will wipe them out in one shot!

    America Threatens Russia: U.S. Consolidates New Military Outposts In Eastern Europe

    Published on 09-24-2010

    By Rick Rozoff - BLN Contributing Writer

    With NATO as intermediary, facilitator and Trojan horse, the Pentagon has established itself - with bases, troops and missiles - along the entire length of Eastern Europe from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean.

    Two weeks after the United States started its third rotation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Baltic air patrol on September 1, with the deployment of F-15C Eagle fighter jets operating out of the Siauliai International Airport in Lithuania, neighboring Estonia finished a three-year project to upgrade its Amari Air Base in order to accommodate more NATO warplanes.

    The opening ceremony for the enlarged base, which with expanded runways is able to host "16 NATO fighters, 20 transport planes [and] up to 2,000 people per day" [1], was held on September 15.

    The Estonian base, like its Lithuanian counterpart, is a Soviet-era one modernized and extended for use by NATO, which financed 35 percent of the expansion.

    Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo said of the augmented air base that "You could say that it wasn't just the Estonian Air Force that got a base, but our allies now also have a home, or if you prefer, a nest in Estonia where they can land and rest." [2] The head of the Estonian Air Force, Brigadier General Valeri Saar, said that NATO aircraft involved in the air policing mission in place for over six years could be stationed at the Amari Air Base in the future.

    President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, an American expatriate and former Radio Free Europe employee, made even stronger claims by stating the completion of the base will facilitate the deployment of fellow NATO members' troops and military equipment to his nation for prospective direct intervention: “It is obvious that a small country like Estonia would need the help of its allies in the event of a serious military crisis. Likewise, it is obvious that no matter how willing someone is to provide this help, they cannot do so without the proper infrastructure. Let’s be honest: until today our ability to accept the airborne help of our allies has been extremely limited.” [3]

    A "serious military crisis" only makes sense in relation to Russia. The air policing operation that was launched in March 2004 when Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia were absorbed into the Alliance - the first former Soviet republics to enter the bloc - with the subsequent rotation of U.S., British, German, French, Turkish, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Belgian, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian and Czech warplanes has never identified against whom and what NATO was allegedly protecting the three Baltic states' airspace.

    As the stock villains - Iran and North Korea - cannot be invoked as threats to the region, Estonia's and Lithuania's joint neighbor Russia is the inescapable candidate.

    Ilves also "underscored the fact that from 2012, when the complex as a whole is due for completion, NATO will have one of the most modern air force bases in the region at its disposal" [4] for the above-mentioned purpose.

    By obtaining the use of the Siauliai and Amari air bases, NATO has secured facilities for air operations in five former Soviet states in total. The invasion of Afghanistan earlier brought the Alliance into air bases in Kyrgyzstan (Manas), Tajikistan (Dushanbe) and Uzbekistan (Termez). Comparable sites between the Baltic Sea and Central Asia - Georgia and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus - are NATO's for the asking and are already being used for supplying the war in Afghanistan.

    Airfields are not the only locations where increased NATO and U.S. military presence is being felt in the Baltic Sea region.

    On September 13 thirteen NATO member states and partners began this year's annual Northern Coasts naval exercise in the Baltic Sea. Over 4,000 military personnel, more than 60 ships, and planes and helicopters from the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Sweden are involved in the largest exercise ever staged in Finnish waters, near the Bay of Bothnia where last year's Loyal Arrow 2 NATO war games included "the biggest air force drill ever in the Finnish-Swedish Bothnia Bay.” [5]

    A week after Northern Coasts 2010 began, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe launched the Jackal Stone 10 multinational special forces exercise at the 21st Tactical Airbase in Swidwin, Poland, from which it will move to two other locations in Lithuania. 1,300 special forces from the U.S., Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia, Romania and Ukraine are participating, the first time that special operations units of the seven countries have engaged in joint maneuvers.

    At the opening ceremony for the exercises Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich addressed the participants, stating, "Special operations in the world today are becoming increasingly important in the conduct of combat operations. And exercises like this check the ability of allied and international cooperation, which is essential for the success of the Allies." [6]

    The centerpiece of the exercise is the deployment of USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the U.S. Sixth Fleet, which was sent to the Georgian port of Poti on the Black Sea in a show of strength by Washington shortly after the 2008 Georgian-Russian war. The president of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, inspected helicopters used in the exercises, was given a tour of the USS Mount Whitney and said "Lithuania’s active policy has helped to [assure] that such defense guarantees will be provided to us." [7]

    The war in Afghanistan is not the only application for the skills so acquired, although all 12 new NATO members in Eastern Europe - Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia - supplied troops for NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR), for the war in Iraq and for NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

    NATO Partnership for Peace allies and candidates Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine have provided forces for one or more of the above missions, in several cases for all three.

    The West's post-Cold War military colonies are levied not only for bases on their territory but for troops and military hardware to be used in wars abroad.

    When this May the Pentagon moved a Patriot missile battery and over 100 troops into Morag, Poland - 35 miles from the border with Russia's Kaliningrad district - it was not for NATO's first ground war in Afghanistan or against an imaginary missile threat from Iran. A Polish newspaper account of the ongoing Jackal Stone 10 special forces exercise - "US army to show its strength in Poland" - pulled no punches: "NATO is in the process of developing contingency plans to defend Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania against Russian attacks – the first time since the end of the Cold War that NATO has specifically identified Russia as a potential threat." [8]

    Poland's fellow Visegrad Four member Slovakia hosted the NATO Military Committee, which consists of 450 military officers from all 28 member states, on September 17-19. The conference was attended by NATO's two top military commanders, Admiral James Stavridis (Supreme Allied Commander Europe) and General Stéphane Abrial (Supreme Allied Commander Transformation). General David Petraeus, commander of 150,000 U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, participated via video conference. The gathering focused on military operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo and on the new Strategic Concept to be adopted at the bloc's summit in Lisbon in November.

    Slovakia joined NATO five years after its Visegrad partners the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland because its citizens consistently voted in federal elections in a manner displeasing to Washington and Brussels, evidently preferring the notion that a government ought to represent the interests of the nation rather than those of the U.S. and should uphold the rights of its own people over those of the American president and NATO secretary general. NATO demands political subservience as well as warfighting and weapons interoperability.

    After a compliant government was installed and Slovak troops had been dispatched to Iraq, the nation was brought into NATO in 2004. Its forces, like those of 16 other new NATO member states and partners, were transferred to Afghanistan beginning in December of 2008, much as NATO is now redeploying troops from Kosovo to the same war theater. It is hard to believe that many (if any) Slovaks are convinced that sending their sons and daughters to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan in any fashion contributes to their nation's defense and security.

    Slovak troops that have been sent to the three war zones have had the opportunity to renew acquaintances with their former fellow countrymen from the Czech Republic. The European Union has formed a 2,500-troop Czech-Slovak battlegroup.

    Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels on September 17 and confirmed that "Presence in NATO´s Afghan mission is a long-term priority of the new Czech government."

    Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra recently disclosed that he had submitted a proposal to the Czech government for streamlining the procedure for deploying and maintaining troops abroad to circumvent oversight in the parliament where opposition parties can scrutinize the deployments. Vondra wants to shift troops from NATO's mission in Kosovo to its war in Afghanistan where there are now 530 Czechs deployed, and Necas "would like the current system of approving missions for one year only to be extended to two years...." [9] On September 23 Vondra announced that 200 more Czech troops are headed to the Afghan war front and that the nation's special forces are to resume combat operations there.

    Popular and parliamentary objections will not be allowed to interfere with NATO obligations.

    A government report of earlier this month detailed that Czech overseas military missions cost almost three billion crowns last year, up by half a billion from the preceding year. The 2009 expenditure for Afghanistan was forecast to be 1.73 billion crowns but rose to 2.32 billion crowns.

    It was recently reported in an article called "Czech military strategy looks toward U.S." that former Czech defense minister and current NATO Assistant Secretary General Jiri Sedivy (the first Czech to be appointed to such a major NATO post) is heading up a team of 15 security and international relations experts drafting a white paper on the transformation of the country's armed forces.

    "The new strategic concept of NATO will be one of the important works in creating" the white paper, a Defense Ministry spokesman recently stated, in fact asserting that "NATO initiatives will take precedence." He added that "The ambition is that three quarters of the armed forces of the Czech Republic are consistent with NATO standards." [10]

    This past weekend a "two-day NATO Days military air show" was held in Moravia and attended by 205,000 observers. "One of the major attractions was a U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress strategic bomber. The aircraft, which was deployed in the Vietnam war, in the Persian Gulf war, in the bombing of Yugoslavia and in the recent operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, is on the territory of Central Europe for the first time ever." [11]

    U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Ellen Tauscher has recently reconfirmed American interests in basing an interceptor missile radar facility in the Czech Republic to complement missile deployments in Romania and Poland. NATO plans radar sites near Nepolisy in Bohemia and in Slavkov (Austerlitz) in Moravia.

    On July 27, 2009 officials from NATO and 12 participating nations - NATO members the U.S., Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania and Slovenia and Partnership for Peace allies Finland and Sweden - were present for the activation of the "first-of-its-kind multinational strategic airlift unit" [12] at the Papa Air Base in Hungary, which in the interim has been used extensively for the war in Afghanistan.

    To Hungary's west, it was reported this week that the head of the Slovenian Armed Forces Union, Gvido Novak, sent a letter to President Danilo Turk informing the latter that the Slovenian government was "illegally sending troops" to participate in NATO operations in Afghanistan, that "the commander-in-chief...was unconstitutionally and illegally sending Slovenian soldiers to Afghanistan."

    Novak's accusation came a week before the latest deployment of troops to Afghanistan and was based on the fact "that without a state of war being declared, the decision cannot be made without parliament, while the government is yet to send its proposal to MPs." His letter additionally warned that "the new Slovenian military mission to Afghanistan will not be peacekeeping and defensive any longer, and that it will be a war mission...." [13] Slovenes are also learning that the popular will and parliamentary procedures are overridden by demands imposed under NATO membership conditions.

    After NATO's 78-day air war against Yugoslavia in 1999, 50,000 troops marched into Kosovo under NATO command and the U.S. build the colossal Camp Bondsteel and its sister site Camp Monteith there, the first foreign military bases on Yugoslav soil since World War II.

    Earlier this week Bulgarian Defense Minister Anyu Angelov announced that the draft of his nation's National Security Strategy is "in total harmony with the draft Strategic Concept of NATO" and, contradicting a recent claim by President Georgi Parvanov, said "We should not make wrong conclusions from the contents of the draft National Security Strategy - such as concluding that the Bulgarian armed forces can protect the country in a large-scale military conflict on their own, and without NATO's collective security system."      

    Angelov also stated: "I personally think that Bulgaria must stick to the US missile shield....Our commitment to active participation in the missile defense of the US and NATO in Europe must be part of the Strategy." [14]

    After a seven-day visit to Washington beginning in late June during which he met with Pentagon chief Robert Gates, NATO Allied Command Transformation officials in Virginia and missile shield coordinator Ellen Tauscher, the defense chief "confirmed Bulgaria's firm position that it will participate in the US missile defense in Europe, and that the shield must be a crucial project for the entire NATO."

    He also disclosed "that the United States has confirmed its plans for deploying its troops in Bulgaria and Romania in the so-called Joint Task Force East....Under an inter-governmental agreement, the US will be able to use together with the Bulgarian Army four military bases on Bulgarian soil, with a total of 2,500 soldiers, to go up to 5,000 during one-month rotation periods." [15]

    Last month Angelov revealed why he does not believe that Bulgarian troops can defend their nation without NATO support - because their purpose is not to defend their country but to assist NATO in wars abroad - when he "announced that Bulgaria was going to change the functions of the Bulgarian troops in Afghanistan, and that instead of guard units it was going to send a 700-strong combat regiment by the end of 2012." [16]

    At the beginning of this month Angelov flew to Poland to meet with Defense Minister Bogdan Klich for discussions concentrating on "the US missile shield in Europe." [17]

    On September 19 the Bulgarian defense minister "expressed strong support for his colleague, Economy Minister Traikov, who invited US companies to consider investments in Bulgarian military plants." Traikov was in the U.S. at the time where he "invited Boeing to study opportunities for the privatization of the ailing Bulgarian military industrial giant VMZ Sopot." Angelov applauded the offer as an effort to "breathe life into the Bulgarian defense industry." [18]

    A new member state doesn't only turn the nation's military bases over to the Pentagon and NATO and offer them combat troops for wars thousands of miles away, it is also compelled to cede national defense industry assets to the U.S. and its main NATO allies as well.

    Immediately afterward it was reported that a NATO team led by Frank Boland, director of NATO's Defense Policy and Planning Department, was arriving in Bulgaria "to review the level of implementation of the agreements between Sofia and Brussels," in particular to examine, adjust and approve the nation's aforementioned new National Security Strategy.  [19]

    In neighboring Romania, last week it was announced that Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Policy and Verification Operations, was in the capital for a "third round of negotiations centered on Romania’s participation in the US missile defence system," [20] following the Supreme Defense Council approving U.S. Standard Missile-3 deployments in the country on February 4 of this year and official negotiations on the agreement led by Ellen Tauscher in Bucharest on June 17. On September 16 Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, fresh from a meeting with his American counterpart Robert Gates in Washington, said of U.S. interceptor missile plans in Eastern Europe: "They tell us their missile shield is not aimed against us, but we tell them our calculations show it is aimed against us." [21]

    The year after Romania's NATO accession, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice secured an agreement with the nation for the acquisition of four military sites: The Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base and training bases and firing ranges in Babadag, Cincu and Smardan. The air base had been used in 2003 for the invasion if Iraq, a year before Romania joined NATO, and has been employed since for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    In 2006 a similar pact was signed with Bulgaria for the use of the Bezmer Air Base, Graf Ignatievo Air Base and Novo Selo army training range. The seven military sites were the first the U.S. gained access to in former Warsaw Pact countries. They have been used not only for air operations but for the training of a Stryker regiment, special forces and other combat units for "downrange" conflicts like those in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon's Joint Task Force-East, "the largest U.S. military contingent operating in Eastern Europe," [22] spends much of its time training at Romania's Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base and Babadag Training Area.

    It was announced last year that the U.S. will spend $110 million to upgrade a base apiece in Bulgaria and Romania as 2,000 American troops were completing military exercises with the armed forces of both countries that ran from June to the end of October.

    With NATO as intermediary, facilitator and Trojan horse, the Pentagon has established itself - with bases, troops and missiles - along the entire length of Eastern Europe from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean.

    Notes

    1) Estonian Public Broadcasting, September 15, 2010
    2) Ibid
    3) Office of the President, Public Relations Department, September 15, 2010
    4) Ibid
    5) Barents Observer, June 8, 2009
    6) U.S. Army, September 22, 2010
    7) Press Service of the President, September 21, 2010
    Cool Warsaw Business Journal, September 21, 2010
    9) Czech News Agency, September 17, 2010
    10) Prague Post, September 8, 2010
    11) Czech News Agency, September 20, 2010
    12) U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs, July 27, 2010
    13) B92, September 20, 2010
    14) Sofia News Agency, September 19, 2010
    15) Sofia News Agency, July 3, 2010
    16) Sofia News Agency, August 18, 2010
    17) Sofia News Agency, September 5, 2010
    18) Sofia News Agency, September 20, 2010
    19) Standart News, September 21, 2010
    20) Nine O'Clock News, September 17, 2010
    21) Itar-Tass, September 17, 2010
    22) Stars and Stripes, October 17, 2009
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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  GarryB on Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:10 am

    Definitely not worth a TOPOL. These are limited by international treaty.

    Tactical nukes on ISKANDERs on the other hand would be ideal for such a thorn... though I am sure that is exactly some thing they would wish... then there will be proof Russia is the bad guy and they were right all along.

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  IronsightSniper on Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:08 am

    Agreed, no Topols. A couple of Iskanders with EMPs, maybe some BM-30s, a couple of Su-30 fitted for ground attack, destroy majority/all bases, make frontline news. I don't blame Russia though, as an American, I feel we're just dicking around with them. We have bases from Lithuania to Turkey, through Iraq and Afghanistan, and all the way to South Korea and Japan. The only blind spot is China.

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  GarryB on Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:09 am

    Ahhh... but Russia as Venezuela...! Umm, yeah it is a bit one sided. Smile

    Of course the last time the US had the Soviets feeling pressure from all sides Khrushchev decided to push back by basing IRBMs in Cuba.

    I hope it doesn't that that sort of rubbish to make the US realise that if it wants an enemy Russia can be its worst enemy but it doesn't have to be that way.

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  IronsightSniper on Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:05 am

    Yeah, what we're pulling now reminds me of how the North blockaded the South during our Civil war. The only zones the U.S. hasn't lined with military hardware is the Arctic and China. If the U.S. really wanted peace, we wouldn't be doing aimless air patrols on the Russian border or anything stupid like that.

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  Austin on Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:31 am

    Senator McCain criticizes 'reset' in U.S.-Russia relations

    "What we need most now is a greater sense of realism about Russia - about the recent history of our relationship, about the substantial limitations on Russian power, about the divergences in U.S. and Russian interests, and about the lack of shared values between our governments," McCain said in a speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

    McCain cited the most recent example of a brief conflict between Russia and Georgia, when Russia allegedly invaded a part of Georgia in August 2008 only four months after Washington and Moscow agreed to work on building partner relations.

    He also cited continuing disagreements with Russia on missile defenses in Europe, Russia's overwhelming superiority in tactical nuclear weapons, differing approaches to open energy markets, Russia's poor human rights record and "frigid" business climate.

    "We need to stop overstating the successes of our cooperation. And we need to begin dealing with Russia more as the modest power it is, not the great power it once was," McCain said.

    McCain has consistently held a tough stance on Russia. He has been known to call Russia Prime Minister Vladimir Putin a "totalitarian dictator" and was quick to side with Georgia during the country's short war with Russia in 2008.

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  GarryB on Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:14 am

    "What we need most now is a greater sense of realism about Russia - about the recent history of our relationship, about the substantial limitations on Russian power, about the divergences in U.S. and Russian interests, and about the lack of shared values between our governments," McCain said in a speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

    That is really funny, because McCain really wants to distract the attention of mericans about the lack of shared values between the US government and the US people. The US government has be Sh!tting on most of the countries of this planet for the last 60 years or so but after the end of the cold war they haven't had a big powerful state they could point to and say "but they did it first", or "We did it first because they were probably going to do it if they thought of it anyway".
    Now it is we are the world police and we are the last super power so we don't care what you think we will even do it alone.

    That is till it starts getting real and then they drag their "partners" into it like the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Other NATO members aren't pulling their weight in a war the US was going to get done on its own.

    McCain cited the most recent example of a brief conflict between Russia and Georgia, when Russia allegedly invaded a part of Georgia in August 2008 only four months after Washington and Moscow agreed to work on building partner relations.

    Actually Russia was involved in a peacekeeping operation when one of the combatant states decided to use violence instead of words to solve their differences. The Russian forces responded to Georgian violence. McCain probably didn't get that Memo because he gets his info from a tie eater.

    Actually I think America would be much more transparent with McCain in charge. The rest of the world will better understand where it stands. Hardliner American politicians tend to be more predictable when they actually get into power, there is a lot of huff and puff before they get there but once in power they usually just fall asleep in meetings or throw up on foreign dignitaries.

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    Putin Prepares For War

    Post  lulldapull on Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:20 pm

    I guess the stage is being set for another round of a quick war for Russia as the U.S. will goad the Baltic states of Lithuania or Latvia or Georgia into something foolish. The stupid Russians will yet again have a cosmic moment of stupidity at being betrayed by their 'Western partners'.............lol!

    The sheer stupidity of the Russian Government never ceases to amaze me. I always get a laugh out of it. May be it's some sort of an inferiority complex where Russia feels compelled to suck up to the U.S. and is led on to believe that its a 'partner'.......only to discover that all the while it was being set up, like the recent wiki cable release about NATO's intentions on the Baltic republics viz a viz Russia ......Bhwuhahahaaaaa......lol!

    US- NATO Missile Deployments directed against Russia: Putin Prepares For War

    By Mike Whitney

    Vladimir Putin is the most popular leader in the world today. His personal approval ratings are in the stratosphere, usually well-above 80 percent. He is admired for his quiet, confident manner and for having restored Russia to its former greatness following the chaotic breakup of the Soviet Union. The Russian people love Putin. Parents name their children after him, vodka and caviar producers use his name to boost sales, and his face appears on the tee-shirts of students and young people. It's unthinkable that he would step down after his term as prime minister is over a year from today. The Russian people want him to stay on and run for a third term as president, and that's probably what he'll do.

    Putin and George Bush were supposedly good friends, but US-Russian relations have steadily deteriorated since February 10, 2007 when Putin gave a speech at a conference in Munich. In his 45 minute presentation, Putin gave his views on how world leaders should manage global security issues. It was a succinct but hard-hitting analysis that rankled US diplomats and infuriated the Bush White House. Here's an excerpt from the speech.

    Vladimir Putin: "The universal, indivisible character of security is expressed as the basic principle that “security for one is security for all”. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said during the first few days that the Second World War was breaking out: “When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.”

    Midway through the speech, Putin gave a pointed critique of US foreign policy and the dangers it poses to global security.

    Putin: "What is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it refers to one type of situation, namely one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making.

    It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.

    And this certainly has nothing in common with democracy. Because, as you know, democracy is the power of the majority in light of the interests and opinions of the minority."

    By this time, everyone attending the conference could see that Putin was not talking about the threat of terrorism, but the threat of preemption, aggression and global dictatorship. And, even though Putin tried to characterize his views as 'a frank discussion among friends', it was clear that he was singling out the United States as the world's biggest troublemaker.

    Putin: "Unilateral and frequently illegitimate actions have not resolved any problems. Moreover, they have caused new human tragedies and created new centers of tension. Judge for yourselves: wars as well as local and regional conflicts have not diminished. And no less people perish in these conflicts – even more are dying than before. Significantly more, significantly more!

    Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force – military force – in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts. As a result we do not have sufficient strength to find a comprehensive solution to any one of these conflicts. Finding a political settlement also becomes impossible.

    We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?

    In international relations we increasingly see the desire to resolve a given question according to so-called issues of political expediency, based on the current political climate.

    And of course this is extremely dangerous. It results in the fact that no one feels safe. I want to emphasize this – no one feels safe! Because no one can feel that international law is like a stone wall that will protect them. Of course such a policy stimulates an arms race.

    The force’s dominance inevitably encourages a number of countries to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, significantly new threats – though they were also well-known before – have appeared, and today threats such as terrorism have taken on a global character.

    I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security." ( read the whole speech here )

    This is why Washington hates Putin and why western media disparage him as an "autocrat", because he has identified himself as an opponent of the unipolar world view. He does not accept the theory that (as George H. Bush said) "That whatever the US says, goes". He seeks a multipolar world where individual states are treated equally and with respect. But Putin's naivete is a bit surprising. Did he really think that criticizing US meddling around the world would lead to constructive changes in policy? US foreign policy doesn't change. It is immutable, relentless and vicious. America owns the world and demands that foreign leaders obey Washington's directives. "Follow orders, or else"; that's all one needs to know about US foreign policy.

    Putin: "I am convinced that the only mechanism that can make decisions about using military force as a last resort is the Charter of the United Nations... Along with this, it is necessary to make sure that international law have a universal character both in the conception and application of its norms...."

    This type of idealistic blather is unworthy of a shrewd leader like Putin. Where do we see any evidence that the UN prevents wars or that international law serves any purpose other than to provide an excuse for future aggression by the US or Israel? The UN means nothing to Bush, Obama or anyone else who occupies the White House. It's just one of many props that's used to achieve strategic objectives.

    Putin wants to reduce weapons and troops on both sides of the Russia-Europe border, but the US plans to deploy missile systems to Eastern Europe and push NATO/US forces and military bases into Central Asia, thus, encircling Russia and destabilizing the region. Bush/Obama's plan for missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic would integrate US nuclear facilities around the world providing the US with a first-strike capability that Russia will have to counter with more targets in Europe. Putin can't allow this threat to Russia's national security to go unanswered. Whether he wants to reduce the number of nuclear weapons or not is irrelevant, he will be forced to escalate. Missile Defense has made an another arms race unavoidable.

    Putin may have stumbled in his early years as president, but he's shown that he's a quick learner who now understands how to handle the US. Along with US/NATO military bases sprouting up throughout Central Asia, and CIA-sponsored "color coded" revolutions toppling regimes that had been friendly to Moscow; Putin has had to deal with US-funded NGOs operating in Russia that are working to destabilize the government. These faux-human rights organizations are now watched carefully by Russian intelligence agencies and often harassed by right wing, nationalist youth groups, like "Nashi".

    Putin's real "awakening" came about when Georgia's President Mikail Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia 2 years ago. At the time, all of the western media reported that Russia had started the war, but now we know that wasn't the case. Here's a brief summary of what really happened by former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev:

    "For some time, relative calm was maintained in South Ossetia. The peacekeeping force composed of Russians, Georgians and Ossetians fulfilled its mission, and ordinary Ossetians and Georgians, who live close to each other, found at least some common ground....What happened on the night of Aug. 7 is beyond comprehension. The Georgian military attacked the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali with multiple rocket launchers designed to devastate large areas....Mounting a military assault against innocents was a reckless decision whose tragic consequences, for thousands of people of different nationalities, are now clear. The Georgian leadership could do this only with the perceived support and encouragement of a much more powerful force. Georgian armed forces were trained by hundreds of U.S. instructors, and its sophisticated military equipment was bought in a number of countries. This, coupled with the promise of NATO membership, emboldened Georgian leaders into thinking that they could get away with a "blitzkrieg" in South Ossetia...Russia had to respond. To accuse it of aggression against "small, defenseless Georgia" is not just hypocritical but shows a lack of humanity." ("A Path to Peace in the Caucasus", Mikhail Gorbachev, Washington Post)

    Gorbachev's account is accurate, but leaves out some important details. There aren't any military installations in Tskhinvali. In fact, there aren't any military targets at all. It's an industrial center consisting of lumber mills, manufacturing plants and residential areas. It's also the home of 30,000 South Ossetians. When Saakashvili ordered the city to be bombed by warplanes and shelled by heavy artillery, he knew that he'd be killing hundreds of civilians in their homes and neighborhoods. But he ordered the bombing anyway.

    The Georgian army entered the city unopposed after most of the townspeople had fled across the border into Russia. The old and infirm huddled in their basements while the tanks rumbled bye firing at anything that moved. Some critics have compared the assault to Israel's invasion of Gaza where the full force of a modern army was used against a civilian population. It's a fair comparison.

    Less than 24 hours after the initial invasion, Russian armored units swarmed over the border and into Tskhinvali scattering the Georgian army without a fight. Journalist Michael Binyon summed it up like this, "The attack was short, sharp and deadly---enough to send the Georgians fleeing in humiliating panic." Indeed, the Georgians retreated in such haste that many of them left their weapons behind. They simply dropped their guns and ran. It was a complete rout and another black-eye for the US-trained army.

    By the time Tskhinvali was liberated, the downtown area was in engulfed in flames and the bodies of those who had been killed by sniper-fire were strewn along the streets and sidewalks. The city's only hospital had been reduced to smoldering rubble. All told, more than 2,000 civilians were killed in an operation that was clearly engineered and supported by the Bush White House.

    The clash in South Ossetia was a valuable lesson for Putin who had hoped that US/Russia relations would gradually thaw. Now he knows that's not possible. When another nation kills your people, everything changes. Each side becomes more inflexible and the prospects for peace dim. At the same time, US strategic objectives in Central Asia haven't changed at all, so Putin must prepare for the next confrontation. That's why he's strengthening alliances that challenge US dominance in the region and in the world. That's why he's looking for opportunities to weaken US power and erode US prestige. That's why he wants to dump the dollar. It's all preparation.

    When trouble breaks out, Putin will be ready. Russia is fortunate to have such a leader.

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  GarryB on Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:41 am

    Newsflash.....

    Putin is not president of Russia anymore.

    Medvedev is president.

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  lulldapull on Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:30 am

    I personally liked the part of the interview they showed of Victor Belenko when he defected to Japan, and was brought over to the U.S........In it he said that after being let out on the street, he walked into a Shoprite Supermarket and got mesmerized by the number and variety of products on the shelf........making his way to the pet food aisle he instinctively bought a little can of something because of the price tag and brought it home.....

    later after savoring it for the 'flavor'......he was 'amazed' that even dog food could taste that good in his adopted land of the free..........buwahahahahaaaa lol!

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  GarryB on Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:13 am

    Americans spend more on their pets than they do on the homeless or the elderly.

    Not sure that is something to be proud of... sadly it is a common thing in the west.

    Prisoners often get more money spent on them than the elderly or the homeless.

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  Hoof on Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:09 am

    GarryB wrote:Americans spend more on their pets than they do on the homeless or the elderly.

    Not sure that is something to be proud of... sadly it is a common thing in the west.

    Prisoners often get more money spent on them than the elderly or the homeless.


    Garry, you know how pricey it could be to feed 160 pound Great Dane... that can also shoot down nuclear warheads in space ?



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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  GarryB on Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:39 am

    I have heard of "the children of the corn"...

    But this looks like "the children of the corndog".

    Can see why he gets what he wants... Smile

    BTW should point out that I don't think we should spend less on pets... just think that more should be spent on the elderly and less on inmates.

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  Pervius on Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:37 pm

    If Vladimir Putin announced he was running for US President, he could do a better job than Obama.........he'd win.

    Russia could announce they are selling their share of the International Space Station. Sell it to China. See if the Chinese will take Americans up to ISS.

    Russia has many cards to play it isn't playing.

    McCain in charge of America? He would be the first POW President. A family line of military and the man's never held a real job on Earth. He'd kill his own people if he had to keep getting a free paycheck. Wait....he's doing that now.

    Only China can stop US expansionism. Russia can play some cards but they don't have China backing their warpath...America does.


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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  lulldapull on Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:38 pm

    Pervius, This is an age old issue with Russia. It's called complacency and trusting one's potential enemies.

    Stalin the fool got it in the ass from Hitler......and before Napoleon tried to take advantage of the situation as well. Very Happy

    The current issue lies with a weak Gorbachev and that stupid drunk Yeltsin negotiating from a position of weakness!

    You can see the lack of leadership in Russia now.

    P.S. I always say it proudly to all my Russian friends that unless Russia gets it in the ass from a donkey, it refuses to wake up!

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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  Pervius on Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:28 pm

    Russia won't be able to "wake up" from what the donkey's about to do to them.

    The United States can print $200 Trillion and the world see's their money as still valuable....why? They've got 11 active aircraft carrier battle groups and a military with more hardware than everyone else combined.

    Russia should have kept pace with America's building and merely refused to "collapse" from the economic numbers not working. If you've got the guns...you can force everyone to accept your currency and use financial trickery to make the economics look like it's working. Thus why China's on a warpath to outbuild America's military hardware numbers. Thus why America created the Financial Collapse and was there to bail out all those countries. They all now belong to America... permanently.

    Russia needs to get building. 90% of American's don't trust their Federal Government. Russia is a FOOL if it trusts them.

    The United States is not being lead by it's Federal Government...it's being lead by a few psychopath's hellbent on taking over Earth.

    I don't think Russia will exist past 2013. Leadership failure. Military failure. It won't remain sovereign much longer.


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    Re: NATO/US Military Build up in Eastern Europe-Russian borders

    Post  GarryB on Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:46 am

    Not sure what you guys mean by wake up.

    The Russians are already well into a program of completely overhauling and upgrading their military, and have also started working on their military industrial complex too.

    In the civilian sector they need to work on reviving their electronics industry, but this new high tech region they are planning should help with that so that at some point in time they will be moving forward without having to look at what everyone else is doing.

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