The Pentagon is ready to send heavy weapons at bases in the region due to Russia’s expansionist threat
(The Real Agenda) The conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the Crimean decision to become part of Russia and the intervention of NATO in global affairs seem to be the keys for Washington to return to its old ways: military deterrence.
The Department of Defense of the United States is prepared to send heavy weaponry to American military bases in Eastern Europe, in an attempt to beef up its presence. These new weaponry would be used by up to 5,000 American soldiers that are already stationed in the region, and would complement NATO’s warfare machinery, which has expanded eastward to Russia’s doorstep.
The proposal, according to The New York Times, is expected to be approved by President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter before the meeting of defense ministers of NATO later this month.
Washington’s goal is to strengthen the security guarantees against what war hawks call Soviet expansionism. Neocons are salivating at the type of military conflict that is now brewing as Washington raises its suspicion of Russia more than a year after Crimea voted to become part of Russia and as the Eastern regions of Lughansk and Donetsk manage to keep their lands free from Kiev’s military advances.
If the American war plan is approved, it would mark the first time since the end of the Cold War two decades ago that US sends and stations heavy weapons in the new NATO countries of Eastern Europe, which integrated the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union. The governments of Poland and Lithuania confirmed they are in talks with Washington to store weapons on their territories.
The initiative is an implicit admission that the Obama government does not intend to stop its interventionism policy in Ukraine, initiated in March 2013 after an American-led coup ended with the democratically elected government of Ukraine.
The shipment of heavy military equipment would be the strongest decision by Washington to address what NATO countries and the G7 see as Russia’s interference in Ukraine.
So far, the US has increased military exercises with NATO partners in eastern waters and has given military support to these countries and Ukraine, which is not part of NATO, while diplomatically it has imposed, along with the European Union economic sanctions against Russia.
The current proposal of the Pentagon, which does not detail its terms, is to build up its takeover of Eastern Europe by stockpiling weapons in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. These weapons would be enough for about 150 soldiers in each country, according to American media.
The amount would be higher, for about 750 soldiers in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and possibly” Hungary. The US military has studied in which bases it can store the material.
The weapons would be monitored by local contractors and not by the US military. It would be a similar situation to the one seen in Kuwait after George H.W. Bush’s Gulf War.
“The Army continues to review the best locations to store these materials in consultation with our allies,” said Defense Department spokesman, Steven Warren, in a statement. “Right now, we have not made any decision on whether or when to move this material.”
Media reports come just weeks after the secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, and Polish Defense Minister visited Washington to define more details about the military deployment.
By sending military equipment, Obama seeks to send a firm message to Putin, but its scope is limited. The proposal excludes the permanent deployment of US troops, as requested by senior military officers of the Baltic.
The tanks, infantry vehicles and other heavy military equipment will not be placed on the ground. Instead, it would be stored in allied bases to be used in case of need or training. The amount of material, according to reports, would be lower than Russia could deploy on its border.
The philosophy behind the decision coincides with what war hawks believe is the obligation of the United States, as a member of NATO, to respond to a security threat of another alliance partner country.
The debate that took place in February within the Obama government on the need to deliver weapons to the Ukrainian Army seems to have been buried after the US sent men and weapons to the Ukrainians.
So far, the initiative has not raised any official Russian reaction, but it represents a blow to the efforts made by the Kremlin to try to convince the West that Russia is not a danger or a threat to Europe.
Despite the growing tension, Washington kept an open channel of communication with Moscow, as evidenced by the meeting in mid-May between Secretary of State, John Kerry, and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
Russia’s role is key in nuclear negotiations with Iran and in resolving the Syrian civil war. Presumably, nevertheless, that the deployment of military equipment would bother Russia, as it happened with the project of President George W. Bush to install a missile shield in Eastern Europe because him and his war hawks believed that it was needed to stop an alleged threat from Iran.
Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 18 years and almost every form of news media. His articles include subjects such as environmentalism, Agenda 21, climate change, geopolitics, globalisation, health, vaccines, food safety, corporate control of governments, immigration and banking cartels, among others. Luis has worked as a news reporter, on-air personality for Live and Live-to-tape news programs. He has also worked as a script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news. Read more about Luis.