‘Cold War pensioner’: Defense Ministry blasts US general over ‘Russophopic’ essay
A fresh essay by US general Philip Breedlove, calling Russia an “enduring existential threat” to the West is aimed at convincing taxpayers in the West to spend money on military in Europe, Russia’s Defense Ministry said.
“As we warned, with the approaching of the NATO summit in Warsaw [on July 8] where a decision on the deployment of four NATO battalions along the Russian borders is expected to be made the number of Russophobic shouts from ‘political pensioners’ in the West will only be increasing,” Major General Igor Konashenkov, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman, said.
In an article for Foreign Affairs magazine, Breedlove, who was NATO’s top commander in Europe until May 2016, stated that “Russia poses an enduring existential threat to the United States, its allies, and the international order.”
According to Konashenkov, the US general’s statements, like all the other inflammatory rhetoric by the block, is aimed at persuading “taxpayers in NATO countries to more eagerly spare their assets on deployment and maintenance of, first of all, the US military in Europe.”
“And if anybody had any doubts about Philip Breedlove’s future, his rather perfunctory Russophobic essay is a direct sign of lack of the general’s perspective on the military service and his upcoming switch of status to becoming a ‘Cold War pensioner,” the Defense Ministry spokesman stressed.
NATO is expected to finalize its plans to deploy four multinational battalions in the Baltic States and Poland.
The move is seen as part of an effort aimed at protecting its Eastern European allies from Russia, which NATO apparently perceives as a threat.
The 4,000 troops, to be reportedly provided by Britain, the US, Germany, and possibly Canada, are to be deployed in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland on a six-to-nine month rotating basis, becoming NATO’s biggest military buildup since the Cold War, diplomats told Reuters earlier.
Besides the rotating battalions, the plan includes creating a highly mobile “spearhead” force and a 40,000-strong rapid reaction force, as well as warehousing battle-ready equipment.
Russia has long criticized NATO’s military buildup, calling it a threat to its national security and stability in Europe.