‘Ukrainian crisis - NATO pretext to contain and besiege Russia’

Two members of Poland's special commando unit Lubliniec demonstrate their skills during the "Noble Sword-14" NATO international tactical exercise at the land forces training center in Oleszno, near Drawsko Pomorskie, northwest Poland September 9, 2014. (Reuters/Kacper Pempel)
NATO exercises in Europe and its eastward expansion have nothing to do with the Ukrainian crisis, which is used as a pretext to move closer to Russia’s borders in order to contain and besiege it, says international analyst Rick Rozoff.

RT:NATO continues to increase its military personnel in Eastern Europe carrying out large-scale military exercises with 17 countries taking part. It's the latest stage of Operation Atlantic Resolve - a series of over 30 war games in Europe throughout this year. What do you think NATO is preparing for?

Rick Rozoff: They are preparing for a direct military confrontation with Russia. I think that’s an inescapable conclusion. Let’s recollect first of all we have some not even short memory of influenced thinking about what the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is. It was founded 66 years ago this month to be exact, in 1949, with the expressed intention of containing, confronting, and as need might arise engaging in a military conflict with Russia. Pure and simple. There is no other purpose for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Now in the post-Cold War period with the demise of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, and of the Eastern Bloc as a whole, far from having dissolved itself, which would have been logical if its intent had been in any way or form of a defensive nature, it instead increased its membership by 12 new countries, by 75 percent. All 12 of those countries are in Eastern Europe, several of them border Russia. And it has always been the expressed intent of NATO to move up to Russia’s western and to large part of its southern borders and to contain Russia.That’s a purpose for it. So the fact that the Ukrainian crisis has been exploited as the pretense for an acceleration of plans long under way, years, decades under way, for NATO expansion to contain and besiege Russia. There is something we need to be aware of. The NATO expansion in the Baltics, in the Black Sea has nothing to do with the Ukrainian crisis except as a pretext. It has everything to do with plans that are under way for at least a decade or two.

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RT:Why do you think that NATO officials still continue with the harsh rhetoric about Russia, despite the fact that Russia played a key role in establishing the truce in East Ukraine? Russia is not threatening anyone. So who is the US rhetoric aimed at, is it trying to scare home audiences or trying to provoke Russia?

RR: It is being done in conjunction with the US allies, I should really say the US operatives on the ground in critically important countries, many of which either border Russia or are close to it. I’m thinking of Sweden, Finland, Georgia, Azerbaijan and other countries, and in Ukraine in particular. There is an effort to portray Russia - which is the victim and not the perpetrator in this military expansion - as being the aggressor. And NATO which is transparently and irrefutably the aggressor is being portrayed as a defensive force. But this is a public relations battle going on, this is a war of ideas that is going on right now. And it’s one meant in conjunction with US controlled political operatives in the five countries I mentioned in particular to soften up the resistance of the populist to NATO membership. That’s why countries like Finland, Sweden, Georgia, and Azerbaijan have troops serving under NATO in Afghanistan, in a combat role. Georgia had even at the peak of NATO troops training in Afghanistan had the largest contingent of any non-NATO member in the neighborhood of almost 3000 troops. And these troops are being trained with expressed purpose of getting combat experience that could be use closer to home and that means against Russia.

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RT:The alliance's military exercises are becoming larger each time. What is their eventual aim?

RR: …To be able to be a little bit more specific about it, we have to recollect that the NATO nations, 29 members, account for over a trillion dollars in military spending per year, they account - depending on how it’s estimated - from 60 to 75 percent of globalmilitary spending. ..In addition to the US both France and Britain, three of the four members of what they call the NATO Quad… are nuclear powers. And US tactical nuclear weapons are stationed under what is called “NATO burden sharing” or “NATO power sharing” in military bases in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey and Belgium… But also what we are going to see is a steady acceleration of military build-up in what now NATO quite openly calls the “frontlines states”. And “frontline” is a term generally used in a war. Their frontlines states, the six of them, are Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania. And the US and NATO for example have quadrupled the amount of advanced generation war planes, that are part of what NATO euphemistically calls air patrols over the Baltic Sea operating out of Lithuania, now also out of Estonia. So there are now four times as many of them as perhaps a year ago. These are the war planes that can strike Saint Petersburg in 5 minutes and Moscow in 50 minutes. So we have some idea what we are talking about. What is more alarming is not only as you indicated. The Minsk arrangement, the Normandy Four arrangement, with Ukraine which should have led to the de-escalation of the US and NATO military build-up along Russia’s western borders led to the precisely the opposite.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.