‘Pentagon needs Russia as the next big enemy’ - retired US Air Force officer

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter © Gary Cameron
The Pentagon is pointing fingers in advance because it is unhappy with having the brakes put on some of the things it wanted to do in Syria, Karen Kwiatkowski, a retired US Air force Lieutenant Colonel, told RT.

READ MORE: Pentagon attacks on Russia linked to military budget debate in Congress – MoD

RT: The relationship between Russia and the US has often been very strained but recently we have heard positive steps being taken on both sides. Why is the American media still trying to vilify Russia?

Karen Kwiatkowski: I think there is an atmosphere of malaise to some extent in the American public, so stories that are sort of fear-mongering are stories that are picked up quite a bit. And I think you can see this from looking at what our candidates for president are all saying. They are very militaristic-leaning in terms of their rhetoric and I think that’s what people in America want to hear, there is an audience for it. And the real driver though is that the Pentagon needs and wants Russia to be the next big enemy that they are arming against it, budgeting against it, that they are targeting.
Certainly, we have talked for a long time about China and China plays an important role as the enemy of choice for the US military. But Russia is ideal in part, because we don’t import a lot of things from Russia, in part because we don’t have the debt relationship with Russia that we do with China. So, Russia makes for a very convenient enemy for the Pentagon in terms of its mission, its budgeting and its intelligence organization.

RT: Kerry has publically stated that the ceasefire couldn’t have been brokered without Russia’s help and yet the Pentagon and CIA have said that Russia will surely not abide it. Why do the conflicting opinions exist?

KK: We know the American people are not interested in continuing our meddling in the Middle East. It is not popular and most Americans want it to stop, and they don’t understand why we did it to begin with. But for the Pentagon, which has every year record-setting budgets, despite the fact that we’ve had no wars, certainly no declared wars, and that the activities that we are doing with fourth-generation warfare that we are involved in don’t consume the kind of resources the Pentagon likes to budget for… and justifies its existence with. So the Pentagon needs that kind of an enemy. And Ashton Carter, if you listen to what he says continually - even from the beginning of the time he was put in office - his job is fundraising just like the university’s president job is not education but rather fundraising. Ashton Carter’s job is also fundraising, and he fundraises through this process of identifying, pushing and delivering up an enemy that will justify their budgets.

RT: Is the US simply unwilling to admit that Russia is being successful/helpful in the war against ISIS?

KK: Certainly, the details of the ceasefire agreement are not something the Pentagon supports. It is probably something that the CIA doesn’t like because it put a damper on their activities, it is a restrictive thing, all peace agreements have restrictive terms. What John Kerry has done is create some restrictive terms for the Pentagon and the CIA to abide. They don’t want to do that, they don’t like that. So, of course, they are going to say “The Russians are going to cheat and not abide by or use it to their advantage.”

As I was looking at what has being reported and the Pentagon itself is saying about this, it really strikes me as so ironic that the Pentagon which itself has no and has had no cohesive strategy for the Middle East, certainly none for Syria: they can’t even name the groups that they are supporting versus the ones that they fighting. And the American people understand that the Pentagon doesn’t know what it is doing in Syria and yet it is very quick to say “The Russians will do this or that.” I don’t have high confidence in what the Pentagon says. I don’t think anybody should. I think the Pentagon is being very emotional about this brokered agreement, kind of whiny, like four-year olds who didn’t get the treat that they were promised. Does America cheat? Yes, sure… So, we all need to hold each other accountable. The Pentagon is pointing fingers in advance, preemptively and they are doing it because they are unhappy with having the brakes put on some of the things they wanted to do in Syria.

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