‘NATO drills - US attempt to show readiness for war against Russia’

Dan Glazebrook
Dan Glazebrook is a freelance political writer who has written for RT, Counterpunch, Z magazine, the Morning Star, the Guardian, the New Statesman, the Independent and Middle East Eye, amongst others. His first book “Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis” was published by Liberation Media in October 2013. It featured a collection of articles written from 2009 onwards examining the links between economic collapse, the rise of the BRICS, war on Libya and Syria and 'austerity'. He is currently researching a book on US-British use of sectarian death squads against independent states and movements from Northern Ireland and Central America in the 1970s and 80s to the Middle East and Africa today.
NATO's Dynamic Mongoose anti-submarine exercise in the North Sea off the coast of Norway. © Marit Hommedal
NATO’s war games are part of an ongoing attempt to show the world that the US is ready to risk world war against Russia to defend its right to conduct illegal regime change and create failed states, says independent political analyst Dan Glazebrook.

Norway is hosting Europe's biggest annual military exercise codenamed 'Cold Response'. Some 15,000 troops from NATO states will be involved.

The scenario will mimic a military conflict with armed forces in a fictional cold country. Meanwhile, Norway's current non-fictional security review lists Russia as one of the main threats. NATO officials, however, claim there's no connection.

RT: It’s one of the largest exercises of its kind that comes with US deployment of strategic bombers, but NATO says it bears no relation to Russia. What do you make of that?

Dan Glazebrook: You have to look at the recent history of US militarism and NATO aggression. NATO deeply invested in regime change operations by proxy, several of which have not gone very well, for example, in Syria and Ukraine. NATO has failed to ensure its new kind of regime change operations have been successful…It doesn’t want to see them fail and one of the reasons that they have been failing is because of Russia’s refusal to simply roll over and let the US create one failed state after another. So, Russia is deeply despised by many elements within the US military establishment for being a thorn in the side of the US regime change juggernaut. We have to understand that the NATO countries and the US are already leading an economic war against Russia through sanctions, through its policy to encourage Saudi to cause a debt in the oil price. This hasn’t worked. And this is resorting to outright militarism and this is part of it. And we have seen NATO member Turkey attacking and shooting down a Russian jet and we’ve seen in the last few weeks Turkey and Saudi Arabia opening an invasion of Syria…This is part of the ongoing attempts to show the world that the US is ready, able and willing to fight a world war - potentially with Russia.  Not just to fight against Syria or Libya, but actually to risk world war against Russia to defend its right to conduct illegal regime change, to create failed states and to turn peaceful countries into sectarian bloodbaths. That is what this is all about.

RT: The war games include an aggressor part and a defender part. Do you think there is a strategic undertone or it’s just a way for NATO to demonstrate its military power?

DG: There are strategic elements. There is going to be strategic resource wars in the Arctic and they are preparing for that... Remember the US strategy of full-spectrum dominance announced after the end of the Cold war: the idea that there should be no inch of the planet really that is beyond US military control…But I still think first and foremost they need to convince the world, demonstrate to the world that they are willing to go to war with Russia. Because it may be a bluff, but they need to convince the world that this is not a bluff and that they are able to do that. And for sure there are elements in the US military establishment [who] would be willing to do that, and that is not a bluff. So, it is a very dangerous situation that we are seeing develop here.

RT: NATO says that there are no grounds for Russia to consider these drills and the whole NATO activity in the region as a threat. Do you think these claims are true?

DG: These countries often have this kind of analysis, but have mater on its head. Who’s going around the world creating failed states. If we look at Russia’s actions, they have been defensive and as much as they’ve been trying to defend, for example, in Ukraine, and actually quite minimal involvement of Russia in Ukraine, but to the extent they have been involved to try and defend the people of eastern Ukraine from the onslaught of neo-Nazi forces that have been unleashed on them by an illegal regime change operation backed by the US. In Syria they have been invited by the Syrian government to prevent a collapse of the Syrian government in the face of a sectarian death squad onslaught sponsored by the US and Britain and others.  To try and characterize this as Russian aggression when actually they are just conducting some level of defense against illegal aggression that has been going on around the world led by the US, this is completely puts the matter on its head.

It’s an observable, empirical fact that NATO is surrounding and encircling Russia with troops, threatening Russia with this kind of exercises. We also know from past experience that NATO countries’ leaders are not to be believed when they reassure Russia. For example, when George Bush Sr said that NATO won’t advance one inch to the East, and every country that has joined the EU to the East had subsequently gone on to join NATO. NATO assurances are not worth the paper they are written on. It doesn’t matter what NATO is saying, it is what they are doing that gives their game away.

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