World War I was referred to as “The Great War” and “The War to End All Wars”. But needless to say, these titles didn’t live up to their billing, since World War II eclipsed World War I in loss of life, the development of modern weaponry, and in many other ways.
“The Great War” and “The War to End All Wars” should have been saved for the final world war, which might just be lurking around the next bend:
NATO and US Agree to Deploy Military Forces Against Non-Existent Russian Threat
On Friday, NATO leaders agreed to the deployment of military forces to Eastern Europe to bolster Baltic states against the threat of Russian incursion.
Following the launch of the Western alliance’s unprecedented military exercise known as Anakonda-16 — ten days of war games in Poland involving some 30,000 troops from over 20 NATO member nations — the announcement backs up posturing over supposed Russian aggression in the region.
Anakonda-16 has been described as the largest military exercise since the Cold War — but Russian President Vladimir Putin has understandably perceived such moves as aggressive and a threat, with Russian officials referring to the exercise as “the summer of provocation.”
As areas along the border with Russia grow tense, NATO’s mixed messages about the deployment indicate the situation could explode at any time.
“These battalions will be robust and they will be multinational,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference following the first session of the alliance summit, Reuters reported. “They make clear that an attack on one ally will be considered an attack on the whole alliance.”
In fact, the announcement to deploy four battalions — consisting of between 3,000 to 4,000 troops, 1,000 of whom will come from the U.S. — has been expected since June, when chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Petr Pavel, claimed troop buildup would remain limited because no imminent threat from Russia exists.
“Deployment of substantial military force is not being considered,” Reuters reported Pavel said at the time.
It is not the aim of NATO to create a military barrier against broad-scale Russian aggression, because such aggression is not on the agenda and no intelligence assessment suggests such a thing.
Now, however, as Reuters reports, the announcement codifies explicitly the Russian threat to Baltic states and Poland as the reason for that deployment.
Western — and particularly, U.S. — sabre-rattling in the area has placed Putin on the defensive…
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