Breedlove Continues Pushing NATO-Russia Confrontation
April 1, 2016 (EIRNS)—NATO Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove was in Riga, Latvia yesterday, where he repeated his assertion of the day before in Vilnius that NATO has to go from a "reassurance" posture to a "deterrence" posture in response to a "resurgent and aggressive Russia."
"We are prepared to fight and win if we have to ... Our focus will expand from assurance to deterrence, including measures that vastly improve our overall readiness,"
Breedlove said following talks with Baltic region NATO commanders, reports Defense News.
"To the east and north we face a resurgent and aggressive Russia, and as we have continued to witness these last two years, Russia continues to seek to extend its influence on its periphery and beyond."
Part of the NATO response, Breedlove noted, is the plan to put an armored brigade in Eastern Europe and the Baltics beginning early next year.
Lyndon LaRouche today called Breedlove’s remarks "very, very stupid."
Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, warned that the NATO military buildup Breedlove is referring to worsens the military situation along NATO’s eastern frontier.
"A surplus armored brigade, which is said to consolidate NATO’s eastern flank, runs counter to the letter and spirit of the Russia-NATO Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security,"
Grushko told Izvestia in an interview, as reported by Tass.
"NATO took a pledge to refrain from an additional deployment of considerable combat forces permanently under its provisions and we’ve said more than once that an indefinite rotation is in no way different from permanent deployment."
He directly cited the two BMD bases—one in Romania, which is set to go fully operational, this year, and another in Poland—as bases of "strategic significance" that are permanent.
"The decision to deploy an additional armored brigade is announced at a moment when nothing critical is happening to NATO’s interests on the ‘eastern flank’,"
Grushko went on.
"They continue to disseminate the absurd bogeyman stories that Russia would allegedly attack the Baltic countries had NATO failed to take action and deploy its troops in the region. There is every reason to talk about the serious deterioration of the military situation."
In Washington, there is a relatively sane strain of analysis that agrees with Grushko. In a column in The National Interest on March 30, former CIA analyst Paul Pillar writes that the Russians do have a case that NATO’s military buildup in eastern Europe violates the NATO-Russia Founding Act and that making the troop presence rotational doesn’t change that fact.
"De facto reneging on previous understandings ought to worry anyone concerned about U.S. credibility,"
"And we should remember how much difference Russian cooperation, or lack of it, can make in dealing with problems such as the war in Syria."