From the horse’s mouth:
“The Ministers reviewed the implementation of the Alliance’s Readiness Action Plan. The Plan, agreed by NATO leaders at their Summit in Wales last year, ensures NATO’s readiness to confront challenges in an evolving and fast-moving security environment.
They gave their green light to the completed military concept for the Enhanced NATO Response Force, including its command and control arrangements. “We now have everything in place to make the Response Force stronger, faster and more capable,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. The Ministers also agreed to set up two more NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUs) or small headquarters in Hungary and Slovakia. Six other NFIUs were activated in September in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania. The Secretary General also welcomed the announcement by Germany to lead the Alliance’s very high readiness Spearhead Force in 2019 and plans by the United Kingdom to rotate more troops into the Baltics and Poland for training and exercises.”, (Turkish solidarity, air space violations, yada, yada)
“Back at the 2014 Wales Summit, NATO decided to boost the NRF from 13,000 to 40,000 depending on the task it is needed for.
According to Stoltenberg, the military alliance is currently facing many challenges, including the refugee crisis, which he called “a tragic result of the turmoil we see to our south.”
Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that NATO’s actions are not contributing to the stabilization of situation in Europe.”
Ya think? ‘Our dicks are bigger than your dicks, Putin! We’re ready for ya!’
The Guardian provided Stoltenberg a large megaphone this morning, however:
“Moscow’s growing military involvement in the Syria conflict – which on Wednesday involved its jets backing an offensive by ground troops loyal to the president, Bashar al-Assad – is expected to be high on the agenda of a meeting of the alliance’s defence ministers.
“Nato is ready and able to defend all allies, including Turkey against any threats,” Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general, told reporters before the Brussels meeting on Thursday.
“In Syria, we have seen a troubling escalation of Russian military activities. We will assess the latest developments and their implications for the security of the alliance. This is particularly relevant in view of the recent violations of Nato’s airspace by Russian aircraft.
“Nato has already responded by increasing our capacity, our ability, our preparedness to deploy forces including to the south, including in Turkey.”
The ground offensive backed by Russian airstrikes was an escalation in Moscow’s week-long campaign, which had previously been restricted to bombing runs to soften up rebel positions near major loyalist strongholds.
Syria’s chief-of-staff, Gen Ali Ayoub, on Thursday declared that a wide-ranging ground offensive by Syrian troops was under way that he said had been facilitated by Russian airstrikes.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ground forces loyal to the government targeted insurgents in the Ghab plain, with heavy barrages of surface-to-surface missiles as Russian warplanes bombed from above. It also said rebels had shot down a helicopter in Hama province in western Syria. It was unclear if it was Syrian or Russian.”
Heavy indictment by the SOHR, my goodness. But I’d remembered reading something about that oft-quoted-by-Western media organization, so I Binged again and found at RT: ‘Man who runs SOHR admits to RT he last visited Syria 15 years ago’. Who can say if the organization is as goofy as it sounds?
Now b at Moon of Alabama recently chuckled a bit with his ‘Russia “Violated” Turkish Airspace Because Turkey “Moved” Its Border’:
“One Russian plane may even indeed have slightly crossed the border while maneuvering. But the real reason why the U.S. military official and Turkey claim the above “violations” is because Turkey unilaterally “moved” the Turkish-Syrian border five miles south:
Turkey has maintained a buffer zone five miles inside Syria since June 2012, when a Syrian air defense missile shot down a Turkish fighter plane that had strayed into Syrian airspace. Under revised rules of engagement put in effect then, the Turkish air force would evaluate any target coming within five miles of the Turkish border as an enemy and act accordingly.
If Syrian rules of engagement would “move” its northern border up to the Black Sea would any plane in eastern Turkey be in violation of Syrian air space? No one would accept such nonsense and that is why no one should accept the U.S.-Turkish bullshit here. Russian planes should not respect the “new” Turkish defined border but only the legitimate one.”
But as I remember it, Turkey hadn’t cared quite so much about the ‘air space incursions, but Western media scribes sure did. And Ankara got a little help from Kerry, Ash, et.al. quite soon.
“Russia’s air campaign in Syria has caught the US and its allies on the back foot and alarmed Syria’s northern neighbour Turkey, which says its airspace has been repeatedly violated by Russian jets. [snip]
On Wednesday, Turkey summoned Russia’s ambassador for the third time in four days over the reported airspace violations, which Nato has said appeared to be deliberate and were extremely dangerous.”
Those two Guardian links above go straight to (TaDa!): “Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemns Moscow as Nato says incursions into Turkish airspace do not appear to be accidental.”
Thank you, NATO. But no, Brussells sho’ don’t like the Russian ships firing missiles into targets, nor the fact that Syrian troops on the grounds ‘backed by modern Russian tanks’ are being aided by Russian airstrikes.
Mike Whitney explains why Putin will ‘win’ in Syria.
In Pepé Escobar’s ‘The NATO-Russia Face Off in Syria;, he claims that in an op-ed at the FT, Zbig had said that Washington should “retaliate” if Moscow does not stop attacking US assets in Syria. “US assets” means CIA-trained “moderate rebels”. And after all, “American credibility” is at stake”.
Given that the FT is behind a pay wall, I let my finders do the Binging, and found this at OpEdnews.com: ‘Zbigniew Brzezinski, Are You Nuts?’ in which the author says that really it was Politico’s er…translation of Zbig that went full-tilt nutbar, and that what the Grand Chessboard Mater of American Exceptionalism had actually said was:
“But Politico didn’t get those Brzezinski quotes from the man himself. Instead, the publication cited an article written for the Financial Times by Brzezinski.
I went and checked out that FT article. I wanted to know if Brzezinski actually advanced the arguments described in Politico.
The first disparity I noticed is the title: Politico ran with “Brzezinski: Obama should retaliate if Russia doesn’t stop attacking US assets.”
But the FT source article was titled “Russia must work with, not against, America in Syria.” The article’s deck explained, “We should persuade Moscow to act with us in resolving such a problem, writes Zbigniew Brzezinski.”
His Tweet seems to reflect that, amazingly enough: @zbig Oct 5 “US and Russian cooperation in Syria could be beneficial not only for the MidEast but also for US-Sino relations. http://on.ft.com/1WGvA20”
But oh, ho; the Putin Plot according to Zbig thickens:
Well, now; that’s more like it, albeit a bit dated. Ah, yes; the map is brought to us by the ISW. Hmmmm. Stellar funders of the military weaponry kind, and war ‘project’ propagandists extraordinaire. Ain’t they just adorable?
More Escobar following his NATO and AshHat Carter schooling Erdogan to care a whole lot more, then Zbig:
“‘Sultan’ Erdogan, for his part, remains restless. Moscow has already evaporated his so cherished three-year-old dream of a no-fly zone over northern Syria. There is an actual no-fly zone all over Syria now in effect. But it’s managed by Russia.
And that explains why there’s already full spectrum hysteria for more US Congress sanctions on Russia. How can a no-fly zone be imposed over Syria when Russia got there first?”
Then follows an explanation of ‘The Sultan’s’ nighmares vis a vis the Kurds, and ends:
“Russia’s spectacular entry into the war theatre threw all these elaborate plans into disarray. Imagine a complete liberation of northeast Syria as soon as the PYD – with help from PKK fighters – is weaponized enough to smash the ISIS/ISIL/Daesh goons. And imagine the Russian Air Force providing air cover for such an operation, with extra coordination by the Russia-Syria-Iraq-Iran central in Baghdad.
‘The Sultan’, in desperation, would have to maneuver his F-16s against such an offensive. And then we might really have a NATO-Russia five seconds to midnight scenario – with terrifying consequences. ‘The Sultan’ would blink first. And NATO would collapse into the ignominy it never left – back to its elaborate “Russia is invading” drills.”
Speaking of Russian invasions: Ukraine: they seem to have forgotten you…for now. Oopsie; it appears that you are their ace in the hole:
Got anything else for us, #DefMin? Oh, my, yes: moar maps!
Prayer: Pleas keep us all safe from NATO and their allied ilk. And leave your lights on; there really is a monster hidin’ under your bed.